The first South East workshop, jointly held by Serbian Railways and UIC in Belgrade on 29 and 30 September, brought together environmental specialists from railways in the South East Europe region, to share best practice, start a regional network, and improve links with the environmental working groups of UIC.
There was excellent representation from the region, with presentations from Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Slovakia. Other railways represented at the workshop included Poland and Romania. Presentations were also delivered by specialist consultants working in remediation of polluted soil from both Serbia itself and the Netherlands. Deutsche Bahn also presented the way they manage their environmental and sustainable development activities. In total around 40 specialists attended over the two days.
Following on from the success of the workshop, all participants have been invited to join the newly-formed UIC Expert Network on Sustainable Land Use which will explore issues around soil pollution, vegetation control, biodiversity protection and so on. The first meeting will be on 15 November at UIC headquarters.
In related news, Serbian Railways are organising a conference on Energy Efficiency in Belgrade on 17 & 18 November, and a 2nd South East Europe Environment Workshop will be planned for September 2012.