1 June 2004
The Danube: Celebrating a European Lifeline
Events Planned Across Danube River Basin to Commemorate First Danube Day on 29 June
VIENNA 1 June (UN Information Service) -- The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) announced the Danube Day at a press briefing today, to be celebrated for the first time on 29 June this year. With this innovative step, the ICPDR intends to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the Danube and the sustainable use of its resources. Danube Day will be celebrated throughout the Danube River Basin, in co-operation with national and local governmental organizations, scientific and environmental institutions.
On 29 June, the countries of the Danube basin (Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Moldova, Rumania and Ukraine) have planned a series of events on the theme of the Danube bridge to the future.
The events include a range of different events, such as water science actions in Regensburg, Germany, a spectacular bridge festival in Vienna, a bicycle tour from Vienna to Bratislava, open citizen discussions in Lanzhot, Czech Republic, a clean-up competition in Esztergom, Hungary, city events in Novi Sad and Belgrade in Serbia and Montenegro, and other events in the Danube towns of Bulgaria and Romania. An international youth competition - Danube Art Master - is being organized in the Danube Countries, where youngsters will be encouraged to build a sculpture with material from the Danube.
The day will provide an opportunity for both serious discussions, and fun, said Philip Weller, Executive Secretary of the ICPDR. A huge international festival will salute the mighty Danube. Danube Day is a tribute to the vital role the river plays in peoples lives: in providing water, power, recreation and livelihoods.
Danube Day marks 10 years since the historic signing of the Danube River Protection Convention by the Danube Basin countries. The international co-operation in the frame of the Danube River Protection Convention has turned into a model, which is respected worldwide. The citizens of Austria, as well as of the other Danube Countries show Danube solidarity, which goes beyond national borders, said Josef Proell, Austrian Minister for Environment and Water Management.
Danube Day is being organized by the ICPDR, the body charged with co-ordinating water management and rational use of the Danube waters. Working closely with the United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility Danube Regional Project and other partners, it is planned as an annual event.
For more information, visit www.danubeday.org
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