World Wetlands Day 2001: Hungary

19/02/2001

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Report on World Wetlands Day in Hungary, 2001

To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the signature of Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971), the Ministry of Environment, Authority for Nature Conservation, Hortobágy National Park Directorate, and Tisza Klub jointly organised an event in Debrecen dedicated to natural asset of river Felsõ Tisza. The programme included welcoming speeches, presentations, discussions and press release as well. The WWD event was organised in Debrecen (200.000 inhabitants, Eastern Hungary) with the aim of presenting a pre-evaluation of the damage caused by cyanide and heavy metal spills in river Szamos and Tisza. It was also a great opportunity to raise awareness of the natural asset remained of the river and planned cross-border Hungarian – Slovakian – Romanian - Ukrainan Ramsar Site

On behalf of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Professor Dr. Székely welcomed the meeting. The participants were also welcomed by the deputy mayor of Debrecen and government commissioner Dr. Gönczy. Prof. Dr. Berczik, member of Hungarian Academy of Sciences gave an overview of the current state of wetlands in national context. Dr. Bancsi, Head of Laboratory, Közép-Tisza Water Management Authority summed up the preliminary results of River Tisza Water Quality Survey conducted by Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Transport and Water Management. Dr. Tardy, Deputy State Secretary, and Dr. Demeter, Head of Department of Ministry of Environment, presented some of the results and summarised all international and national efforts and programmes that were launched right after the spills. Final evaluation and analysis of the spills are expected to be in a conference in late 2001.

In the afternoon session, Prof. Dr. Dévai, Chair of National Ramsar Committee, has introduced the audience to new methods and programmes of processing and evaluating of biological data and records. Finally, Dr. Hamar, Chair of Tisza Klub, has presented their new achievements in research of river Tisza and its tributaries. In closing, a film was shown about ecosystem and natural asset of river Tisza, with regard to the spills of last year.

András Demeter
Head of Department
Ministry of Environment, Authority for Nature Conservation
demeter@mail2.ktm.hu

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