While the situation has eased in the region, the pandemic continues and necessary measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus. As last year, Danube Day 2021 will mostly be celebrated with online events, except for a limited number of in-person ceremonies and prize-givings. This year, however, is special as Danube Day coincides with the ICPDR’s Stakeholder Consultation Workshop, Our Opinion – Our Danube. The results from JDS4 – the Fourth Joint Danube Survey – the most comprehensive investigative surface water monitoring effort in the world, which takes place every 6 years, were also published just a few weeks ahead of the day.
Held annually, Danube Day celebrates the Danube and the rivers that flow into it, and the vital role they play in providing water, food, power, recreation and livelihood. The day also commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1994. Now more than ever – during a global pandemic where our cities, societies, and lifestyles are being interrupted – preserving water needs to be a top priority.
Over the course of 18 years, Danube Day has grown to become the world’s largest international river festival, usually populating riverbanks with events and activities from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. At the international level, events are coordinated by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), from their Permanent Secretariat in Vienna. ICPDR member countries and partners also organize events at the national level, putting to use their local knowledge side-by-side with the international cooperation.
The ICPDR’s 2021 President, Momčilo Blagojević of Montenegro, said: "It has been an unusual time for the ICPDR and the citizens of the Danube River Basin, just like everywhere in the world. However, the strength of this international cooperation has bolstered the ability of our shared river basin to cope with unprecedented circumstances. It’s a tribute to the ICPDR that during such a difficult time, we have been able to coordinate the process of drafting, revising, and consulting the public during the formulation of the all-important updates to our Danube River Basin Management Plan and Danube Flood Risk Management Plan. They will inform our activity until 2027, and the process has proven the ingenuity and flexibility of our dynamic institution."
The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River is an international organization consisting of 14 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 the tributaries and ground water resources of the entire Danube River Basin, with additional close links with the Black Sea.
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