EJWP Group 4 and the new Group 5 are in Croatia for a Training Week, 25 – 29 September, hosted by the University of Zagreb. Monday’s beginning sessions in Zagreb featured introductions with newcomers and updates of the EJWP journey, including capacity building in the iMermaid project, and integration of the WatNex project into activities.
A hybrid workshop, “Collaboration towards Empowerment of the Water Community,” took place in the afternoon with action-based links to EJWP with ongoing EU-funded projects that are also facilitated through H2O-People, the parent organization of EJWP. Aims of the WatNex project were highlighted including the Croatian case for EJWP participation, “Prospects for Ecological Station Vrlika.” WatNex is working to empower a network of stakeholders working on water, energy and food sustainability, in the context of climate change in Nexus systems. The workshop schedule included partners in the iMermaid project with open calls for discussion on new opportunities for cooperation to build empowered water sector networks and activities. Workshop attendees included the of the Dean of the faculty of Biology of the University of Zagreb and representatives of the Norwegian Embassy in Croatia.
Later in the afternoon, a masterclass on Karst Ecosystems prepared participants for their upcoming field trip walk into the city of Zagreb seeking and surveying water sources of the local water system – which were mainly found underground. Prof. Sanja Gottstein of the University of Zagreb led the masterclass and field trip.
EJWP participants said about Day 1 of the Training Week:
Mirela Sertić Perić of the University of Zagreb: “We are happy to host the EJWP week and meet new people, present the results of our WatNex project, but also to discuss new collaboration opportunities with various potential partners from all around Europe. It is an amazing start of the week, I would say.”
“It was great to meet the new EJWP5 group, and I’m also excited for the next days to see Vrlika station, which is our first study case for the WatNex project,” said Agnieszka Cuprys with NMBU.
“It’s only the first day, and already so much is happening! I can’t wait to see what the rest of this Croatian week will bring! We are privileged to be co-hosting these wonderful young people,” said Vesna of the University of Zagreb.
“Nice interactive day with many new faces, but already finding the synergies between us. The fifth dimension is there,” said Hetty KleinJan with CEBEDEAU in Belgium.
The remainder of the week will include training in leadership and development, masterclasses including on micro-biodiversity of freshwater habitats, and a field trip to Vrlika Ecological Station. On Friday a second hybrid workshop will be held on “Creating New Impact Driven Opportunities,” with presentation on reducing chemical pollutants from source to ocean: the iMERMAID project and funding instruments for associated regions, as well as increasing the impact of NEXUS Research, with the WatNex project.