Project team of PWMC Vode Vojvodine led by director Slavko Vrndžić attended opening conference regarding the kick-off meeting of Integrated Cross-Border Monitoring and Management Systems for Flood Risks, Environmental and Biodiversity Protection and Forestry Through Transboundary Forest Retentions and Other Measures (FORRET) project. The meeting was held on May 17 in Zagreb to mark the project’s official start.

Kick-off meeting was followed with a meeting where Managing board was constituted with president and deputy president appointed. The meeting discussed current state of project realization and activity implementation methodology. Director of Hrvatske Vode Zoran Đuroković was appointed president of the Managing board while director of PWMC Vode Vojvodine Slavko Vrndžić was appointed deputy president. Next order of business was appointment of members of Supervisory, implementation monitoring  and strategic international project management committee.

Director Vrndžić emphasized that Vode Vojvodine pay special attention to decisions regarding strategic development programs and their implementation, pointing out that actively participating in cross-border cooperation projects such as this one is of immense significance for development of water management, forestry, agriculture and environmental protection.

Once again, FORRET is a joint project of Croatian and Serbian water and forest management institutions which are also in charge of nature protection and biodiversity preservation. Therefore, Sava River basin is of extraordinary significance in the transboundary natural forest retention areas of Spačva–Morović forests.

Not only will this project reduce the risk of future floods but joint monitoring and flood risk management measures will also ensure improved environmental conditions which would contribute to better forest management as well as biodiversity conservation in this area of outstanding natural value.

Project value is over EUR 1,600,000 million, 85% of which is funded from IPA Cross-border Co-operation programme Croatia-Serbia 2014–2020 and the remaining 15% is funded by project partners: Croatian Waters, Public Water Management Company Vode Vojvodine, Public Company Vojvodinašume and WWF Adria – World Wide Fund For Nature.

Project implementation started in September 2017 and it is planned to be completed in February 2020.