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European Environment Initiative (EURENI)

Funding Call
Two young people in front of a mountain panorama hold an EU flag

German-Polish-Czech network for environmentally and nature-friendly regional devel-opment in the Oder catchment area

Grant recipient

Fundacja EkoRozwoju (Foundation for Sustainable Development)

Project partners

Arnika – CEPO

Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND)

Duration

ongoing

2021-09-01 till 2024-09-19

Location

Germany, Poland, Czech Republic

Funding Amount

330,000.00 €

Project background

The overall ecological situation of the Oder catchment area threatens to deteriorate significantly in the coming years due to the conjunction of multiple challenges and developments, such as climate crisis, increasing land consumption, the upgrade of the Oder for inland navigation including the construction of barrages, and changed conditions for agriculture and forestry. The protection and sustainable development of this European river landscape does not receive enough attention in the current programmes and plans of the riparian states of the Oder. In addition, the public participation opportunities within the framework of the implementation of the Water Framework Directive are still underdeveloped.

To mitigate resulting impediments for the Oder region and ensure its sustainable development, environmental associations and civil society have already made considerable efforts to increase knowledge and awareness about the region's challenges. A communication network with Polish, Czech and German action alliances called “Time for the Oder” was already active in the 2000s. But in the absence of an established organizational structure and long-term funding, the intensity of cooperation and the exchange of information started to decrease, eventually occurring only locally and sporadically.

In the years after 2014 however, parts of the old network in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany have been reactivated. The current initiatives, which have integrated numerous new civil society actors, show a high interest and urgent need by civil society to cooperate more effectively. Now it is important to support this process and establish a form of cooperation that is sustainable and independent of third-party funding.

Project goals and measures

People stand in front of a river with cameras
Press conference on the activities of the EURENI project in Wroclaw, directly on the banks of the Oder.

The project addresses this need of network support: Regular exchange, communication and cooperation between the participating organizations from Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic is strengthened on a national and an international level. This creates a common understanding of mutual perspectives on the trilateral river basin.

The preparation and implementation of dialogue forums and qualification offers, thematic meetings on the programming of EU funds and annual specialist conferences during the project funding period will raise civil society’s awareness of the relevance of the Water Framework Directive. A particular focus will be on the transfer of knowledge and skills regarding legal regulations, the role and methods of maintaining green and blue infrastructure along the Oder River in the context of the European Biodiversity Strategy, risk management and adap-tation to climate change.

As a result, a Czech-German-Polish network of non-governmental organizations, experts and interested citizens for environmentally and nature-friendly regional development in the Oder catchment area is established. This establishment represents an important contribution to the security and sustainable development of the Oder region.