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.
Encouraging the involvement of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the field of environmental protection in the Lake Balaton Region
Environment and sustainable development
Type & project assistance:
Block Grant - Other
Lake Balaton Development Coordination Agency
Type of institution:
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.