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People living in large areas of the West Balkan region are at risk from contaminated water, heavy metals in the food chain and poor health caused by large coal ash deposits from power stations in the area. The RECOAL project developed and tested new ways to remediate coal ash sites and clean up water supplies. Forest Research focused on the socio-economic aspects of the problem and its remediation through stakeholder involvement.
Forest Research worked with partners from five other European academic research institutions and the power station operator Tuzla from Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Social and Economic Research Group of Forest Research led the social science research activities. These included extensive stakeholder analysis, an impact assessment of different remediation options and the development of decision support tools for use by local authorities.
The fieldwork provided an excellent test bed in which to develop new methodologies and decision support tools which integrate social research with the natural sciences. These tools are be applicable to other applied natural resource research projects in the UK and Europe, in particular those involving the reclamation of brownfield sites.
Funded by the EU Sixth Framework Programme (FP6)
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