Adaptation to flood risk in the LABE-ELbe river ba.. (LABEL)
Adaptation to flood risk in the LABE-ELbe river basin
Start date: Aug 31, 2008,
End date: Jan 27, 2012
The Elbe River (Labe is the Czech name for the River) is characterised by different conditions which are representative for many rivers in Central Europe: near-natural river landscapes, economic development, its potential for various sectors such as tourism and transport and an attractive living environment and settlements. However all these developments at the river face a high potential of flood risk, which is also influenced by changing impacts of climate change. LABEL aims at developing and improving a transnational risk management strategy, implementing actions of high priority and bringing risk reduction at the Elbe and neighbouring rivers a big step forward. The development of solutions for conflicts of interests for different sectors in LABEL is the basis for the development of a competitive economy. It further mobilizes growth of the participating regions. The necessity of transnational cooperation to enhance flood risk management within the international Elbe river basin is a cornerstone for territorial cohesion in diverse fields of action. The cooperating regions cover most of the river basin, 70 percent of the German and 50 percent of the Czech area of Central Europe. Additionally Hungarian and Austrian Regions are also involved. Building up on the achievements of the INTERREG III B project ELLA, that ended with overviews of hazard spots and a basic action plan for future flood mitigation requests, LABEL aims at implementing selected actions to improve the flood risk management approaches and tools in the Labe-Elbe River and neighbouring basins. This includes harmonisation of methods, standards and tools, awareness raising and adaptation of uses in different sectors. Achievements: The final phase of the project implementation was ongoing from September 2011 until August 2012. The Partnership was closely cooperating to finalise the project output and to reach agreements for the joint products of the project. Regarding the goal of Harmonising and improving flood risk management, three coordination meetings took place, on which the results and insight gained from the single outputs and harmonisation efforts discussed in earlier project meetings were formulated as text. The texts were used as input for the LABEL strategy for adaptation to flood risks in the Elbe catchment, one key joint product of the partnership, which summarises all project results and achievements. It also gives recommendations and an outlook on future flood risk management in the Elbe basin. In the context of flood risk management and the implementation of flood risk management plans, also a close exchange between the methods used in the Danube basin, alsong the Tisza river was gained. Furthermore, the second Elbe Atlas was finalised. It provides flood hazard and risk maps for the entire Elbe stream. The work was a real co-production in the partnership, data and basis maps had to be acquired and harmonised, methods were agreed upon. Regarding the goal of Adaptation of uses to flood risks, and besides the mentioned LABEL strategy, many exciting measures to raise awareness were undertaken and finalised: - the moving exhibition has been shown in many regions and cities in the Elbe catchment - a brochure with interesting water management related sites along the Elbe cycle trail was published to raise awareness for water management and flood risks also at tourists. - a media competition was held, that encouraged students from Germany and Austria to dig into the subject of flood risk management and flood protection; the winners have produced a short film, placards and sung a song about floods. The major event for the LABEL project was the final conference. Around 300 participants from Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Austria came together in the Chamber of the Saxon State Parliament to recognize the results of the project and discuss about the future of the Elbe catchment. Several high-level political representatives from Germany, as the Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony Stanislaw Tillich, from the neighboring countries Czech Republic and Poland as well as from Brussels were visiting the conference. The speakers reminded of the disastrous Elbe flood 2002 and complimented the fruitful cooperation of the projects ELLA and LABEL in the Elbe catchment. According to Jan Mücke, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development, the continuing cooperation to improve flood prevention is also in future a priority of the spatial development policy.
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