The river Tisza
Our Tisza program embodies perfectly how to link nature conservation and social objectives.
Before the major river regulations, life in the floodplains represented a humble but rich and secure existence for the people. The drainage of Tisza’s floodplains in the 19th century followed by the confinement of the river between embankments was a plan that was fit for only a few priority goals. The increase in arable land and the introduction of intensive farming to previously flooded areas met the objectives of the man of that particular age. In the 20th century we had to come to the realization that the water shortages and the harmful effects of floods are all the unexpected consequences of river regulations, while the agricultural products can only maintain their competitive role on the market by considerable support.
The tremendous nature transforming work one and a half century ago has to be revised today. A harmonious, long-term solution should be a comprehensive plan, which is based on the nature and modern technical knowledge. Land use that is based on the characteristics of the landscape serves the local population’s livelihood. The possibility of this should be created and implemented into practice, a land use that helps in curbing back invasive species, can ensure the production of competitive products despite the decreasing amount of subsidies and EU financial aids, while providing space for the river and the surrounding floodplains’ immense species richness.
Following serious recurring floods in the early 2000s and droughts the years before, we started to work in pilot areas along the Tisza together with voluntarily participating farmers on different forms of land management, which tried to implement the proposals set out above in small steps. In our program, we worked in cooperation with local governments, various interest groups, scientists and companies in order to ensure that life in the settlements along the Tisza will develop in accordance with nature and economic interests.
After 2008, we started cooperation in the Central Tisza region to reduce vulnerability caused by climate change, which became the model project of our climate program.
Nagykörű is an ancient village on the banks of the Tisza. In the old days, it was surrounded by water – from one side by the Tisza and from the others by the waters of the “Nagy-fok”: old abandoned river beds of the wandering Tisza, marshlands and low-lying areas.