Water Experts of the Environment Agency Austria in Paris

Partner meeting for transboundary European Water Initiative Plus Project: review 2017 and outlook to 2020

© Umweltbundesamt Choroki river, Georgia

Paris/Vienna, 17 January 2018 – Water resource management in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus is at the core of the European Water Initiative Plus (EUWI+) project. Under the leadership of a European project consortium headed by the Umweltbundesamt, the Environment Agency Austria, management plans will be developed for river basins and transboundary rivers in these eastern European Neighbourhood countries and implemented by 2020. A meeting of high-ranking project partners was convened on 18-19 January in Paris for a first review of the project’s progress and the milestones achieved so far. “With EUWI+ we provide, together with our partners, the necessary structures for secure access to clean water and the ecological functioning of waters“, says Michael Sutter, project leader at the Environment Agency Austria. “Our aim is to help to significantly improve the environmental conditions in the eastern European Neighbourhood countries.”

 

The meeting was attended by high-ranking representatives of the project consortium, the partner countries, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). A coordination meeting in Georgia has been scheduled for 2 February 2018 for the project team to exchange experiences gained from thematically similar projects in the eastern European Neighbourhood countries.

Priority 2018: water quality monitoring and the implementation of national action plans

 

In 2018, several training sessions are planned under the EUWI+ project, along with workshops, study visits and coordination meetings, which will be attended by high-ranking government representatives. To make the project partners’ work easier, the Environment Agency Austria has opened new project offices in Kiev and Tbilisi. The meeting in Paris, the OECD headquarters, marked the end of the first project phase, during which an analysis of the monitoring and laboratory infrastructure in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus was conducted, as well as an analysis of the need for institutional and human capacities and for laboratory equipment in these countries. As part of the evaluation, water management procedures and processes in the partner countries were analysed and potentials for improvement investigated. The results will be made available on the EUWI+ website at the end of February.

 

In the next few months water monitoring systems will be established and extended, and the national action plans for water resource management, prepared in 2017, will be implemented. The basis for this is a well-functioning water quality monitoring system into which significant investments will be made in the partner countries over the next two years. By 2020, up to one million euros per partner country will be invested in laboratory and monitoring equipment in the framework of the EUWI+ project.

 

It is planned to make the annual report 2017 available on the website www.euwipluseast.eu/en/publications-reports/technical-reports for download from April 2018.

The Environment Agency Austria in a Nutshell

 

With more than 500 staff members from 55 scientific disciplines, the Environment Agency Austria is the largest organisation of experts in the environment sector in Austria and a leading adviser in environmental matters. The Environment Agency stands for the transformation of the economy and society to ensure sustainable living and lays the groundwork for decision-making at local, regional, European and international level.

 

The Environment Agency Austria has a demonstrable track record of successful projects in more than 60 countries – from the new EU Member States to the Western Balkans, the Middle East, the Maghreb countries and Asia. It gives advice to UN and EU institutions and works as a partner in more than 200 national, European and international networks, bodies, and working groups.

 

Further information:

Petra Kestler, Environment Agency Austria, press office, phone: +43 1 313 04 5432

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