26 June 2009

The Danube River: Shared Water - Joint Responsibilities

International Danube Day, 29 June 2009

VIENNA, 26 June (UN Information Service) - The joint responsibility for the river's water and resources by all countries and communities sharing the Danube Basin is the focus of the 6th annual International Danube Day on 29 June.

With the theme "Shared Waters - Joint Responsibilities", many educational, entertainment and recreational activities will be held in all Danube Basin countries around International Danube Day. The Day is coordinated by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). Governmental and non-governmental institutions throughout the Basin will organize festivities, river clean-ups, competitions, workshops, conferences and special events for young people.

The highlight this year is the ICPDR Stakeholder Forum, which will be held on 29-30 June in Bratislava, Slovakia, on the occasion of the ICPDR Presidency of Slovakia. Interested stakeholders from sectors including agriculture, industry and environmental organizations will discuss the management of the Danube as outlined in the draft Danube River Basin Management Plan. This plan is the core element of the European Union Water Framework Directive, which is the centre piece of the EU environmental water legislation aiming at improving the water environment. "This Forum demonstrates that the principle of 'joint responsibility' can be brought into practice," says Olga Srsnova, ICPDR President and General Director of the Division of Waters and Energy Sources at the Slovak Ministry of Environment. "To manage our water responsibly is not only an objective for government. It requires the action of all different users, from the person filling their swimming pool to the farmer applying fertiliser to the fields."

International Danube Day events in all countries are also supported by partners from the business community, in particular the Green Danube Partnership, which was formed by Coca-Cola Hellenic, The Coca-Cola Company and the ICPDR in 2005. Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith, Board Director of Coca-Cola Hellenic, and Chairman of its Corporate Social Responsibility Committee, says: "Throughout Coca-Cola Hellenic operations in 28 countries, we have found that one of the most effective ways to protect and preserve precious water resources is to partner with others. In conducting and supporting Danube Day events we seek to convey this message so that people and other businesses will be inspired to join with us and to engage, to the benefit of the communities of the Danube, in water conservation efforts that will bring about real, long-term change."

International Danube Day commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1994, and has grown each year to become one of the largest river festivals in the world.

To find out more about International Danube Day events being held this year, please visit: http://www.danubeday.org

A special website for the ICPDR Stakeholder Forum in Bratislava, including an on-line questionnaire, is available at: http://www.icpdr.org/participate


Note to the Editor:


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, it has grown into one of the largest and most active international bodies engaged in river basin management in Europe. Its activities relate not only to the Danube River, but also to the tributaries and ground water resources of the entire Danube River Basin.

The ultimate goal of the ICPDR is to implement the Danube River Protection Convention, and make it a "living" instrument. Its mission is to promote and coordinate sustainable and equitable water management, including conservation, and 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 on standards for emissions and by assuring that these measures are reflected in the Contracting Parties' national legislations and are applied in their policies.

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For further information, please contact:

Jasmine Bachmann
ICPDR Secretariat
Mobile: (+43-676) 845 200 220
Email: jasmine.bachmann@unvienna.org

Website: www.icpdr.org