Danube Day 2012: Get active for the Rivers!

“All our lives connect to water: we drink it, we swim in it, we cycle along the shores of rivers, transport goods on ships, generate electricity from water. If we want to continue using water so intensively, we have to look after it”, says Dr. Wolfgang Stalzer, ICPDR President of 2012. “The ICPDR has the vision of using water and its related resources sustainably: bringing the needs of people, animals and plants into balance.” Danube Day, which encourages people throughout the Danube River Basin to participate in the spirit of “get active for the rivers”, is an annual event organised by the ICPDR and nationally through its contracting parties.

Therefore, Danube Day has many faces: every country celebrates it through local, often personal means. Street festivals in Belgrade, lectures in Romania, Facebook-organised flash mobs in Austria – the basin’s diversity is reflected in these manifold events. A flagship event this year will be a tour of Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, through the Danube Region. Over time, Danube Day has grown into the biggest river festival in the world. With the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, the European Union has recently dedicated a great deal of attention to this area.

More then 230 events were held in 2011 with ten thousands of participants, and Danube Day 2012 will build on this success. Essential for this growth is a fruitful cooperation between the ICPDR and the Coca-Cola system: the Green Danube Partnership. Find more information about local events in your country on www.danubeday.org.

About Danube Day

Danube Day is celebrated on June 29, the signing date of the Danube River Protection Convention, throughout the Danube river basin. Folk celebrations pay tribute to the vital role the Danube and its tributaries play in people’s lives: providing water, food, power, transport, recreation and prosperity; while drawing attention to the importance of conservation. Danube Day was first held in 2005 and has grown from one year to another ever since. In 2011, it saw 230 events in all of the Danube River Basin countries, and involved 440 schools, 750 partner organisations and ten thousands of participants.

Activities such as water-related games, field trips, round tables, seminars and workshops, competitions, etc. help people bond with their Danube. Well-known celebrities and artists show their dedication to protecting the environment and help inspire everyone to take action for the Danube in their every-day lives. Danube Day is supported by the “Green Danube Partnership” between the ICPDR and the Coca Cola system, comprising of The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Hellenic.

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