Towards a climate neutral EU:
efficient allocation of EU funds

Increasing the ecological water supply security of the Hanság Natura 2000 site

Organisation: Clean Air Action Group, Hungary Website: Added: June 02, 2022
Project start date: March 31, 2022
Project end date: April 30, 2026


The project’s goal is to help secure the ecological water supply of the Hanság Natura 2000 area (which connects to the Rábaköz-tóköz watershed in North-West Hungary), by creating the technical conditions necessary to retain the available water resources and to stop the further lowering of groundwater levels. The project will thus ensure protection of the ecological conditions necessary for the conservation of wetlands that are home to species and habitats of Community importance on at least 4,950 hectares. Project activities, based on the results of a feasibility study, include: assessment and monitoring of ecological conditions; eradication and control of invasive plant species; restoration of degraded sites and habitats; and construction and renovation of structures for water retention, control, and water quality improvement (e.g. filtering fields). A significant part of the Hanság Natura 200 site is characterised by a continuous decline in groundwater levels, which is causing serious conservation problems: peatlands are being destroyed, the extent of temporary water habitats necessary for the reproduction of certain bird and amphibian species is decreasing, and the ecological status of water-related habitats of Community importance is deteriorating. The Fertő-Hanság National Park Directorate, which is responsible for the conservation management of the area, has been carrying out habitat mapping in the Hanság area since 1998, the results of which clearly show that water-dependent habitats are gradually drying up and turning into semi-arid grasslands. The disappearance of habitats led to the loss of populations of plant and animal species of Community importance, as well as the emergence and aggressive spread of alien invasive species. The renovation and construction of water management structures in place will make it possible to retain rainwater and river water, and to keep retained water in the area in the form of surface and groundwater, thus ensuring the ecological water needs of the Natura 2000 site. The project is thoroughly designed, and project elements are based on a feasibility study. Results, expectations, milestones, and the regulatory/legal background are defined in great detail. Planning and monitoring are key elements of the project. There are plans for the European Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF) to fund the project.

Financial data

Funding: EUR 7.6 million (HUF 2.79 billion HUF. Share of EU funding: 100%


Similar nature conservation/climate adaptation programmes in protected sites should be financed on a larger scale, and more funding should be dedicated to such programmes. The professional standards of this project should be the benchmark for EU-funded nature conservation projects (with the goal of natural habitat restoration and climate adaptation and a focus on nature-based measures; the project should be based on a feasibility study, thoroughly designed with detailed definition of project elements, and alongside efforts directed towards project planning and monitoring). A monetised value of the gained ecosystem services should be included in the project results.

Information sources (RRF-4.3.1-21)

Other info

European Climate Initiative (EUKI)
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.