The Danube Region is a major international hydrological basin and ecological corridor. Nature management, spatial planning and water management therefore require a cross-border approach.
One area in the Danube Region is Podunavlje. Agriculture has a long tradition in this region, thanks to its fertile ground, abundance of water and favourable climate conditions. However, intensive agricultural production also has a disadvantage: it poses a threat to pollute the surrounding nature. Agrochemicals in fertilizers, such as nitrate and phosphate, lead to groundwater contamination. Around Podunavlje are protected nature reserves such as 'Gornje Podunavlje' in Serbia and 'Kopački Rit' in Croatia. These areas must not fall victim to this pollution. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain the balance between nature and human activity in this region.
In order to restore the balance between agriculture and nature in the area, it is necessary to establish a cooperation chain at all levels of pollution risk management. This chain starts from agricultural producers, their associations and the local government, to ministries and their executive bodies. In the CHAIN project, both the 'Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops' of Serbia and the 'Agricultural Land Agency' of Croatia are involved.
The overall objective of the cross-border cooperation is to contribute to development and environment protection by managing risks of pollution caused by agricultural production and improvement of soil and ground water pollution control on agricultural surfaces in the Danube region.
The effect of agricultural activities on environmental quality can be determined by monitoring soil and water quality. Therefore, one of the goals of this project was to set up a system for permanent monitoring of the soil and groundwater quality in the program area. Megra, the Serbian partner of Royal Eijkelkamp was closely involved in the CHAIN project. They supplied the necessary equipment and provided training and support for the CHAIN project team.
We are very satisfied with the Royal Eijkelkamp equipment which served us well during the CHAIN project implementation and afterwards.
The CHAIN project members concluded: 'With respect to the obtained results, soil quality monitoring is our obligation to the future generations. The continuation of soil monitoring is necessary in order to identify the patterns of soil quality changes and establish control over soil contamination.'
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