Floodplain Farming for the Living Tisza

Nimfea 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’ makk.zpok.hu.
Regarding the activities of Nimfea Environmental and Nature Conservation Association in the project, please contact Anna Ivanyi at anna ’at’ nimfea.hu.

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