The partnership of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (SUA) and the Nitra Self-Governing Region (NSGR) supports the development of circular bioeconomy in the region. In the project BIOREGIO, NSGR acts as the main regional stakeholder and very actively participates in the implementation of its activities. Already in 2017, thanks to the BIOREGIO project, new activities related to the circular economy were introduced into the LEADER NSK, whose aim was to provide funding for small-scale projects in this field.

Circular bioeconomy in Nitra region and the BIOREGIO project 

Nitra Region is characterized by high waste production, including municipal waste, with low recovery rates. This situation adversely affects the quality of the environment and the country's environmental balance. Nitra Self-Governing Region elaborated the Programme of the Economic and Social Development and the Nitra District office prepared the Waste Management Programme. Both programmes respond to these factors through set measures and framework activities. In Slovakia, the issue of circular economy is still underdeveloped. Available objectives of BIOREGIO, therefore, represented an important input during the development of these documents. 

Thanks to the BIOREGIO project, new activities related to the circular bioeconomy were included in the LEADER NSK programme, such as designing strategies for the energy use of biowaste or promoting technologies for biowaste processing. Since the extension of the Programme by including circular bioeconomy and environmental activities, there has been an increased interest in the implementation of such types of projects. Already in the first year, 6 projects were implemented in a total volume of more than EUR 12 700. In 2019, 9 projects were implemented, with funding almost doubling to over EUR 23 500. Since LEADER NSK is based on the "bottom-up" principle, supported projects are based on the needs of individual users and are very varied. In order to support the circular economy and to improve the environment, projects have been funded to build waste-collection points and composting plants; revitalize greenery and small watercourses, and educational projects for schools are getting more and more popular.

The implementation of these projects not only increases the rate of waste separation and recovery but also increases the environmental awareness of the people.

In addition, several projects funded from EU resources and state budget have been implemented in the field of waste management, circular economy, etc. Office of the Nitra Self-Governing region continues in close cooperation with SUA when developing important policies leading to the more visible introduction of circular bioeconomy principles in the region.  

The full version of the article in Slovak can be found here.