Climate change is often seen as a global irreversible phenomenon that we cannot influence at local and regional level. Although we are seeing increasingly frequent weather fluctuations and recognizing this dire situation, in most cases we do not know how to proceed to help alleviate this problem as individuals.

Our new project CLIMADAM, which was created within the framework of cross-border cooperation with Ukraine, responds to the issue of climate change and its mitigation. The project is aimed at strengthening Slovak-Ukrainian institutional cooperation.

The specificity of this project is that the elaboration of project outputs will be based on the bottom, (with the participation of stakeholders) and therefore the participatory processes of strategic planning also involve the general public. We believe that this approach will ensure that the proposed measures in the project output will be more effective and cheaper than in the case of “central and directive” planning.

The kick-off meeting of the cross-border UA-SK partnership of the CLIMADAM project took place on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, online with the participation of a Slovak and Ukrainian interpreter, as the meeting took place bilingually. The whole meeting was organized by the leading partner of the project, the Agency for the Support of Regional Development Košice. The meeting was attended by 17 representatives of project partners and experts in the field of adaptation to climate change and in the field of sustainable transport and integrated transport system.

The main topic of the kick-off meeting was getting to know the members of the international partnership and getting acquainted with the CLIMADAM project and individual project activities. Jaroslav Tešliar, as the director of the Agency for the Support of Regional Development in Košice (ASRD), representing the lead partner, welcomed the participants of the online meeting. Then all participants were introduced. Monika Višňovská from ASRD as the project manager of the CLIMADAM project presented basic information about the project, the background and the context of the project. All activities were presented in detail by the organizations responsible for the activities.

Ján Dzurdženík presented the methodology used in the creation of the Adaptation Strategy for Climate Change for the Košice Region and its results, measurements and activities. Based on this process, he proposed steps for an activity aimed at creating a climate change adaptation strategy for the Transcarpathian region. Jaroslav Tešliar presented the intention to develop a comprehensive study “Our Roňava”, the basic characteristics of the Roňava river basin and the proposed methodology. Marcela Jokeľová from the Košice Self-Governing Region (KSGR) presented the experiences and practices of public involvement in decision-making processes within the Landscape Renewal Program for KSGR. This presentation was an example of public involvement that can be followed during the CLIMADAM project processes. Nataliya Kablak presented the initial traffic situation in Uzhhorod, the goal, the content of the activity and current research and surveys in this area. Based on this proposal, the steps to implement the creation of a sustainable model for the city of Uzhhorod and its surroundings and the first steps were presented. Monika Višňovská presented an activity aimed at disseminating information on various aspects of climate change adaptation and mitigation, topics of information campaign and its tools. After the presentations, the participants of the meeting took part in a detailed discussion.

Main project activities

Adaptation strategy and its implementation at the regional level

The first project activity will be the development of a list of measures to reduce the human impact of climate change, preceded by the collection, visualization and analysis of data in the Transcarpathian region.

An analysis of the frequent causes of floods in the Roňava River, their effects on endangering property and human lives will also be made. In this step, biotechnical measures in the river basin will also be proposed, which will contribute to the revitalization of the environment in Uzhhorod. During this project activity we want to involve local citizens in the development and implementation of measures within the so-called “Water councils.”

The Water Council is a group of representatives of municipal, city, regional self-governments, state administration bodies, entrepreneurs, activists, volunteers and the public, whose task is to shape the vision of integrated water protection in individual districts of the region.

Sustainable transport for Uzhhorod while implementing Kosice Self-Governing Region experience

Another important activity will be the connection of public transport in the Transcarpathian region in Ukraine with the Integrated Public Transport in the Košice Region and the development of a transport model concept in Uzhhorod. An important output of this plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing individual transport so that people are motivated to use public transport instead of their cars.

Raising awarness of adaptation on climate change and its mitigation

In this activity, we want to increase the availability of information to the public on climate change, the need for measures to mitigate the negative impact of climate change and adaptation measures to expected climate change. Climate change requires a systemic approach by public institutions.

There is only one way we must go – to start the process of positive change in the management of our regions, their natural and human resources. We believe that this project will also help to mitigate the effects of climate change at regional level, but it requires the involvement of each and every one of us.

CLIMADAM project is financed by EEA Grants and Budget of Slovak Republic.

CLIMADAM – Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Mitigation Steps for SK – UA crossborder region

Project code: GGC01008