Credit: DRP/Stögmüller    



Dear Readers,


The Danube was one of the highlights at the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) Third Biennial International Water (IW) Conference held in Salvador, Brazil, this June. The venue was an excellent opportunity to showcase the considerable cooperation and advances in river management achieved by the Danube countries and the ICPDR – supported by the UNDP/GEF Danube Regional Project (DRP).

The DRP has always been seen by the GEF IW community as one of its flagship projects, and this year’s conference provided the opportunity to share some of the important lessons learnt in the Danube Basin that may be of benefit to other IW projects.

The DRP was invited to present at the opening plenary session. My goal for this presentation was first and foremost to raise awareness of the significant achievements of the Danube countries in preparing the Roof Report required to meet the obligations of the EU Water Framework Directive – perhaps the most comprehensive water legislation in the world. I stressed how advanced the Danube Basin is in terms of management compared to other complex international river systems. The importance of the Danube Protection Convention and the role of the ICPDR in delivering effective international, institutional coordination in river basin management were fundamental here.

There was also significant interest in the 95 million USD ‘GEF Strategic Partnership for Nutrient Reduction in the Danube/Black Sea Basin’, which includes the DRP. The partnership is one of GEF‘s largest and most ambitious water-related projects in the world. It supports the goals of the Commissions for the Danube and Black Sea to reduce nutrient and toxic loads to the levels necessary to allow Black Sea ecosystems to recover to conditions in the 1960s. At the conference, it was seen as a pioneering initiative and innovative tool to strengthen synergies among different GEF interventions in the IW Programme. It is also now an example for developing similar partnerships in other world regions.

UNDP/GEF is proud to support work in the Danube and we are proud of the successes – jointly achieved with the countries of the Danube River Basin. We look forward to presenting even more groundbreaking achievements at the 2007 IW conference.

Ivan Zavadsky,
Project Manager UNDP/GEF Danube Regional Project

The production of this issue was made possible through financial support from the UNDP/GEF Danube Regional Project.