The Danube Black Sea Task Force (DABLAS) was set up in 2001 with the aim to provide a platform for cooperation to ensure the protection of water and water-related ecosystems in the Danube and the Black Sea. This was in response to a Communication adopted by the European Commission in 2001, which highlighted priority actions required to improve the environmental situation in the region.
The DABLAS Task Force comprises representatives of the countries in the region, the ICPDR Secretariat, the Black Sea Commission, International Financing Institutions (IFIs), the EC, interested EU Member States, other bilateral donors and other regional/international institutions. Also the civil society is involved in the various tasks carried out by the DABLAS Task Force.
Its overall goal is to develop financing mechanisms for the implementation of investment projects for pollution reduction and the rehabilitation of ecosystems in the wider Black Sea region.
Under the leadership of the DABLAS TASK Force a first project was imitated to prioritize water sector investment projects addressing nutrient reduction. 113 out of a total of 158 potential municipal sector projects were evaluated in terms of their environmental impacts, impacts on the Black Sea, potential financing, technological efficiency and compliance. Total financing of more than EUR 2,500 million is required for the implementation of the 113 projects.
In 2004, a DABLAS project assisted the ICPDR in evaluating the accomplishments realised in 11 countries in the Danube River Basin, in terms of policies, legislation, regulations, and investment projects, which have been implemented in line with the ICPDR Joint Action Programme and taking into account EU water related directives, in particular the EU Water Framework Directive.
The compiled information provides a clear picture of the results achieved by the individual Danube countries, the policy and legal reforms under preparation, the gaps to be filled and the investment projects, which need further technical and financial support. The results may also be used as a baseline for evaluating subsequent progress at the national and regional levels.
The ICPDR-DABLAS database was revised in 2005 to include municipal, industrial, agro-industrial, wetland restoration, and agricultural & land use projects. A total of 354 investment projects were assessed in 11 countries in the Danube River Basin (BA, BG, RS, CZ, HR, HU, MD, RO, SI, SK, UA), and an additional 41 projects were identified in Austria (21) and Germany (20). Municipal sector projects (191) account for more than 50% of the total number of investment projects. There are 77 industrial and 32 agro-industrial projects; combined, these two point-source sectors represent 30% of the total. Wetlands and Land Use sector have 40 and 14 projects, respectively. Estimated investment costs for the 354 projects total 3822 million EUR.
The database was developed as an interactive tool to be used for evaluating remaining needs for investments and policy measures on a regional, national, and sector basis. The ICPDR DABLAS database is linked with the ICPDR Emission inventories database.
DABLAS II Report (2.79 MB) Evaluation of Policies, Regulation, and Investment Projects Implemented in the Danube River Basin Countries in Line with EU Directives and Regulations
Inadequate management of municipal wastewater is one of the core problems in the Danube River Basin. The contamination of groundwater and rivers with untreated wastewater can be harmful in many ways and the long-term effects of such pollution reduce biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems, and affect human water uses, such as drinking water sources.
The Joint Action Programme of the ICPDR outlined the specific steps that were agreed to be taken over the period 2001-2005 to achieve the environmental objectives outlined in the Danube River Protection Convention including many large-scale measures to reduce water pollution, to promote nature conservation, to restore ecosystems, and to safeguard the long-term sustainable management of the environment.
The Black Sea is the world's most isolated sea. It is connected to the oceans via the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosphorus, Dardanelle and Gibraltar straits, and linked with the Sea of Azov in the northeast through the Kerch Strait. The catchment area of the Black Sea is six times larger than its surface with the Danube being its main tributary. The Black Sea Protection Commission is responsible for the sustainable management of the Black Sea.