Climate proofing the Danube Delta through integrated land and water management
- Danube Biosphere Reserve
- Danube Delta National Park
- Center for Regional Studies (Odessa)
- Ecospectr (Kishinev)
Traditionally, different fruits are grown on the fertile soils of the Danube Delta - strawberries, apples, apricots and many others – and are delivered to the people from South Ukraine. Climate change will force farmers to revise their agricultural practice in order to continue having high yields. This will affect the water regime and the planting periods, as well as the use of crop varieties, with priority given to varieties that are more resistant to the environmental conditions. But people from the region are not prepared for such changes. Extensive information and training efforts are necessary, so that the Danube Delta region is able to adapt to the new environmental conditions.
In addition, Ukraine, Moldova and Romania face significant difficulties in applying environmental legislation in key areas (biodiversity conservation, land and water management, climate change, energy) due to the lack of qualified management staff and the limited awareness of key stakeholders.
The Project Goal
One of the effective adaptation measures may be the restoration of the wetlands in the Danube Delta which have been significantly destroyed in the past 50 years. Wetlands represent a natural buffer system, which can adapt to changes and mitigate the impact of severe weather conditions. They help water purification, increase soil fertility, act as “kindergartens” for juveniles of valuable fish stocks and help the regulation of the water levels of the Danube. The project includes a model restoration of wetlands within the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta.
The training of qualified staff is an important part of the project. Thematic trainings will be carried out which will help the local administration, municipal governors, businesses, farmers and fishermen to understand the possible meaning of climate change for the region and how the new environmental conditions may become beneficial.
An extensive awareness raising campaign about climate change adaptation, which will be carried out in 20 settlements of the region, will demonstrate to local people ways to solve climate related issues for the benefit of the region.
The project will also help local municipalities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the use of biomass instead of fossil fuels as a source of heating. A pilot project for the generation of “green” energy from reeds and shrubs biomass will be implemented in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta. Harvesting of the biomass will contribute to the restoration of wetlands and become a new source of income for the local business and people. After the implementation of the pilot project, stakeholders will be involved in trainings and meetings in order to exchange experience on the implementation of such projects.