Living Lakes Seennetzwerk Deutschland - Osteuropa

Aktenzeichen 23823/01
Projektträger: Global Nature Fund (GNF) Internationale Stiftung für Umwelt und Natur
Fritz-Reichle-Ring 4
78315 Radolfzell
weitere Projekte aus der Umgebung
Telefon: 07732/9995-80/1
Bundesland: Grenzüberschreitend
Zielsetzung und Anlass des Vorhabens

Intensify networking and promote target-oriented cooperation between NGOs and communities in Germany and Eastern Europe, especially new EU member countries regarding the protection of lakes and sustainable development of lake regions. In particular:
Assessment of the needs of the partners in lake regions in Eastern Europe and further cooperation, i.e. national Actions plans and role of NGOs
Capacity building for NGOs in new EU-member countries and candidate countries. Strengthen role of NGOs regarding implementation of environmental legislation, national environmental policies, environmental education, management of protected areas etc.
Capacity building for Eastern-European NGOs regarding intercultural management, acquisition of funding, design and planning of projects and applications
Successful realization of four model projects regarding sustainable tourism development, sustainable land use planning, sustainable fishery and management of wetlands. Dissemination of results to decision makers and the local population
Improved level of information and sensitisation regarding environmental problems and the need for sustainable development of lake regions within decision makers in policy, economy and local popula-tion
Improved implementation of EU-Directives in lake regions in Germany and Eastern Europe with relevance to environment: EU Water Framework Directive, Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive, Strategic Environmental Assessment, Nitrate Directive, Agro-Environmental Programmes etc.

Darstellung der Arbeitsschritte und der angewandten MethodenDarstellung der Arbeitsschritte und der angewandten Methoden
The project goals have been achieved through networking and exchange of information on E-mail basis, four project team meetings, one training course, one fundraising workshop, four field visits connected with thematic workshops and an international conference. The exchange of information has been sup-ported by various publications (e.g. documentation of the four model projects and a final report in English, German, Polish, Estonian and Lithuanian as well as trough the project website and the presentation of the project in relevant national and international events.
Within the model projects, the following most important activities have been carried out:
Lake Vörtsjärv (Estonia). Aim: Improving visitor management at Lake Võrtsjärv.
- SWOT-Analysis for the lake Võrtsjärv region regarding tourism development as a basis for the Lake Vörtsjärv Tourism Strategy
- Elaboration of guidelines regarding environmental and social quality of tourism development
- Training Programme for Tourism Entrepreneurs
- Creation of a network of tourism offers:
- Seminar with EU Parliament members from the Fishery Commission
- Seminar about water level with representatives from the Environment and Agricultures Ministries
- Installation of an Information Centre at Lake Võrtsjärv in a building of the Centre for Limnology: equipment for a seminar room, production of an exhibition and brochures for visitors, brochure with recommendations regarding excursions around Lake Vörtsjärv
- Publication of a book Võrtsjärv and its Many Faces (Estonian and English), brochure about recreational activities at Lake Vörtsjärv and two Lake Vörtsjärv Newsletters
- Organisation of an annual bicycle tour to promote the lake region and the Visitor Centre
Lake Peipsi (Estonia). Aim: Promoting sustainable tourism development in Lake Peipsi region.
- Training programme for nature tourism guides and entrepreneurs with three training modules (2 days each)
- Elaboration of nature tourism guidelines with comprehensive information and guidance on topics such as nature interpretation, cooperation between the public and the private sector from the point of view of a nature tourism entrepreneurs, ecolabelling and nature tourism
- Multimedia programme in English on CD about the area of River Emajõgi that joins Lake Võrtsjärv and Lake Peipsi - Birds eye view of River Emajõgi
Lake Balaton (Hungary). Aim: Environmental management system for planning on regional and local le-vel.
- Elaboration of a baseline review of the current environmental situation on regional level (Lake Balaton Development Agency) and local level (Siofók and Balatonfüred)
- Creation on environmental teams and organisation of workshops for capacity building of technicians in local authorities and relevant stakeholders in the fields of communal infrastructure and services, water quality and nature protection, agriculture and rural development, utilization of renewable energy and landscape management etc
- Elaboration of Strategic Programmes with concrete environmental objectives and measures for Lake Balaton Regional Development Agency (regional level), Siofók and Balatonfüred (local level)
- Participation in an EMAS-Easy training
- Implementation and certification of the EMAS Environmental Management System into LBDCA and Local Authority of Siofók
Milicz Ponds (Poland). Aim: To support development of nature tourism and sustainable fisheries.
- Preparation of a tourism zoning plan for future use as part of NATURA 2000 Management Plan for SPA Dolina Baryczy
- Elaboration of a operational programme for sustainable tourism for the Barycz Valley covering the aspects Infrastructure and Education and Promotion
- Realisation of workshops for tourism providers covering topics such as running of an agro-tourism business
- Elaboration of a programme to support nature friendly fish farming including a concept for the promo-tion of regional products (e.g. local mark Dolina Baryczy poleca )
- Programme to improve bird habitats and observation conditions of the birds
- Model improvement of bird habitat and conditions for bird watching such as ecologically sound reed cutting, Habitat improvements were also carried on islands and the dikes of ponds and the construc-tion of an observation tower
All concrete activities and exchange of information have been supported by Lake Constance Foundation vía information, field visits and a training course.

Ergebnisse und Diskussion

Apart from the activities planned in Labonoras Regional Park in Lithuania, all actions have been carried out and the objectives have been achieved according to the project plan. The project has helped tremen-dously to intensify the collaboration between the project partners working in Germany and in the EU coun-tries that joined the EU later. The network provided an excellent platform for a constructive dialogue and an intensive exchange of information and helped to develop new and effective programmes and projects for the protection of the environment, involving the regional population. The project helped to tie much closer links between the organisations and improved the partnership between the NGOs and governmen-tal organisations as well as the municipalities in the lake regions. In particular the workshops, training courses and conferences helped to identify fields of common interest in the sectors of tourism & visitor management, land use planning and landscape management as well as sustainable fisheries and agricul-ture. These new projects and activities are described in detail in the result reports and minutes of these events.
The Eastern European project network had a significant effect on raising the profile of the NGOs in-volved. Particularly the final conference in Estonia showed, that the position and the reputation of non-governmental organisations in new EU member countries can be significantly strengthened by enabling them to host international events with a participation of experts from governmental, scientific as well as non-governmental organizations from other EU countries. The leading role of a Germany based NGO with support from the DBU, as the largest German Foundation for the Environment, was very positively received and appreciated and raised the profile of Germany as a leading country concerning environ-mental knowledge in Europe. It became evident, that a longer perspective must be the basis for a long-term cooperation and more joint projects between the project partners. Hence, a continuation and geographical extension of the programme involving partners from other countries in Central and Eastern Europe as well as an extension of topics and new themes makes very much sense, from our perspective.

Problems and lessons learned:
Even though most oft he lake regions share the same problems, it was not always easy to find the right balance between topics and themes that have a high relevance for all partners (landscape management, eutrophication and Eco-tourism) and specific and individual needs and problems (i.e. fish ponds, or trans-boundary cooperation with non-EU actors). In general the NGOs in the new EU countries tend to be still rather small and sometimes depend too much on single, charismatic opinion leaders and react sensitive to changes in the personnel structure in organisations. A wider basis, professional education of younger potential leader and redundant structures will help to reduce the risk that is implied by this.

The involved partner organisations proposed to define the project region rather as Central and Eastern Europe and set a first priority on finding new partners in Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Albania and Georgia. New focuses could be on topics such as management of protected areas as well as cultural landscape, forestry and agriculture. Sewage treatment is another topic of interest, par-ticularly for decentralised, smaller communities. Climate change and effective mitigation and adaptation measures were also identified by all partners as issues of highest priority. Almost all lake regions have high potentials in the field of nature tourism and agriculture and renewable energy which can be further optimised and exploited. Experiences during the project showed, that participatory approaches will speed up environmental processes and help to intensively involve relevant stakeholders in environmental pro-jects. At the time being, GNF is preparing a new project application to be submitted to the DBU that is including those arguments and hopes for the support of DBU for the next important step of an extended Living Lakes Central & Eastern Europe Project.

Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und Präsentation

The projects objectives and results have been disseminated during ten European and international con-ferences & workshops and two fairs. All members of the international Living Lakes Network (more than 60 organisations) were informed regularly as well as other related networks or international organisations such as ILEC, RAMSAR, UNEP/CMS-International Convention on Migratory Species, IUCN, EWP and others. The project website was continuously updated including information on the project and the ongo-ing activities. The documentation of the model project and the documentation of the final conference are available for download. The final report is available in English, German, Polish, Estonian and Lithuanian.


The EU enlargement is the most important environmental challenges and entails the largest environ-mental programme of Europe, possibly worldwide. In order to cope with this enormous task it is neces-sary to convince the people living in the old and the new EU countries of the importance of an intact envi-ronment, especially against the background of growing scepticism and uncertainty which accompany the process of the EU enlargement. To achieve EU environmental standards in these countries, not only in-vestments are required, also required are encouragement of cooperation as well as intensive exchange of know-how. Besides citing positive examples, also initiatives and developments need to be made known that have caused major environmental problems in the old EU countries to order to avoid making the same mistakes. Another major challenge for the new EU member states and candidates is the devel-opment of a culture of dialogue and networking which was not possible during decades of socialist or communist government. The role of NGOs is of mayor importance to prevent the destruction of natural values and ecosystems and to promote a development based on the responsible use of natural resources. But the items are complex and the challenges enormous. Therefore NGOs in Eastern European Countries as well as in the old EU member states need access to information and capacity building in or-der to be competent partners and to develop successful projects. And they need the institutional and morally support of networks such as Living Lakes.

Förderzeitraum: 01.01.2006 - 31.05.2008 (2 Jahre und 5 Monate)
Fördersumme: 202.085,00
Förderbereich: II.6.1
Stichworte: Arten- / Biotopschutz