Horizontal principles for nature-based water retention management in Hungary

16 March 2023

What role do municipalities play in managing natural water retention? How do regions plan these projects together and what challenges arise in this multi-stakeholder collaboration? How do we account for natural disaster, drought and flood response in all of these efforts? When it comes down to it, scale and approach play an enormous role in nature-based solutions and understanding these issues.

This is why the Hungarian NetworkNature NbS BURST/TeAM Hub sat down for an interview with Dr. Miklós Dukai, State Secretary for Municipalities of the Ministry of Interior,  Ms Zsuzsanna Hercig and Dr. Petra Szatzker, project managers of two major projects in the topic: LIFE-MICACC (Municipalities as integrators and coordinators in adaptation to climate change) and LIFE LOGOS 4 WATERS (Integrated application of innovative water management methods at river basin by coordination of local governments) to discuss these issues. Dr. Dukai notes, people were not initially able to understand why this work is needed and important. This makes the successful integration of nature-based water retention measures in operational programmes even more impressive.

“I think the most important thing is that the change of approach that has already begun is effectively followed by legislative fine-tuning, with appropriate standards and manuals for new types of solutions. In addition, there are obviously many other good practices that have not yet entered the national thinking and legislation, and we look forward to seeing some of them in the new project,” Dr. Dukai explains.

Various obstacles came up along the way of these two LIFE programme initiatives, one of which being the energy crisis and another being the inherent complexity of managing water across different municipalities and territories and scales. The LIFE projects are using a horizontal governance approach, which allows for such complexity.

Do you want to learn more about the lessons learnt from this interview and from the LIFE Programme? Then see the full English interview here.

For the original Hungarian, read here on NetworkNature hubs.