10 December 2008

Winners of International Danube Photo Competition Announced

VIENNA, 10 December (UN Information Service) - Three photographers have won the 'IFN Master Photographer 2008' titles of honour in the International Friends of Nature (IFN) Photo Championship 2008 competition, entitled "The Danube and its Tributaries".

The winning selections are: "Guter Fang", or "Good catch" picturing a fish primed for cooking, by Switzerland's Max Rupff for the colour category; "Sonnenbad" with a man sunbathing on a Danube raft, by Austria's Erich Stiglitz for the monochrome category; and "Boats of Silence" on a sunset Danube, by Romania's Dorian Hodorogea for the digital/slide category.

The announcement and presentation of the prizes was made at the United Nations in Vienna today by Manfred Pils, President of the IFN and Saša Dragin, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Serbia and President of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). The competition was carried out in cooperation with the ICPDR which has its Secretariat at the Vienna International Centre.

"Our goal for the competition was to give photographers from all over the world the chance to help make a wordless bridge between peoples throughout the Danube River Basin, and to raise awareness of the importance of the EU Water Framework Directive," says Mr. Manfred Pils, President of the International Friends of Nature (IFN). 

The winning entries as well as 80 more pictures from the contest are being displayed in an exhibition in the Rotunda of the Vienna International Centre from 10-19 December. During 2009 they will be shown at different locations along the Danube including in Tulcea, Romania on Danube Day, observed on 29 June 2009.

"We are pleased to support this high quality competition and the devoted photographers that participated," said Mr. Dragin. "The many excellent photographs will surely help in raising the importance of the wonders and issues in the Danube Basin."

The competition, by linking the countries, landscapes and peoples along the Danube with the Danube Delta, is part of the overall activities related to the "Danube Delta - Landscape of the Year 2007-2009" project. Every two years since 1989, the IFN proclaims a trans-boundary, ecologically valuable and endangered European region as Landscape of the Year. Its principal aim is the sustainable development of the region selected through seeking to strike a balance between the implementation of practical projects, the organisation of events and hands-on activities for participants as well as political consciousness building and lobbying at the regional, national and international level. (Visit: www.landscapeoftheyear.net/danubedelta).

Private sector sponsors who supported the photo competition include FuessAudiovision, Kodak, Julius Escher Fotogroßhandel and Foto-Video Sobotka.

International Friends of Nature (IFN)

With over 500,000 members in 50 member and partner organizations, the Friends-of-Nature movement, founded in 1895, is one of the largest non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide. Its work is focused on shaping the sustainable development of our societies ( www.nfi.at/index.php)


International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR)

The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is an international organization consisting of 13 cooperating states and the European Union. Since its establishment in 1998, the ICPDR has grown into one of the largest and most active international bodies of river basin management expert in Europe. ICPDR deals not only with the Danube itself, but also with the whole Danube River Basin, which includes also its tributaries and the ground water resources.

The ultimate goal of the ICPDR is to implement the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC) and make it a living tool. Its ambitious mission is to promote and coordinate sustainable and equitable water management, including conservation, improvement and rational use of waters for the benefit of the Danube River Basin countries and their people. The ICPDR pursues its mission by making recommendations for the improvement of water quality, developing mechanisms for flood and accident control, agreeing standards for emissions and by assuring that these are reflected in the Contracting Parties' national legislations and applied in their policies ( www.icpdr.org).

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For further information, contact:

Paul Csagoly, ICPDR Secretariat
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4373
Mobile: (+43-699) 1064 1856
Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5895
Email: paul.csagoly@unvienna.org
Website: www.icpdr.org