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“Participatory approaches towards water management: transboundary cooperation in the R iver Lielupe (Latvia/Lithuania) ”. 9 June 2005, St. Petersburg, Russia Kristina Veidemane. Content of the presentation. About the BEF Legal bases on water management T ransboundary river Lielupe

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“Participatory approaches towards water management: transboundary cooperation in the River Lielupe (Latvia/Lithuania)”

9 June 2005, St. Petersburg, Russia

Kristina Veidemane

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Content of the presentation

  • About the BEF

  • Legal bases on water management

  • Transboundary riverLielupe

  • Tools for public


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  • Non-governmental organisations in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Germany;

  • Established in 2003;

  • Formed from the Team of the Technical Assistance Projects to the Baltic MoEs to support EU accession process 1995-2004

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  • Networking of different stakeholders by enhancing co-operation and capacity building on environmental management:

    • Vertical cooperation: international, Baltic Sea region, national, local

    • Horizontal cooperation – different interest groups

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Legal bases for water policy

  • Water Framework Directive gives a frame for public participation

  • National legislation gives procedures

  • Bi-lateral agreements

    on cooperation between countries

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Water Framework Directive

  • Art. 14: “Member States shall encourage the active involvement of all interested parties in the implementation of this Directive, in particular in the production, review and updating of the river basin management plans.”

  • Public participation:

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National Procedures in Latvia

  • Law on Water Management, Article 23

  • Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 283 “On river basin district management plans and programmes of measures”

  • Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No 681 “On statutes of river basin district advisory board”

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Bilateral agreement between Latvia and Lithuania

  • Signed on October 24, 2003 Palanga, Lithuania

  • Legal form for cooperation among the state authorities of two countries

  • Article 3: Exchange of Information, Monitoring and Harmonising Activities

  • Does not address public participation

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Transboundary River Lielupe

  • About 843 000 inhabitants live in the river basin district (~355 000 in Latvia and ~485 000 in Lithuania)

  • Covers 17 633 km2 in Latvia and Lithuania

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Transboundary River Lielupe

  • High intensity of agriculture resulting in pressure to ecosystem

  • Assigned as risk area for eutrophication

  • Specific industrial branches discharging hazardous substances

  • Many settlements lack a proper waste water treatments and drinking water supply

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PHARE project

“Involvement of NGOs in the new water management policy in Latvia” (October 2004 – July 2005)

Funded by Phare Programme “Development and Strengthening of Civil Society” administered by Society Integration Fund in Latvia

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Tools for public participation

  • Networking of NGOs for commonly shared waters

  • Developing joint vision and action programme

  • Building dialogue between NGOs and authorities

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Networking in Lielupe river basin

  • Identification of NGOs active in water management, catalogue of contacts;

  • Meetings, international workshops;

  • E-mail lists;

  • Discussion forum at the web site:http://river.bef.lv

  • Information brochures

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Developing common vision and action programme

  • Defining goals and tasks for cooperation

  • Agreeing on common areas of cooperation

  • Identifying first joint actions

  • Identification needs to strengthen NGO and public participation

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Dialogue with authorities

  • Ministry of the Environment

  • Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Agency Water Management Unit

  • Getting acquainted with each other

  • Discussions on progress in implementation of the requirements

  • Exchanging positions, opinions on situation

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Main conclusions

  • It is necessary to create partnerships between NGOs, municipalities and businesses to ensure long-term NGO& public involvement

  • Dialogue creation between NGO and decision makers is a long process, therefore there is need for a permanent structure (e.g. Secretariat)

  • NGOs (local) need capacity building on water issues to be able to act as multipliers

  • There is lack of clear and concise materials for wider public on water issues