International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Strengthening the Implementation Capacities for Nutrient Reduction and Transboundary Cooperation in the Danube River Basin-Phase I Project - Results

GEF IDS: 342 , 399 , 806 , 867 , 1014 , 1460 , 1661 , 2042



Information sources
#342: UNDP Terminal Evaluation (1999), #806: UNDP Terminal Evaluation (2002), #806: 2013 Results Note, #867: UNDP Terminal Evaluation (2005), #867: 2013 Results Note, #2042: UNDP Terminal Evaluation (2007), #2042: Results Note (2013)

Key Basin Project Results
• A Transboundary Analysis was carried out through the updating of National Reviews to obtain a complete knowledge base for priority pollution loads and environmental issues in the DRB.
• A Strategic Action Program was developed and accepted, and implementation begun through the Strategic Action Program Implementation Programme.
• A review of Monitoring, Laboratory and Information Management (MLIM) practices was conducted to assess needs (systems, equipment, training) to provide required environmental information.
• A Danube Accident and Emergency Warning System (AEWS) was established to adopt a common surveying and monitoring procedure throughout the region.
• A series of diagnostic missions was carried out in 17 tributary catchments of the DRB. An analysis was made of the heavily polluted tributaries with the aim of prioritising "hot-spots" for urgent action. Approximately 175 priority projects were identified: about 60% related to industrial facilities and 40% to municipal waste water treatment plants.
• Multiple environmental studies were facilitated: Surveys were conducted by Equipe Cousteau on Danube wetlands, pollution, navigation transportation and energy. An Integrated Regional Environmental Study and Inventory of Biological Resources was prepared. An Economic Evaluation of Danube flood plains was prepared by WWF. A study by WHO was used as a basis for the environmental health related issues in the SAP.

Results data
Industrial wastewater pollution reduction
Year: N/A - Value: 4.6 M m3/y of wastewater discharge reduction in the Danube river basin; and an average 30% of BOD/COD reduction (*867 Danube River TEST) 4000 KT/yr inorganic (*2042 Danube River Capacities)
INDICATOR #1: Demonstration enterprises selected for TEST integrated approach and cleaner production measures implemented. [Target: Twenty enterprises selected; significant (at least 30 per cent) pollutant reductions in at least half of the participating enterprises and some pollutant reductions in the other half.] (*867 Danube River TEST)

"• Inorganic phosphorus loads from the Danube to the Black Sea dropped 5-6 kt/year against their mid-nineties highs of around 10-12 kt/year.

Output 1.5 concerned industrial policies and reforms. An emissions inventory was created, and in the 11 (GEF eligible) Danube countries a review of industrial policies was carried out – detailing gaps between existing legislation and enforcement in the countries and the EU requirements for industrial pollution control. The team also commissioned a road map for implementation of best available technologies (BAT) in Serbia & Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova and Ukraine. The anticipated outcomes of this effort included enhanced industrial policies in the 11 Danube countries, taking into account WFD requirements and also the IPPC directive requirements. There were also five reviews of specific industrial complexes developed as case studies on the implementation of BAT.

The inventory activities were well considered and can help the 11 countries consider additional steps necessary to better control industrial emissions and meet the requirements of the EU IPPC Directive. The road map effort for Serbia & Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova and Ukraine should help these countries to commence introducing IPPC, which is especially of interest to Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, who aspire to EU membership. The scale of the industrial activities were limited and somewhat overshadowed – both by the DRP’s focus on nutrients and to a great extent by the EU’s own activities in developing BAT reference materials for implementation of the IPPC directive. One of the real challenges in the region will be how to manage IPPC and BAT requirements for polluting facilities that are not economically viable, yet whose closure would bring sever hardships to workers and their communities."

Seventeen enterprises in five countries were ultimately selected as demonstration sites. 230 cleaner production options were implemented for a total investment of 1.66 M USD, resulting in the following economic and environmental benefits: 1.3 M USD yearly financial savings; 4.6 M m3/y of wastewater discharge reduction in the Danube river basin; and an average 30% of BOD/COD reduction in effluent per unit of production.

The following is a summary of the overall achievements of implementing the TEST process at all of the selected companies:
• A general reduction in unnecessary costs and investments to companies of producing waste products
• Change from loss to profit by use of wastes (recycling or alternative products)
• Overall improvements in quality of products
• Increased marketing potential as a result of higher quality linked with environmental acceptability
• Avoidance of fines, penalties and ill-will with regulatory bodies monitoring compliance
• Overall improvements to company profiles and credibility

As a result of these demonstrated achievements, considerable investments were made by most of the companies into cleaner production processes and more environmentally-sound technologies

INDICATOR #2: Environmental Management System (EMS) and Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) implemented at demonstration plants. [Target: EMS/EMA implemented in at least 50% of the demonstration enterprises.]

Four plants have implemented an EMS that was certified by the International Organization for Standardization and eleven more have EMS documentation in place ready for certification. Six enterprises have implemented EMA systems.

INDICATOR #3: Investment projects for EST identified for demonstration sites. [Target: EST options successfully identified for 75% of the demonstration enterprises.]

Investment projects have been prepared for all participating enterprises utilizing the UNIDO investment appraisal software COMFAR. Identified investments of EST would total 47 M USD and result in an additional reduction of wastewater discharge into the DRB of 7.9 M m3. (*2042 Danube River Capacities)
Restored habitat, including wetlands
Year: N/A - Value: [see desc]
Output 1.4 was focused on wetlands rehabilitation and appropriate land use. It included development of a methodology for land use assessment, and selection of three pilot sites – Zupanisjski canal, near Budakovac village, Drava sub-basin Croatia; Lower Elan valley, Prut sub-basin, Romania; and Olsavica valley, Tisza sub-basin, Slovakia -to test the methodology through implementation of specific site-based activities. The pilot studies had varying degrees of achievement. Results were achieved in Slovakia, whereby the pilot project was promoted as a success story to illustrate a mechanism for changing land use. They trained 300 participants at 10 workshops throughout the country, gaining national recognition eventually affecting national planning – i.e.. Rural development plan. In Croatia, the project involved re-flooding a wetlands area surrounding a Sava oxbow that had dried up due to the canal construction. In February 2007, after a wait of several years, the Ministry of Irrigation finally funded the site planning study and appears ready to allow excavations. Interestingly, there has been local farmer support for the wetlands restoration pilot, out of recognition that the loss of the wetlands has also affected the groundwater table and by extension their irrigation options. (*2042 Danube River Capacities)
Establishment of country-specific inter-ministerial committees
Year: N/A - Value: TBD
"Output 2.1 sets expectations for inter-ministerial coordination (IMCM) and also identifies a set of special actions to enable Bosnia-Herzegovina to fully participate in the ICPDR and its EGs and to participate fully in the process of Danube region WFD implementation.
The BiH support was highly successful. Because of the federal / split system of governance in BiH, there was a real problem with ICPDR ands DRP coordination, which was effectively dealt with by the hiring of a country coordinator. Very much as a result of the support they received from the DRP, BiH was able to produce its first river analysis report and to contribute directly to the development of the Danube Roof Report,
The IMCM effort was generally successful. Analyses were carried out for ten countries and recommendations for six countries were subsequently agreed. There are no committees established in Moldova and Ukraine, although work is still in progress in Moldova." (*2042 Danube River Capacities)
Regional legal agreements and cooperation frameworks
Year: N/A - Value: YES
Instrument: Danube River Protection Convention
GEF Project:
In 1998, the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC) came into force after it was ratified by 8 Danube states and the European Commission. (*1014 Danube River I)

[Building Environmental Citizenship]
Ratification of the Aarhus Convention in Hungary and mobilization of capacities to improve access to environmental information in Slovenia. For example, an NGO coalition for Aarhus ratification now works in Slovenia, and REC Slovenia has set up a new project "Towards Efficient Access to Environmental Information and Public Participation in Slovenia through Ratification and Implementation of Aarhus Convention", which is based on outputs of the GEF Project and is currently achieving its first successes. Also collaboration and communications between NGOs and government officials has improved and there is a positive attitude in government officials regarding information requests. For example, shortly after a joint workshop, improved collaboration between the Clean Air Action group and the Central Danube Valley Water Authority in Hungary led to an exceptionally prompt solution of illegal timber logging in the Danube River valley. Another example was better cooperation between the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Transportation and Water Management and NGOs in Hungary; and
Regional Management Institutions
Year: N/A - Value: YES
Body: International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River

GEF Project:
• A Memorandum of Understanding between Danube and Black Sea Countries was drafted. (*399 Danube River Environment)
National/Local reforms
Year: N/A - Value: NA
"• All ICPDR countries developed policies and legal instruments for sustainable water management and nutrient reduction. In particular, harmonisation with the European Union’s Water Framework Directive (WFD) became the driving force in the development of policies and legal instruments for improved water quality management. All of the Danube EU countries were establishing basin management plans and districts and agreed to issue a joint set of plans for the Danube. The non-EU countries indicated their interest to harmonise with the WFD requirements and most took initial legislative steps in this direction.
• Each country made progress in the areas of transboundary cooperation; improved water quality monitoring; emission control; emergency warning; accident prevention; and information management. " (*2042 Danube River Capacities)

[Building Environmental Citizenship]
Good opportunities for influencing legislation drafting in Slovenia. RFF and NYU prepared the "Option Paper on Confidential Business Information" and the "Public Access to Environmental Information and Data - Practical examples from the US, EU and CEE", which could play a key role in new legislation. Also high quality materials to improve public participation. Specifically the two guides prepared by RFF and NYU and the Government of Hungary: the "Model Citizen Guide", and the "Model Guide for Government Officials". The quality and usefulness of these guides were highly praised by their target audiences because they provide plenty "ready to use" ideas and because they can be used to transfer information to other institutions in the country. (*806 Danube River Citizenship)
Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis: Agreement on transboundary priorities and root causes
Year: 2006 - Value: YES
A Transboundary Analysis was carried out through the updating of National Reviews to obtain a complete knowledge base for priority pollution loads and environmental issues in the DRB. (*342 Danube River Programme Development)
Development of Strategic Action Program (SAP)
Year: N/A - Value: YES
A revised Strategic Action Program (SAP) was prepared including a review of policy for the protection of the DRB. The revised SAP formed the basis of an ICPDR document, “Common Platform for Development of National Policies and Actions for Pollution Reduction under the DRPC.” (*399, Danube River Environment)

A Strategic Action Program was developed and accepted, and implementation begun through the Strategic Action Program Implementation Programme. (*342 Danube River Programme Development)