Danube River Protection Convention

The Convention on Co-operation for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the River Danube (Danube River Protection Convention) forms the overall legal instrument for co-operation and transboundary water management in the Danube River Basin.

The Convention was signed on June 29 1994, in Sofia, Bulgaria, by eleven of the Danube Riparian States – Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine – and the European Community, and duly came into force in October1998, when it was ratified by the ninth signatory.

The main objective of the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC) is to ensure that surface waters and groundwater within the Danube River Basin are managed and used sustainably and equitably.

This involves:

  • the conservation, improvement and rational use of surface waters and groundwater
  • preventive measures to control hazards originating from accidents involving floods, ice or hazardous substances
  • measures to reduce the pollution loads entering the Black Sea from sources in the Danube River Basin

The signatories to the DRPC have agreed to co-operate on fundamental water management issues by taking "all appropriate legal, administrative and technical measures to at least maintain and where possible improve the current water quality and environmental conditions of the Danube river and of the waters in its catchment area, and to prevent and reduce as far as possible adverse impacts and changes occurring or likely to be caused."



  • » Contracting Parties
    The ICPDR comprises 15 Contracting Parties who have committed themselves to implement the Danube River Protection Convention. The final goals are to co-operate on fundamental water management issues and to take all appropriate legal, administrative and technical measures to maintain and improve the quality of the Danube River and its environment.
  • » Expert Groups
    Expert Groups are a backbone of the operation and the success of the ICPDR. They are formed by national experts from the Contracting Parties and representatives of ICPDR observer organisations. Eight Expert Groups deal with a variety of issues and make recommendations to the ICPDR.
  • » Permanent Secretariat
    The Secretariat of the ICPDR is located at the UN Office Vienna, Austria. A team of approximately 10 staff members supports the work of the ICPDR and its expert groups, assists project development and implementation, and maintains DANUBIS, the ICPDR Information System.
  • » Observers
    The active involvement of the public is a core principle in sustainable water management. This basic fact was recognised when the Danube River Protection Convention was developed and signed in 1994. To date, 24 organisations hold observer status and through this, cooperate actively with the ICPDR.

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