The Tisza River Basin is a highly picturesque territory of Europe: Mountain streams, meandering rivers, diverse floodplains are characteristic of this region – home to the unique mayfly species called the Tisza Flower (Palingenia longicauda), which is only found in the rivers of the plains of the Carpathian Basin.
Ukraine, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Serbia share the beauties of the Tisza River Basin and are also aware of the area’s problems related to water supply, flooding, droughts, landslides and erosion, pollution by industrial and mining activities as well as from agriculture. These problems are influencing water quality and quantity, and the management of land and water.
in countries sharing the largest sub-basin of the Danube Basin have a long history of cooperation resulting among others in signing the Agreement on the protection of the Tisza and its tributaries in 1986 or in establishing the Tisza Forum to address flood issues in 2000. The Tisza cooperation has been given a new perspective in line with the development of the Danube cooperation and the EU water policy.
At the first ICPDR Ministerial Meeting in 2004, ministers and high-level representatives of the five Tisza countries signed the Memorandum of Understanding Towards a River Basin Management Plan for the Tisza River supporting sustainable development of the region.
The Tisza Group, which has been established by the ICPDR, is the platform for strengthening coordination and information exchange related to international, regional and national activities and to ensure harmonisation and effectiveness of related efforts. The Tisza countries agreed to prepare a sub-basin plan - the so called Tisza River Basin Management Plan - by 2009. This plan should ntegrate issues on water quality and water quantity, land and water management, flood and drought.
The first step towards this objective is the preparation of the Tisza analysis report (Anaylsis of the Tisza River Basin – 2007), which is the first milestone in implementing the Memorandum of Understanding. It characterises the Tisza river and its basin, identifies the key environmental and water management problems. Following the identification of the key water management issues, the next milestone was the preparation of an integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan until 2010.
2004 - Tisza Memorandum of Understanding (40.08 KB) Towards a River Basin Management Plan for the Tisza river supporting sustainable development of the region Document signed by the Ministers of the Tisza countries.
- 2011 MoU of the Tisza Group (135.06 KB)
The Tisza River Basin, covering a total of 157,186 km², is the largest sub-basin in the Danube River Basin. The Tisza River is the longest tributary of the Danube (966 km), and the second largest (after the Sava River) in terms of flow. The states in the Tisza Basin agreed on a close transboundary co-operation, aiming to achieve integrated management of the Tisza River Basin.
Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Slovakia and Hungary share the responsibility for the Tisza river basin and undertook jointly activities towards the implementation of the EU Water Freamwork Directive and the EU Flood Directive. These efforts were supported by the European Union in the frame of the TISAR 2007 and led to good results.
The Tisza Basin has been subject to significant anthropogenic impacts that have resulted in a degraded system, particularly in terms of pollution and the loss of floodplains and wetlands. The present project is focusing on the development of strategies and implementation of demo project to test the multiple environmental benefits of wetlands to mitigate impacts of floods/droughts and help to reduce nutrient pollution.