Danube Watch 3/2020 - Community Commitments: ICPDR Observers

Community Commitments: ICPDR Observers

ICPDR Observers as of 2021

  • Black Sea Commission (BSC)
  • Carpathian Convention
  • Central Dredging Association (CEDA)
  • Danube Competence Center (DCC)
  • Danube Civil Society Forum (DCSF)
  • Danube Commission (DC)
  • Danube Environmental Forum (DEF)
  • Danubeparks
  • Danube Tourist Commission (DIE DONAU)
  • Danube Sturgeon Task Force (DSTF)
  • European Anglers Alliance (EAA)
  • European Barge Union (EBU)
  • European Water Association (EWA)
  • Friends of Nature International (NFI)
  • Global Water Partnership (GWP/CEE)
  • International Association for Danube Research (IAD) International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD)
  • International Hydrological Programme of the UNESCO (IHP/Danube)
  • International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC)
  • RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands
  • Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC)
  • VGB PowerTech e.V. (VGB)
  • viadonau
  • World Wide Fund for Nature – Danube-Carpathian Programme (WWF-DCP)

Environmental protection is a community responsibility, and the active involvement of the public was one of the core principles of sustainable water management acknowledged by the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC) when it was signed in 1994.

The ICPDR has shown that public participation in decision making is central to gaining broader support for its work towards healthier water bodies. The input of stakeholders is vital to developing management strategies that really work. Thus, in keeping with commitments to engage the public, the ICPDR maintains a close relationship with a variety of organisations – representing public interest – defined by the DRPC as “Observers”.

To date, 24 organisations hold observer status – representing private industry and intergovernmental organisations – and through this status, cooperate actively with the ICPDR.

Observers represent a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the Danube River Basin, covering social, cultural, economic and environmental interest groups adhering to the goals of the Convention. The connective tissue between observers and the ICPDR is a shared ‘community responsibility’, essential to achieving long-term sustainable water management goals.

Institutionally, observers can comprise interest groups, non-government organisations (NGOs), and intergovernmental organisations.

While observers are not granted decision-making rights, they actively participate in all meetings of ICPDR expert and task groups, as well as plenary meetings (Standing Working Group and Ordinary Meetings). Active participation means that delegates of observers have both access to information, including all technical meeting documents, as well as the right to contribute to all discussions. The continuing dialogue with stakeholders has been an important element of the success of integrated river basin management in the Danube River Basin. As of 2020, there are 24 organisations approved as observers, all of which had the opportunity to contribute to the development of this management plan through the relevant expert groups, task groups and plenary meetings.

Next: Danube Watch 3/2020 - The Nuts and Bolts: What Our Public Consultation Looks Like

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