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KfW Projects in Serbia

Biodiversity Protection Palić / Ludaš

Donor: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Partners: Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure
Project period: 2018 – 2022


  • In 1977, Lake Ludaš was placed under the protection of the RAMSAR Convention. Together with the neighbouring Palić Lake and the sandy areas of Subotica, it is an internationally recognised area for the protection of plant species and birds.
  • With 214 species of birds including important populations of bog duck and white-headed duck, and its typology as a steppe lake, Lake Ludaš near Subotica is unique in Serbia.
  • Lake Ludaš is connected to the neighbouring Lake Palić by a channel, which serves as a collector of sewage for Palić and its surroundings. Lake Ludaš is almost exclusively fed from Lake Palić.
  • Human influences and modification of the water regime and high nutrient inputs from sewage and agricultural activities have fundamentally changed the character of both lakes.


  • The objective of the project is to improve the quality of water in the Palić-Ludaš water system so that a “potentially natural state” can be established, taking into account that people live in the catchments of lakes and use the adjacent land.
  • The programme objective can be subdivided into three sub-goals:
    • The protection of biodiversity in the area of Palić/Ludaš through the construction of a green buffer zone with an integrated cycle path and bird watching towers and measures to promote indigenous flora and fauna (bio-manipulation – selective fishing of invasive species)
    • Hygienic disposal and treatment of wastewater at cost-effective and socially acceptable prices, including improved nutrient elimination, through the extension of sewerage network at the village of Palić and refurbishment of the existing WasteWater Treatment Plant in Subotica.
    • Institutional capacity building of the Municipality of Subotica, Public Utility Company “Vodovod i kanalizacija Subotica” and the Public Enterprise “Palić-Ludaš”.


  • Renaturation of the lake (and surrounding areas),
  • Increased touristic potential.
  • Improved municipal wastewater collection and disposal
    • 17 km of new sewerage network in Palić settlement
    • 1 new sewerage pumping station in Palić settlement
    • 4.9 km new pressure main to transport wastewater from Palić settlement to WWTP
  • Improved municipal wastewater treatment
    • Additional phosphorus removal from wastewater at WWTP Subotica, achieved through construction of phosphorus removal unit
  • Creation of buffer zones at lakes Palić and Ludaš
    • Establishment of a green belt buffer zone around lakes for a total area of 32 ha
    • Establishment of a service road around the lakes, for machinery access
    • Construction of bicycle lane around lake Palić and bird watching towers
  • Balancing fish population in Lake Palić
    • Supply of motorboat and fishing equipment
    • Mass fishing campaign of invasive species and stocking up of indigenous species
  • New maintenance machinery for green belt and laboratory equipment for monitoring of lake quality procured

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