Farming for the Living Tisza
Environmental and Nature Conservation Association is a cooperating
partner of a three-year GEF-funded project aiming to promote
the revival of traditional floodplain farming practices
in the Tisza watershed – actually the Hungarian Great Plain.
The project puts a special emphasis of community needs and
local natural and cultural conditions.
Floodplain farming had been a method, which ensured
the harmony of nature and man in the Carpathian Basin for
centuries. This farming system reserved the excess water of
floods for dry periods. Communities cultivated less ploughland
than today and adapted the farming system to the water coverage
in the landscape. That resulted in a mosaic-like landscape
with wetlands, reedbeds, grasslands, meadows, orchards, forests
– a more diverse farming system than today.
Diversity resulted in greater stability
not only for the ecological system, but for farmers too: they
harvested many kind of crops. There are a number of initiatives
in the floodplain of the river Tisza in Hungary which try
to reconstitute this farming system. Nature friendly farming
systems and complex, integrated rural development programmes
may be the last chance for regions with high unemployment
rates, and with no economic perspective today.
The Project "For the Living Tisza" aims to facilitate
the coordination of floodplain-farming initiatives along the
river. The project will empower local communities to drive
their development process and integrate biodiversity concerns
into it. The initiatives will form local action groups and
design plans on land-use change to a sustainable floodplain-farming
system. The execution of these plans will be (partly) helped
by a Microgrant Fund facility of the project. It will also
articulate the needs of local communities and of biodiversity
into national plans and guidelines. The project participants
founded the "Alliance for the Living Tisza" on 29
June in Nagykörű.
The three-year project is funded by the Global Environmental
Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) and co-financed by the Bureau for Nature Conservation
of the Ministry for Environment of Hungary. The office of
the project is located at the Hortobágy National Park Directorate.
For more information check the webpage
of the alliance at www.elotisza.hu
or contact Péter Kajner
via kajner.peter ’at’
Regarding the activities of Nimfea Environmental and Nature
Conservation Association in the project, please contact Anna
Ivanyi at anna ’at’ nimfea.hu.