Ecosystem-based adaptation in Tiszatarján, Hungary for climate-resistant communities
In this area, floods cause crop failures and the spread of invasive plant species, droughts cause decreased water availability for ecosystems, agriculture and recreation, resulting in high sensitivity. This means that key stakeholders are all vulnerable to climate change
Tiszatarján is situated next to the river Tisza, and one-fourth of its area (1000 ha) belongs to the floodplain (area between the dykes). The village is an economically disadvantaged rural community, consequently with low adaptive capacity.
The floodplain is extremely exposed to high and unpredictable floods, long and increasingly frequent droughts and inland excess water inundation. The stresses arising from climate change are amplifying the impacts of human stresses, leading to a broken balance between nature and people. One of the most critical symptoms of the vulnerability is the rapid expansion of invasive plants, particularly in the floodplain, reducing the floodwater retention capacity and increasing flood risk. They also cause the degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem services and increase land use costs.
The aim of the project is to complete and demonstrate this as an ecosystem-based adaptation model with NWRM through the following elements: Implement small-scale NWRM in the floodplain: create open surface water bodies on the territory of a clay-pit system and connect them with each other. They will function as connected permanent water bodies. This will provide a natural water supply through infiltration to the groundwater which will be beneficial for agriculture; and surface water as a spawning, hiding and feeding place for water birds, amphibians and grazing animals. Also, this wetland will store inland excess water from croplands.
Enhance local ecotourism based on the restored floodplain, which will also reduce dependence on climate-sensitive agriculture to generate local income. This includes a visitor trail on the territory of the wetland and a small pond system.
Obtain legal protection for the pilot site to ensure the sustainability of the investment. This prototype’s implementation will prepare the completion and demonstration of an NWRM-based adaptation model that responds to the typical problems of settlements along regulated lowland rivers, like the Tisza in Hungary. The replication potential of the prototype of this complex solution comprises the settlements along the Tisza, its tributaries, the lower Danube and other rivers in Central and Eastern Europe.