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From theory and plans to eco-efficient and sustainable practices to improve the status of the Baltic Sea (WATERPRAXIS)
Date du début: 31 déc. 2008, Date de fin: 23 janv. 2012 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Eutrophication caused by nutrient load is the biggest environmental problem of the Baltic Sea. Practical measures to restrict it are included in River Basin Management Plans (RBMP), outputs of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. However, putting general-level RMBPs into practice, i.e. applying water pollution control methods and changing land-use practices, is hindered by many barriers. For example, RBMPs cover large geographical areas. Thus, it is difficult to apply public participation principles in planning process and get common acceptance on local level for measures that should be realised. Also, cost- and eco-efficient realisation of measures is demanding, as no examples of best practices for it have been presented. Without proper knowledge of environmental-efficiency of different measures, it is difficult to get adequate political and financial support for their realisation. As well, changing climate and institutional structures in BSR countries are challenges for efficient water management. On this background a project "From theory and plans to eco-efficient and sustainable practices to improve the status of the Baltic Sea - WATERPRAXIS" is proposed. It is based on the BSR IIIB project Watersketch and results gained in Trabant, Bernet, Bernet Catch and Astra projects. Partnership consists of authorities in charge of water management and of experts on environmental technology, economy, nature and social sciences and education. Consortium covers 7 coastal countries of the sea (incl. Kaliningrad region of Russia) ensuring expertise required for achieving the goals set and effective knowledge change and result dissemination widely across BSR. Project's overall objective is to improve the status of the Baltic Sea by contributing to practical implementation of measures chosen in RBMPs in the region. Specific objectives are to: 1) identify and suggest improvements to present water management practices by analysing the contents and planning processes of RBMPs; 2) establish action plans based on RBMPs for pilot areas representing best practices and measures for water protection and public participation; 3) prepare investment plans (incl. technical and financing plans) for water protection measures for selected sites in Poland, Lithuania, Denmark and Finland; 4) disseminate information of best practices and measures of water management via publications, seminars and websites; 5) offer education for planners of water management and environmental economy. Action and investment plans and planning methods are prepared in transnational cooperation with authorities and scientific partners. The plans aim at real investments following this project. We plan to finance investments partly by the extension stage of the project. Result dissemination to outside the EU-territory is secured by carrying out joint planning actions at the transboundary River Sesupe flowing from Kaliningrad to Lithuania. Achievements: The activities of Waterpraxis project have been finalised and the results have been collected in the final report published in electronic form on the project's website at In WP3 the project analysed the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive in different Baltic Sea Region countries. The results show that there are significant differences in the selected planning methods and processes and the implementation plans around the Baltic Sea Region. As the first official River Basin Management Plans will be revised by 2015, it is possible to utilize the collected experiences around the BSR and also elsewhere in Europe. In WP4 the project collected earlier experiences of realised water management and restoration projects from partnering countries. In addition, the four pilot areas of Waterpraxis in Finland, Denmark, Poland and Lithuania prepared new or revised existing water protection action plans. Based on them, the detailed plans for environmental investments responding the most acute problems in water management for each pilot area were prepared and funding possibilities for realization of these investments after the project's implementation period were surveyed in WP5. Based on earlier and new experiences gathered in the WP3 analyses and the activities in project's pilot areas, potentially good practices for planning of water management and implementation of measures were suggested. Also all these experiences can be utilized elsewhere as successful examples of practical water management approaches. As an addition to the original project plan, the Waterpraxis project was able to realize pilot scale investments for drinking water purification facilities in rural villages in the Lithuanian pilot area. As well, two smaller scale case studies were realised. In Latvia the main focus was on detailed assessing of the ecological status of the River Daugava. In Sweden, the specific water management problem, acidity originated from the soil, was studied in detail. The dissemination of project activities and results has been very active during the project implementation. The main results of Waterpraxis have been compiled in the final project booklet available both in printed and in electronic form. The project also published six Newsletter issues also available on the website. They can be found on the project's website in the section "Downloads & Results". During its lifetime, the project organised/co-organised a wide set of events covering, for example, the topics of sustainable river basin planning and management, land-use modelling with GIS tools and environmental economy. More information of them are avaible on the website in the section "Events". The main results of Waterpraxis will be further disseminated through the BSR Programme Cluster Initiative focusing on environmental issues.



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