Representatives of the Australian Goulburn Broken basin have visited Moldova and Ukraine

Posted on 10.10.2019

This week, the experts from Goulburn Broken Rivers have completed the study tour of the Dniester River Basin. The International River Foundation,  GEF IW:Learn and the GEF Dniester project, with the support of the Moldovan and Ukrainian water and environment agencies, have organized a series of trips to the most interesting places along the Dniester river to exchange experiences. In the project’s view, such an exchange is useful both for specialists of the Dniester basin and of the Goulburn and Broken rivers due to the related transboundary nature, which require management efforts of several states (note: the state in Australia is an administrative unit with wide autonomy).

After visiting Ivano-Frankivsk and Odesa regions in Ukraine and traveling through most of the basin in Moldova, the participants  learned about EU-driven water sector reforms in both countries, water quality monitoring system, irrigation, agro-environmental measures, hydropower and national approaches to climate change adaptation.

The Australians, in turn, presented an overview of opportunities and challenges of water resources management development in the country, and in particular in the Murray Darling Basin. The interesting fact is that Australia has recently experienced a ‘millennium drought’ that lasted almost a decade, which is a clear evidence of the need for a climate change adaptation strategy and actions.

Having similarities in water management, the experts identified differences. Among the most interesting ones are:

  • Initially river basin management planning in Australia was driven by an issue of water quantity, while in the EU (as well as in Moldova and Ukraine) it was driven by water quality.
  • Forest belts – as an agro-environmental and agroforestry tool – are not known in Australia. At the same time paddock trees (single standing) are taken under good care s a measure to retain moisture, create shade for grazing animals, and a site for birds, insects, etc.).
  • In Moldova and Ukraine, rivers and banks are being cleared of fallen trees and other natural barriers, while in Australia they are not being treated as they are considered as mini-biotopes for aquatic animals.

It is worth reminding, that that in April 2019 the IRF, GEF IW:Learn and the GEF Dniester project supported a study tour to Australia for the representatives of the national water agencies of Moldova and Ukraine. Please visit and know more.


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