Launching SAFETY4TMF: Enhancing Tailings Management Facility Safety in the Danube River Basin

News & Media
A group of people, some standing, some half-sitting on the floor standing left and right of a roll-up
Kick-off conference for the SAFETY4TMF project

A highly anticipated kick-off took place in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on 19-20 March, as the SAFETY4TMF project, an acronym for "Coordinated Prevention and Disaster Management Activities on Tailings Management Facilities by Authorities, Municipalities, and Other Stakeholders for Solutions Reducing Transnational Risks and Hazards," was successfully launched.

Convened by the Ostrava University, in collaboration with the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and the Ministry of Public Administration and Regional Development of Hungary, and supported by the ICPDR, this event marked the beginning of an important initiative aimed at enhancing the safety of Tailings Management Facilities (TMFs) in the Danube River Basin. 

Mining activities have long been vital for economies worldwide, yet they come with a significant challenge: they generate hazardous residues, often transported by hydraulic methods and deposited and handled specifically in Tailings Management Facilities (TMFs). These facilities, storing fine-grained waste material from mining operations, pose potential risks to both human health and the environment.

SAFETY4TMF is our response to this critical issue. With over 300 TMFs in the Danube River Basin (DRB), it is imperative to prevent transnational disasters like Baia Mare (2000, Romania) and Kolontár (2010, Hungary) from reoccurring. This project, a flagship initiative of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) involving multi-level governance actors, a multidisciplinary approach, and highly complex solutions integrating all levels, actors, and DRB countries, focuses on enhancing prevention, preparedness, and disaster management activities related to TMFs in the Danube River Basin.


SAFETY4TMF, recognized as one of the 2022 Flagship initiatives of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), is proudly hosted by the Environmental Risks Priority Area. Endorsed with their Letter of Recommendation, this project is dedicated to bolstering prevention, preparedness, and disaster management efforts related to potential transnational risks associated with Tailings Management Facilities (TMFs) in the Danube River Basin (DRB). With a particular emphasis on fostering optimized cooperation among multi-level governance actors, including authorities, municipalities, first responders, and other stakeholders, SAFETY4TMF aims to fortify the resilience of communities and ecosystems across the DRB.

The project is undertaking the following key activities:

  • Analyzing policies, procedures, stakeholders, and cooperation practices, and mapping existing TMFs.
  • Enhancing and harmonizing national and transnational capacity building through practice-oriented, targeted knowledge exchange. This includes both online and offline trainings, workshops, conferences, peer-review visits, and collaborative efforts to improve TMF safety through transnational actions and applicable solutions.
  • Generating knowledge and experience from pilot actions of transnational significance, such as advanced risk modeling, enhanced spatial planning, and monitoring of tailing management facilities. This includes coordination and preparedness procedures concerning TMF safety in the DRB, contributing to policy and practice improvement at all levels.

The diverse partnership of ministries, municipalities, sectoral/academic actors, and thematic NGOs, supported by international organizations, empowers SAFETY4TMF to enhance the safety of TMFs in the DRB. Through the development and implementation of applicable solutions, as well as the advancement of more supportive local, national, and macro-regional policies, this collaboration ensures a comprehensive approach to TMF safety that benefits communities and ecosystems across the region.