LIFE16 CCA/HU/000115

"Municipalities as integrators and coordinators
in adaptation to climate change"

National forum promoting local adaptation to climate change in Pest County

The forum, “To promote local adaptation to climate change”, was organized by the National Society of Conservationists, the Municipality of Püspökszilágy and the WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature Hungary Foundation, on 4 March 2020, Püspökszilágy. The full house event was attended by professionals from all over the country, accompanied by several representatives of municipal and non-governmental organizations. During the registration, we noticed that many more would have been interested, but because of the limited capacity of the venue, they could not attend the event. The material of the presentations was recorded for them and for others who are interested. Several similar events are planned to take place this year and next year in Püspökszilágy and in many parts of the country. You can get up-to-date information on our upcoming events on the organizers’ website or on our own.

The mayor of Püspökszilágy, Sándor Tordai, and the president of the National Society of Conservationists welcomed the audience, which was followed by professional presentations.

Zita Enikő Vígh, from the National Agricultural Research and Innovative Centre, spoke about what steps they intend to take as part of the Rural Development Program

Ferenc Skobrák, Mining and Geological Survey of Hungary’s National Adaptation Centre’s representative introduced us to the most modern, planned and applicable water retention measures and their necessity.  He was followed by Zita Enikő Vígh, from the National Agricultural Research and Innovative Centre, who spoke about what steps they intend to take as part of the Rural Development Program for the sustainable development and the efficient management of natural resources after 2014-2020. Following that, Eleonóra Schindler-Kormos, regional development and spatial planning referent (Pest County Council), held a presentation about the problems of urban rainwater management and water retention opportunities in Pest County. Pest county is characterized by a variety of terrain (mountains, hills, plains) so we can find various water retention and water management problems. 

The forum ended with a presentation by Viktor Mátyás Farkas, a climate expert from WWF - World Wide Fund for Nature Hungary Foundation, who addressed the issue of climate change, adaptation to its effects through several national and international examples of natural water retention measures. It also presented in detail five pilot projects under the LIFE-MICACC project, highlighting the completed pilot project in Püspökszilágy, which provides a solution for flash floods in hill and mountain communities. After lunch, participants had the opportunity to attend an on-site filed trip, led by Mayor Tordai. Unfortunately the weather was not kind to the organizers, but despite the rainy weather and mud, several people were interested in the tour.

Several members of the 24 project partnership also participated at the conference

On the side branches of Szilágyi creek wooden dams were planted, on the main branch of the stream, 50-70 years old natural stone, sludge trap, flow baker artefacts of various structures were reconstructed. A side storage lake directly below the village is also the part of the project, located on the outskirts of the town. The design of the side reservoir not only serves as a water retention measure, but is prevents the extra water from flooding the settlement in case of flash floods, thus protecting the facilities of the Leisure Centre at the border of the settlement. The efficiency of NWRM solutions developed in the outskirts of the settlement is also supported by the numerous rainwater management projects in the inner city. The coordination of the various running projects is based on the Municipal Water Protection Plan. 

Zoltán Budai, the climate change adaptation (CCA) referent in Püspökszilágy, has been working for several years as part of the project, coordinates and assists in the implementation of a completely unique solution in Hungary, so far. The aim of the LIFE-MICACC project is to spread innovative and close-to nature solutions in Hungary, similar to the pilot project in Püspökszilágy. Applying these solutions to thousands of municipalities in the country, with the guidance of local governments, with state support, and the inclusion of experts, farmers, the entire civil society and the general public, can be a huge step forward in climate protection, water retention and flood protection. These so-called small-scale and nature friendly solutions are able to hold some of the falling rainfall locally, thereby smoothing the drainage and distribution of water and slowing down the runoff. However, they keep the soil in place and prevent soil erosion. In addition to their many benefits, creating a separate microclimate positively shapes the environment, promoting the presence of richer flora and fauna. These solutions are proven to reduce flood peaks, are beautiful and environmentally friendly, and open up further opportunities in agriculture, forestry and tourism. There are other opportunities to utilize the sediment (humus, wood) and to clean up any waste or rubbish so that they do not become unnecessary or harm the environment.

More information about the five model-worthy pilots can be found here:

Written by Zoltán Budai, climate change adaptation (CCA) referent

Project partners

Minister of Interior Bátya KTSZ General Directorate of Water Management (OVF) Pannon Pro Innovations Püspökszilágy Rákócziújfalu Ruzsa Tiszatarján WWF Hungary LIFE LOGOS 4 WATERS