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Strengthening of Tisza River Basin cooperation

Towards the implementation of the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan supporting the sustainable development of the region

Memorandum of Understanding

Based on the cooperation of the countries sharing the Tisza River Basin, Republic of Hungary, Romania, Republic of Serbia, Slovak Republic, and Ukraine in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding `Towards a River Basin Management Plan for the Tisza river supporting sustainable development of the region – signed in December 2004 – the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan was developed by the Tisza Group of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). The plan was endorsed by the Heads of Delegations of  countries sharing the Tisza River Basin on 10 December 2010 following the adoption of the Ministerial Statement on the elaboration and implementation of the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan (ITRBM Plan) and cooperation development at the ICPDR 2nd Ministerial Meeting on 16 February 2010. On the occasion of the Ministerial Meeting, initiated under the Ukrainian ICPDR Presidency, held in Uzhgorod on 11 April 2011, the relevant Ministers adopt the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan and to:

• APPRECIATE the achievements and outcomes of the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan developed by the ICPDR Tisza Group and

• COMMIT to continued efforts to implement the needed measures to achieve international integrated management in the Tisza River Basin and PLEDGE continued support for an active involvement in the ICPDR Tisza Group as a basis to maintain the progress in implementation of the needed measures

• EXPRESS their specific gratitude and appreciation

for the personal and financial support provided by the European Commission to the ICPDR Tisza Group since 2004

for the support provided by the UNDP/GEF as well as UNEP Carpathian Convention via the Tisza Medium Size Project “Integrating multiple benefits of wetlands and floodplains into improved transboundary management for the Tisza River Basin″ and

for the cooperation of other organisations active in the region

• UNDERTAKE to continue close co-operation in order to facilitate the implementation of the ITRBM Plan aiming at the objectives set by the EU Water Framework Directive and EU Flood Directive as well as in the Danube River Protection Convention
• DECIDE to continue the future work on the implementation of the Joint Tisza Program of Measures  taking into account and underlining specific integration issues related to water quality and quantity management – as introduced in the ITRBM Plan – with specific emphasis on the need  to

facilitate dialogue between sectors relevant for water quality management such as land use development (agriculture, forestry) industry, energy, water resource management, flood protection with the aim to have a targeted workshop in 2012 on agriculture and in 2013 on  water resource management (e.g. flood protection and its linkage to Water Framework Directive)

take coordinated steps to prevent accidental risks, and develop harmonised mitigation and response measures, with the aim to present an updated accident risk spot inventory by the end of 2012

achieve common targets for flood protection with the aim to include a complete overview of possible positive and negative impacts of flood protection measures in the updated Tisza River Basin analysis in 2013

assess consequences of land use developments (agriculture and forestry) in the Tisza River Basin by 2013 (as part of the 2013 Tisza River Basin Analysis) and take steps to reduce related pollution by 2015

assess impacts of socio-economic developments in the Tisza River Basin and outline consequences in relation to water quality and water quantity management

improve solid waste management and assess impacts on water quality as part of  the 2013 report

assess possible impacts due to climate change and develop case study specific for the Tisza River Basin  by the end 2012

prepare  a communication strategy for the Tisza River Basin specific for integrated management` with the aim to present it to the ICPDR Ordinary Meeting in 2011 and start with its implementation to present the first achievements by 2015

agree to start with the preparation of a progress report on the implementation of the Joint Program of Measures, to be presented to the Ordinary Meeting in 2012, and to start with the preparation of an update Tisza River Basin Analysis by 2013 and an updated Tisza River Basin Management Plan by 2015

ENCOURAGE joint research activities through the establishment of  networks of research institutions and researchers in the Tisza River Basin

WELCOME the initiative of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region to be adopted under the Hungarian Presidency of the EU in 2011 and express their strong wish and commitment to develop/turn the Tisza basin cooperation into a flagship project of the Strategy and by this to support and intensify the cooperation between water management  relevant sectors in the Tisza River Basin

INVITE the ICPDR and its working bodies to further support this initiative, in particular by strengthening the work of the ICPDR Tisza Group

EXPRESS the interest of the countries to explore possibilities for a long term sustainable cooperation process and framework

• RECOGNIZE the importance of the ITRBM Plan for the implementation of the Kyiv Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (UNEP Carpathian Convention), in particular its provisions on water and of its Biodiversity Protocol and provisions on wetlands, and invite the UNEP Carpathian Convention COP and the ICPDR Tisza Group to further strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest

• ENCOURAGE all actors to provide their further involvement and support and willingness to further co-operate in the frame of shared initiatives aimed at improving and implementing the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan.

DONE in Uzhgorod on the 11th day of April 2011.

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