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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Developing water management systems as a partnership among municipalities/Latvia

Posted By: Guntis Klavins
Date: Friday, 19 May 2000, at 11:19 a.m.

Key words: infrastructure development, waste management

DESCRIPTION: Four Latvian local municipalities (Ance, Dundaga, Kolka and Targale) started to work as co-operation partners in 1997. The co-operation territory is located in the northwest part of Latvia, extending 80 km along the Baltic Sea coast from the port town Ventspils to the Cape of Kolka, and about 12 km along the coast of the Gulf of Riga. One of the most important co-operation projects is a water management project that includes technical, political and institutional based components.

LONG TERM BENEFITS: A long-term strategy plan (2001 - 2015) and a short- term (2001 - 2003) strategy plan of investments necessary for the improvement of water services have been developed as a result of the project.

CAPACITY BUILDING AND INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING: The Municipalities involved as co-operation partners established a non-profit joint venture "Ziemelkurzeme" Ltd., in order to meet the requirements of the State Order and Investment Programme. The main objectives in the water management sector are to implement the market-based principles and to meet the requirements of national legislation and European Union (EU) recommendations, which apply to environment, health and construction. Within the framework of the short-time programme (2001 - 2003), an institutional strengthening project has been planned which includes the preparation of a company management handbook, the training of staff and analysis of legal documents in order to support and stabilise the company's economic activities.

LEGAL NATIONAL POLICY: The project "Development of water management in the Municipalities of Ance, Dundaga, Kolka and Targale" is part of the Latvian National Investment Programme which is based on the Latvian Environmental Policy and Action Programme, ES Directives, VVO guidelines. An institutional component of the project is the Latvia Pilot Project for implementation of wise practices in the small Municipalities of the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea.

SUSTAINABILITY: A long-term benefit of the project is to meet the needs of North Kurzeme local society, particularly the small-scale tourism and fish processing companies, as well as to secure the future of the Baltic Sea. Technical solutions will be developed to change out-of-date fish processing equipment, water supply and waste water treatment technology, at the same time reducing water consumption.

REGIONAL DIMENSION: The project complies with the principles of sustainability and national policy and gives the Municipalities involved and the "Ziemelkurzeme" joint venture a chance to participate in the realisation of the Baltic Sea Strategy (Baltic 21).

PARTICIPATORY PROCESS: When the project was initiated all involved actors: Municipalities, NGO, Governments and professionals were involved.

DOCUMENTATION: At the beginning of the project's initial phase, project proposals were elaborated concerning water management, as well as waste management, energy, spatial planning and infrastructure of roads. The Paper was confirmed by the Councils of the involved Municipalities and was defined as an Intellectual Investment into the Statute Capital of the "Ziemelkurzeme".

TRANSFERABILITY: The experiences of the Local Governments' Co-operation Union, particularly models of the documents, are widely used by many other local governments in Latvia, not only in the water-management sector, but also in road and waste management and in the processes of the Territory Administration reform of Latvia.

EVALUATION: The following may serve as measurable indicators:

Guntis Klavins (Mr)
Head of non-profit Company "Ziemelkurzeme" Ltd
Dundaga Municipality


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