Representatives of the German Development Bank KfW, which is the financier of the “Biodiversity and Water Protection Lakes Palić and Lake Ludaš – Ecolacus Project”, visited Palić, Ludaš and Subotica on May 12th, 2022, as part of a monitoring mission, since all investments within the project are either implemented or in the final stage.

The KfW delegation representatives were Stefanie Rauprich, Project Manager; Manfred Molitor, Project Engineer; Aleksandar Antić, Belgrade office representative and Antonija – a German student who came to the Belgrade KfW office in an internship programme.

Deputy Mayor Imre Kern represented the City of Subotica, as well as the associates Ervin Molnar, Aleksandra Vujošević and Srđan Parežanin.

On behalf of PUC “Vodovod i Kanalizacija”, their director Đerđ Šugar, director of the Water Production Department Petar Pižurica, director of the Department of Investments and Development Čaba Šanta, and the head of treatment plant maintenance Igor Ljubojević, participated in the mission.

Marta Dobo director of PE “Palić-Ludaš” was there, together with associates Tanja Jotanović, Tamas Vinko and Miroslav Kovačević.

The consultant representatives were the project manager Fritz Schwaiger, Marko Stojčić, in charge of investments, and Milorad Isić as designer/supervisor.

The first part of the visit was in Palić. After a discussion in the meeting room, where they analysed all investments, they visited the seedling nursery, where they had the opportunity to see the machinery and the maintenance vehicle of the new buffer zone. These are tractors, the water tank, multifunctional machines, and various manual machines. So now, the manager of the protected areas has the complete machine equipment required for quality maintenance and monitoring of protected areas.

As for the manpower required for these activities, this subject was raised among other things at the meeting in the Blue Hall of the City Hall . The topics were the annual budget, the current price increases of energy sources, chemicals and other parameters that participate in the formation of utility prices. The City promised to get engaged with the relevant Ministry and support the need for the increase in employees.

The mission continued with a visit to Subotica central wastewater treatment plant. The high quality of the performed works was confirmed, as well as the increase of the system reliability. The treatment plant, which until now was discharging wastewater according to local regulations, will be discharging even fewer nutrients in the future, primarily phosphorus, which will also improve the water quality in the lakes.

Since the special nature reserve, Lake Ludaš was also the focus of the Ecolacus project, mission participants have visited some of the completed works in this area. They went to two locations with bird-watching platforms and confirmed that the interactive information boards at these locations make it much easier for visitors to access information about the lake and the project

The general impression is that all Project participants are satisfied with the work performed. As part of the project, the monitoring of key parameters will continue to evaluate the success of the activities implemented to protect the biodiversity and waters of these lakes.

A brief overview of the facts about the Ecolacus project

Project activities are divided into A – Investment measures and B – Accompanying measures.

Services A – Investment measures:

A1 – Upgrade of Subotica wastewater treatment plant (WWTP)

A2 – New wastewater pumping station in Palić and a line to Subotica

A3 – Extension of the sewage system in Palić

A4 – Construction of a buffer zone around Lake Palić and Lake Ludaš with bicycle paths, observation platforms

A5 – Performing biomanipulation of Lake Palić.

Services B – Accompanying measures

B1 – Technical assistance for PUC “Vodovod i kanalizacija” Subotica, including monitoring of industrial discharges, strategy for emptying septic tanks, tariffs, PR activities

B2 – Technical assistance to PE “Palić-Ludaš”, including operation and maintenance of the buffer zone, sources of income for financing the maintenance of the buffer zone, PR activities

B3 – City of Subotica, including: groundwater monitoring, setting up the project website, environmental education, cooperation with tourism associations, involvement of NGOs, PR activities

Budget and financing

6.5 million EUR (approx. 780 million RSD) grants from the German Government, managed by KfW – German Development Bank, plus an additional 1.3 million EUR (approx. 153 million RSD).

1.0 million EUR (about 120 million RSD) from the local government (City of Subotica) for the purchase of land and payment of compensation as well as contributions in kind.

For more details about the project, click here.

See below the photos of how the monitoring mission went.