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Frontpage News 2012 Protecting the environment around Lake Balaton

HU0027 balaton.JPG

Protecting the environment around Lake Balaton

  • A €1.6 million Hungarian fund under the EEA and Norway Grants has awarded grants to more than 30 projects seeking to protect the environment surrounding Lake Balaton, Central Europe's largest fresh water lake.

    Situated one hour's drive south from capital Budapest, Lake Balaton is a major attraction in landlocked Hungary. However, the 1 million visitors drawn to the country’s favourite summer retreat each year put a heavy strain on the local environment and makes precautionary measures necessary.

    Through the EEA Grants, the region has established a €1.6 million fund to preserve and improve the environment in the area through small-scale projects carried out in partnerships between municipalities and public benefit companies, social actors, NGOs and other civil society organisations.

    The Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency (LBDCA) is managing the fund and director Gábor Molnár underlines its importance to the region. The fund is the first regional source of financial assistance aimed at civil society organisations involved in environmental protection.

    Molnár explains that the area was in a poor environmental condition in the 1980s, but thanks to government-financed environmental infrastructure projects, such as water treatment and waste management systems, improvements are now becoming highly visible in this region. "Now we need to mobilise local sources who can continue the work of improving the environment through small-scale projects," Molnár says.

    Supported activities include increasing green spaces through planting flowers and trees, eradicating ragweed, maintaining bicycle paths, eliminating illegal waste disposal sites and organising waste collection campaigns in the nearby communities.

     

  • Country:

    Hungary


    Project title:

    Encouraging the involvement of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the field of environmental protection in the Lake Balaton Region

    Case number:

    HU0027

    Priority sector:

    Environment and sustainable development

    Grant:

    € 1,367,327

    Status:

    Concluded

    Type & project assistance:

    Block Grant - Other

    Project promoter:

    Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency

    Type of institution:

    Regional authority

    Project duration:

    26 months

    Project cost:

    € 1,608,620

    Grant rate:

    85%

    Grant from:

    EEA Grants and Norway Grants

    Grant agreement date:

    16 January 2008

    The purpose of the Fund is to provide support to local initiatives performed by public benefit companies, social actors, NGOs and other civil society organisations aiming to improve the natural environment quality, with the overall objective to preserve and improve the environment in the Lake Balaton Resort Area (LBRA). Reference is made to the application, dated 31 March 2006 and correspondence from the Focal Point dated 15 June, 2 and 13 July 2007.



    The completed Fund shall include the following activities and results:

    - re-granting to sub-projects;

    - Fund management.



    The Intermediary is the Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency.



    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Intermediary provides at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible costs of the Fund.