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Project title:
Integrated land development (ILD) program
to improve land use and water management efficiency
in the Tisza basin

in the frame of

Integrating multiple benefits of wetlands and floodplains into improved transboundary management for the Tisza River Basin 

ILD as UNDP-GEF Tisza Medium Size Project - project document is also available.


Sponsored by

United Nations Development Programme - Global Environmental Facility (UNDP-GEF)

Coordinated by

International Committee for the Protection of the Danube River Tisza Group (ICPDR Tisza group)
Project implementation (lead partner):
Project partners:
  • Research Institute for Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA TAKI: RISSAC)
  • AGORA – Working Group for Sustainable Development, Romania,
  • Zenta- Senta Municipality, Serbia,






The ILD demonstration project in Nagykörű provides a comprehensive, system oriented and holistic approach to simultaneously tackle the priority pressures of extreme floods, sustained drought and occasional excess water within the Tisza floodplain. Hydromorphological alterations of the last two or three hundred years prevented the river from building and eroding its own environment in a dynamic equilibrium which allows for ecosystem services to be taken advantage of.

Integrated land management and development would offer an alternative water steering regime where the original – and sometimes still functional – morphological features of the now disconnected, inactive (“protected”) floodplain could be used to skim floods, mitigate drought and manage stagnating excess surface water within large areas of the Holocene meander belt. Such an alternative, fragmented and diverse land use pattern would offer possibilities to a more resilient agriculture and husbandry scheme including the growing of industrial plants such as reed, hemp or biofuel plantations, boost extensive, free ranging livestock production or woodlots for timber and firewood. Also, the system is expected to adapt more readily to much of the expected climate change scenarios. With appropriate changes, the approach can be used at different stages and under various geographical conditions of the Tisza river basin, as demonstrated by the international partners in the upper catchment section in Romania and in the river flats in Serbia. 

General technical report
The background for the ILD project was provided by several years of research conducted prior to submission of the proposal which laid down the concept of flood plain landscape management. This concept may provide an answer to the key problems encountered by the water management administration recently in the Tisza valley; also, minor steps were taken in the direction of landscape reclamation and rehabilitation which followed the concept (rehabilitation of the digging pits in the floodway, setting up a lake and sluice within the floodway, cropland/pasture conversion, establishment of a wooded pasture).
It can also be mentioned that after the emblematic flood on the river Nyikó in Romania the morphological properties of the local mountain watershed were surveyed and assistance was given to disaster relief operations.


Summary of project activities
ILD project First half year
March 2009 – September 2009
  1. Based on the foundations laid down earlier on the concept was further developed and advanced, the local conditions influencing its implementation on the small local economic and geographic scale have been identified, the necessary specific data collected.
  1. In a selection process the landscape related, geomorphological and social, human features of the pilot demonstration sites chosen for the purposes of a smaller scale practical implementation of the concept, i.e. a more reflective and efficient water management regime in terms of land use have been revealed, sites identified, selected and shortlisted.
  1. Partner areas suitable for disseminating project lessons were identified, local specialists and professionals contacted, ILD teams set up (Senta, Odorheiu Secuiesc).
The ILD concept was presented and a checklist developed to process the partner areas for the purposes of ILD.
ILD project Second half year
October 2009 – March 2010
  1. Finalisation of the corrected concept. This Hungarian paper served as one of the source materials for the discussion of the technical and professional chapters of the key project objective and outcome, the English ILD Manual (protocol in the original project document).
  1. Dissemination of the project results:
    1. within the framework project (such as Tisza MSP)
    2. on other forums of river basin management planning of the Tisza domestically
    3. contributions to other related projects (WaterRisk, Scenes)
    4. to local population, stakeholders and experts (both formally and informally)
    5. within the project (involvement of new projects and partners)
  1. Gathering information on related domestic and foreign initiatives.
  1. Application of ILD results in associated rural development works of SZÖVET (market building, business advice, proposals for legal amendments).
  1. Development of domestic project teams (project management) identification of the partners necessary for completing the tasks in Nagykörű.
ILD project Third half year
April 2010 – September 2010
  1. Actual planning of the Nagykörűi pilot demonstration site, preperation of practical implementation
    1. communication with farmers and owners
    2. communication with designers and surveyor
    3. communication with authorities
  1. Activities of partner work teams in the partner areas (compilation of studies, contemplating prospective interventions).
  1. Writing the ILD Manual, a comprehensive output presenting both the concept and the project experiences and lessons.
  1. Dissemination of project results
    1. in river basin management planning (both within the framework project and outside of it)
    2. on a university course (Sping term 2010, ELTE TTK)
    3. on the project website (content provision to the project homepage)
Remaining and proposed activities
October 2010 – December 2010.
  1. Completing the planning process of practical implementation (up to the building permit design documentation version).
  2. Completing the administrative changes currently in progress (obtaining approval and registration of the land use changes accomplished in the floodway by the locally cognisant Land Registry Office).
  3. Completing the feasible practical project operations (grassing of the protected side pilot site, infrastructure development in the floodway).
  4. Arrangement and completion of project administration (contracts, reports, accounting).
  5. Exploration of additional opportunities in practical implementation of the ILD concept.
  6. Finalisation, circulation and publication of the ILD Manual, preparation of some promotion materials designed for disseminating project outcomes and results, completing content provision to the project homepage both in Hungarian and in English.
Difficulties and deficiencies encountered during project administration and management

Obstacles in project administration.

Rigidity of the eligibility criteria in financial accounting.

Structural barriers, traps and limits aggravating or preventing physical implementation (different mindset of the public and the regulatory environment).