EUSDR FLOOD PROTECTION TRAINING PROGRAM IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Between the 9th and 12th of June 2015 a flood protection training program organized by the Hungarian co-ordination of Priority Area 5 – “Managing Environmental Risks” of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina, near Sarajevo helping to develop the flood protection capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The aim of the training project – that was financed by the Hungarian Government through the International Development Cooperation Program and the Danube Region Strategy – was the vocational training of Bosnian and Herzegovinian flood protection professionals and municipality experts obligated to the direction of the protection with the involvement of Hungarian water management experts.
The successful 4-days thematic program was compiled after the severe flood hitting Bosnia and Herzegovina’s territory in May 2014 causing serious damages and losses to the country. Beside the Hungarian water management experts and experts (chairman) of the ICPDR (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River) Flood Protection Expert Group, international and local representatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank were also among the lecturers and presenters of the program.
Almost 60 participants attended the training from Bosnia and Herzegovina which was organized between the beautiful mountains of Jahorina (near Sarajevo).
The training project is also part of the Danube Region Operative Flood Management and Cooperation Programme’s implementation, which has been developed by the Priority Area 5 of the Strategy after the extreme floods on the Danube in 2013 and 2014 and in the Western Balkans.
In the opening speech of the event, István Joó, Ministerial Commissioner for the Implementation of the Danube Region Strategy in Hungary, emphasized that solidarity and helping each other in trouble and solving immediately the challenges are essential, but we also need to take steps to improve the country’s long-term flood management capacity in order to prevent disasters and floods.
The project is a good practice of the initiative of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, in which Priority Area 5 also supports the integrative efforts and cooperation between non-EU member and EU member countries of the Strategy.
From the Bosnian Herzegovinian side, Bosko Kenjic, Head of Water Resources Department at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations (MOFTER) expressed his acknowledgement at the event for the initiative of the training program that introduced lacking knowledge in the field of flood protection and aimed to share these knowledge with municipality experts who have essential role to direct the protection in the event of floods.