WATERDRIVE – RU: Water driven rural devlopment in Russian parts of the Baltic Sea Region

WATERDRIVE-RU is a project connected to WATERDRIVE, which is an EU project funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme. The EU project provides tools and trainings on responsible water management for rural communities.

The WATERDRIVE project notes that drought and flooding have become more frequent in the Baltic Sea region. Because of the changing climate, this project wants to develop and implement new water management measures in agriculture and surrounding rural areas. These measures should be more cooperative and inclusive. This is especially important in the drainage basin of the Baltic Sea which continues to suffer from excess inputs of nutrients from diffuse sources.

WATERDRIVE-RU focuses its efforts on Russia and Belarus, two countries that are not a part of the EU project. The project stresses that the national contexts in Russia and Belarus are challenging. Rural landscapes are often managed by large agrobusiness companies with short-term financial objectives. Therefore, one of the challenges in this project is to identify incentives and to offer a fruitful process for cooperation.

The goal will be to transfer knowledge and practices of cooperative measures in rural water management from the EU project to WATERDRIVE-RU. In turn, the EU project will benefit from the collaborations in this project by new connections to the Eastern Partnership and Russia, that might open up for further opportunities for cooperation. The activities include mapping of local, regional and national actors and incentives for stakeholders to involve in further dialogue, and to include Russia and Belarus in the conferences and activities of the EU project.