Tisza Floodplains, Hungary

WWF “One Europe, More Nature (OEMN)” has initiated an innovative pilot project in Tiszatarján village, next to the Tisza River in north-eastern Hungary.

Its goal is to restore and diversify the area’s natural floodplains and produce local renewable energy while increasing and diversifying local income streams.

A new company, set up within the frame of the project by the Tiszatarján municipality and a local farmer, paid local people to cut wild bushes of the highly invasive Amorpha species, which was shipped to, and burnt, at a large nearby energy plant to produce “green energy”.

Large areas of land formerly covered by the Amorpha, together with less productive arable lands, are now being given back to nature, to restore the floodplain’s former glory. Some of the area is being replanted with willow trees, which will serve as a long-term, sustainable supply of “biomass” for the power plant. Participating farmers are obliged to set some lands aside for wetland and grassland conservation, the management of which will be paid for by revenues from biomass sales.

Additional project “mechanisms” include the introduction of grazing animals such as Hungarian grey cattle and water buffalo to prevent the return of invasive species, and to assist with grassland management. Finally, these changes provide an attractive landscape for eco-tourism, which will bring in additional revenues to economically diversify and better sustain this Hungarian rural community.

Read the full details about the pilot project in the new "Fact Sheet: Tisza Floodplains" in the "Downloads" section.

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