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SEE River Project: each pilot river corridor demands a specific, tailor-made approach

The 3rd Quality Management Board Meeting of the EU co-funded project Sustainable Integrated Management of International River Corridors in South East Europe (SEE River project) will be held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 11 to 13 March 2014. It will include the 2nd Toolkit Evaluation Workshop.

The UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), is affiliated to the project as an observer partner. The Project intends to reach a common agreement on river corridor management for the harmonization of both development and conservation interests. This will be achieved through a close cooperation of experts from a wide range of fields from different countries and the active involvement of stakeholders from local river areas and national or regional authorities. The project is introducing a new approach to river and land management by focusing on the river corridor as the selected, local river area where most pressures occur.

The SEE River project started in October 2012 and it will last until September 2014. Many steps have been taken within the SEE River project and actually all of them converge to and will directly or indirectly result in the SEE River Toolkit, the main result of the project. The toolkit is a generally applicable and innovative model and guidance on how to reach future sustainable use of river corridors by taking into account and harmonizing different stakeholder interests.

The project has entered the second half of its lifespan and its activities so far very intense and complex proved to be very successful. Most of the planned tasks were carried out in the Drava river pilot areas and the 5 SEE pilot rivers - Soča, Bodrog, Neretva, Prut, and Vjosa. Guided by the goals and targeted end results on individual pilot areas and rivers, processes were launched with stakeholders based on desktop analyses and field work by project experts and therefore gained very valuable feedback for the next steps.

The aims of this 3rd  Quality Board Meeting will be to review the overall project progress; to appraise the progress of the pilot activities and discuss the experiences; to evaluate the progress (evaluation workshop); to exchange good practices in integrated river corridor management; to present the progress of the toolkit preparation; to present the guidance for the preparation of action plans and follow-up projects on the pilot rivers and on the project level; to review and plan the communication activities; and, to jointly plan the dissemination and capitalisation of results, that is the capacity-building seminars and the final conference.