Muranska Planina

From Wikienfk5

back to Project Biography List

Name Protection and improvement of adequatic biodiversity in Muran River area, Slovakia (subproject)
Place Revuca district (catchment area of Muránska plânina National Park)
Country Slovakia
Author Wendy Laura Cinta
Completion September 2011
Beneficiary Muranska plânina Non-Investment Fund, Nationalpark Muranska plânina, Sloviak Federal Ministry of Environment, Slovak fishermen association
Project costs 126.118 EUR (estimated)
Muránska planina .jpg

Rationale: Why is this case interesting?

The origin for the present project is the Twinning Project SK2003/IB/EN-03, which was realized during October 2003 until October 2005 under the leadership of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. As a part of the project, which aimed at the implementation of the Conservation of Habitats and Birds Directive for Slovakia, 10 Natura-2000-Management plans have been developed, one of those for the Muranska plánina National Park. After a decision by the Bavarian-Slovak Commission on level of state chancellery in the end of the Twinning Project, the Bavarian State Ministry of Environment and Public Health continued the collaboration with the Slovak Ministry of Environment. The Bavarian Ministry of the Environment provided funding for a project (July 2007 - November 2008), which aimed at the development of several project concepts for submission to different donors. The contents of the project drafts are based on the action-priorities for the Muranska plánina National Park, which have been predefined in the Natura-2000-management plan.

One of the project concepts relates to the project's most important river in the national park - the Muran River and its feeder rivers. In collaboration with the chair of Animal Hygiene, AG Fish Biology and TU Munich a bundle of actions and work packages were developed, which are targeted at ensuring the protection and the improvement of the ecologic and biodiversity situation in the Natura 2000 territory of Muránska planina National Park (NP).

When a magnesite processing factory in Lubenik and a near by water dam supplying the water for the factory were being built sometimes in the '60s, the Muran river was moved from its natural riverbed and 2 weirs (first 1,7m high and second 1 m high) were built on about 1,5 km long section of the river. These two weirs have had a significant negative effect on a longitudinal continuity of the river and represented the biggest migration barriers on the river. While 1 m high weir has already been removed in 2004, the largest weir is still standing and holding back 6 fish species (Spirlin - Alburnoides bipunctatus, Stone Loach - Barbatula barbatula, European Chub - Leuciscus cephalus, Common Dace - Leuciscus leuciscus, Gudgeon - Gobio gobio and Mediterranean barbel - Barbus meridionalis), which cannot overcome the barrier and re-colonize their former distribution range upstream. Removal of this weir for river restoration purposes is a unique action in Slovakia. No weir of this size and with well-documented fish species spectrum it holds back has ever been removed in Slovakia. The project documentation for the barrier removal has been produced and the first statements from relevant public authorities regarding barrier removal have been issued. The beneficiary has the experience and know-how from the previous barrier removal.

The Muran River system - which is located in Central Slovakia on the south side of the Lower Tatra – is very valuable for nature protection because of its:

- partly original structure - well preserved fragments of wetland habitats (especially meadows and alder alluvial forests)

- diversity of species / high density of Natura 2000 species:

- Molluscs: Thick shelled river mussel (Unio crassus)
 - Fish and lamprey: Carpathian Brook lamprey (Eudontomyzon danfordi), European Bullhead (Cottus gobio), Mediterranean barbel (Barbus meridionalis), European bitterling (Rhodeus sericeus)
 - Mammals: Otter (Lutra lutra)  

The field mapping of the fauna of molluscs of the Muran River system and the integration of the results into a sustainable management of the river would make a fundamental contribution to protect these highly endangered species, which figures at the Red List of endangered species.

Until 2008 there was no assessment the status quo of the river according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD). An effective conservation of this sensitive aquatic ecosystem should be based on a precise assessment of biodiversity. By the assessment of biodiversity according to seasonal periods the ecologic integrity and the endangerment of the habitat of the Muran river system can be evaluated. The systematic assessment of biodiversity is the basic requirement for a sustainable and ecologic management in the catchment area of Muran and would help to preserve the diversification of species and of the ecosystem at a long-term basis.

The present project is conceived in a way, that it covers a division of the tasks, which are essential to prepare the ground for some protective and sustainable measures, on the one hand in the field of public relations, on the other hand in the field of concrete implementation.

What makes the project particular, is the fact that regional aspects can be considered and implemented at the level of a national park, protected at national level.

The comparative small budget for implementation activities requires a very specific approach, with few exemplary activities, which can be implemented by the local fishermen association in their own responsibility.

Author's personal background

University of Agricultural Sciences of Banat, Timisoara, Romania – Faculty of Horticulture – Landscape Architecture Department – graduated in 2008

Postgraduated studies – Faculty of Architecture – Politehnica University, Timisoara, Romania – Department: Urbanism – Master in Urbanism – graduated in 2009

2008/2009 - urban planning, architectural designing, architectural CAD drawing - in a large office of Architecture Planning in Timisoara, Romania

Since Oct. 2009 - Internship in blue! advanced european projects office in Freising, Germany (First Semester of IMLA studies)

Process Biography Scheme

Process biography

Who initiated the project and why?

Muránska planina – Non-Investment-Fund (MP-NIF), Revuca

blue! advancing european projects, Freising

in co-operation with TU Munich, Institute for Animal Hygienics, Working Group Fisch biology

along with the participation of:

the administration of Muranska plánina National Park

the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Germany (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, Deutschland) BfN

the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

the Bavarian State Ministry of Environment and Public Health (BayStMUG)

the Bavarian State Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry

the Slovak Ministry of Environment

the Slovak Water Management Authority

the State Nature Conservancy (Štátna Ochrana Prírody SR/ ŠOP SR), Slovakia

the Slovak Fishing Association - NGO focused on sport fishing and general fish welfare

other NGOs (as Pronatur - NGO promoting nature conservation and sustainable development, INEX - NGO whose major objective is an active involvement of young people into international volunteer activities)

It is of crucial importance that both the Bavarian State Ministry for Environment, Health and Consumer Protection and the Bavarian State Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry are prepared to support the process of co-financing together with foundations, beyond the current pre-phase. For this co-financing the amount of money will not be as important as the political support and thus the wish to support the bilateral co-operation between Bavaria and the Slovak Republic.

Why ?

to ensure the protection and the improvement of the ecologic and biodiversity situation in the Natura 2000 territory of Muránska planina National Park (NP), on the background of the implementation of the Conservation of Habitats and Birds Directive for Slovakia

The NP Muránska planina provides a huge development potential for the region with regard to tourism especially because there are not many other factors to create employment and income. This is the reason why the overall objective of the project is the inter-linkage of nature protection goals with the goals of regional development (socio-economic potential of the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive).

Several activities for funding of regional development, e.g. the micro-region Muránska planina, can already be found in the region. The micro-regions were founded as a citizens` action group (within the programme of the Ministry of Agriculture) and consist of active citizens and municipal administrations in the region. They have the status of a Public-Private–Partnership and a semi-public body to implement projects (project-executing organization). It has applied for the acceptance as LEADER+ region. The activities of the micro-region are based on a development strategy which was developed at a municipal level in the region and are carried out by all members of the micro-region.

The strategic priorities of the micro-region Muránska planina are:

- Tourist development

- SME development

- Awareness raising and information of the citizens / Awaking interest in the Muran river and the Muranska planina National Park among foreigners (preparing international volunteer working camp / hosting an international volunteer working camp / promoting project results in the media)

- Environmental education (including funding systems to support the initiatives of the citizens)

Overall objective of the (sub-)project:

Preservation and improvement of biodiversity in the catchment area of Muran River

• Consolidation of awareness for the precious aquatic habitats in and along the Muran River (Target groups: local and regional stakeholder groups, public authorities and citizens)

• Improvement of aquatic habitats for valuable species with the aid of an established planning of concrete implementation measures

• Professional assessment of species according to the research program (drafted by the TU Munich in cooperation with local biologists) and development of methodical competency on both sides

When was public participation most intensive?

The involvement of the public and of relevant stakeholder groups has been done only partially up to now.

Background for the applied funding is also the fact, that planning processes, as they are common in Germany in environmental planning, are just abbreviated existing in lots of Central and Eastern Europe countries so far. Mainly in the field planning processes at municipal level and civic participation such a project provides a good opportunity to contribute to an open and civic society.

The implementation of first assessments for definition of measures will be done in parallel to the preparation of information meetings and ‘Round Tables’. By that means a more intensive involvement of municipalities and local actors shall be achieved, as it will be possible to discuss on concrete aspects of Muran river.

The successfully breeded young fish individuals can be released to the Muran river after finalizing the assessment, which represents a measure on fish breeding for the river. This expert activity can be used to promote the project together with the local fishermen association for the regional and local press.

Which participation tools have been applied?

regional discussion

information meetings

common workshop

3 `round tables` (agriculture, tourism, operators of energy systems)

a common field trip with the biological experts of MP-NIF

press information

On which level of participation?

Contribution to awareness raising of local and regional stakeholder groups, public authorities and the wider public

An increased awareness for the thematic complex of `river and ecology` including a regional discussion about internal possibilities and needs will be achieved by implementing several information meetings on river ecology, valuable species and the options, which individuals and municipalities have in the catchment area of the river with regarding to a water-friendly land management, controlled wastewater disposal etc.

Increased methodological competence of local and regional experts in the assessment of (endangered) species

The requirements with regard to quality of water bodies and their assessment according to EU-WFD is a key skill for the future assessment and evaluation of species and the water body in general. Within the framework of this project, German and Slovak experts should be given the possibility to exchange their experiences about the cutting-edge of biologic assessment and conservation methods. A common workshop will contribute to benefit from the experiences of the participating experts and will support the cooperation of involved research disciplines (and institutions) on European level. This workshop should also be used to inform the general public about the thematic field and the possibilities of river protection.

It may also be possible that during the public meetings some of the participants, e.g. municipalities or schools, etc. could be convinced for supporting single actions.

The exchange of experiences concerning the latest methodological approaches for biodiversity and ecology assessments qualifies the participating experts in that field and enhances the cooperation of all involved institutions. The contacts established by the workshop will contribute to strengthen the European network of experts in that sector by bringing in Slovak experts and experiences.

Parallel to the ongoing activities in the project, a steady work on press information and public works will be done. This includes information on the project on the website of MP-NIF as well as information for the regional newspaper(s) and the direct contact to relevant stakeholders and municipalities.

Which stakeholders have been involved?

local and regional experts

the administration of Muranska plánina National Park

3 selected municipalities

local fishermen’s association



Have there been any festivities in order to involve the public?

the expert workshop on methodological skills for biologic assessment of rivers (with reference to EU WFD)

The workshop will be structured in two parts:

- part 01 will give a general and comprehensive information at the latest assessment and evaluation methods for rivers and related organisms

- part 02 will cover the special situation and needs of Muran river in its natural and ecological context.

Target groups for the workshop:

Biologists in Slovakia and Czech Republic who work on fish biological aspects

Members of the regional fishermen association

Employees of the National Park Muránska planina and other nature conservation administrations

Interested citizens from the regions.

Who made the major decisions and when?

In January 2010 a first meeting with the competent water authority and the responsible department of the Slovak Ministry of Environment is foreseen. These meetings will be done in order to make sure that the information on (legal) framework conditions in Slovakia during the workshop in February will come from the competent administrative bodies. On the other hand it will be promoted that experts from the water authorities may play an active part in the information meetings and ‘Round Tables’.

The first information meeting shall take place probably in June 2010. In concordance with the assessments in Work Package 02 and the funds available for 2010, additional meetings will be held in autumn 2010 and spring 2011.

Back to top

Image Gallery

Back to top

References,13 (only in Slovak)

Creating a portal for stakeholder engagement in the Water Framework Directive – Caryll Stephen & John Davis, Foundation for Water Research, UK – Proceeding of the conference of River Basin Management – progress towards implementation of the European Water Framework Directive, Budapest, Hungary, 19 – 20 May 2005

River Basin Management – progress towards implementation of the European Water Framework Directive, Lawson (ed) © 2005 ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers), London

blue!advancing european projects – paperwork

back to Project Biography List