Danube Day 2018 Exhibition: the Vienna International Centre gets active for a healthier Danube

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Group of people sitting on stage

On 4-6 July 2018, to mark International Danube Day 2018, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, and the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna invited the staff of the Vienna International Centre (VIC) as well as interested attendees and journalists to a series of events for Danube Day.

The International Danube Day was initiated by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), the organisation responsible for achieving a cleaner, healthier and safer Danube River for all citizens to enjoy.
The exhibition showcased some of the highlights of previous and ongoing celebrations of International Danube Day.

On 4 July, the exhibition opened with a panel discussion moderated by UNIS Vienna Director, Martin Nesirky and with the following speakers:

  • Ivan Zavadsky, Executive Secretary, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR)
  • Lorena Feruta, Permanent Mission of Romania to the International Organizations
  • Susanne Brandstetter, Chairperson of the ICPDR Public Participation Expert Group, Unit for Strategic Communication and Information, Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism
  • Veronika Koller-Kreimel, Chairperson of the ICPDR Hydromorphology Task Group, Division IV/3 - National and International Water Management Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism

On 5 July, the exhibition featured a “meet the press” session with special guest Pascal Rösler, who has traversed 2,467 km of the Danube River on his stand-up paddle board (SUP), and felt the incredible power of the water, and the great importance water has for our lives. This expedition was documented in a film “2467 – Eine Reise bis ins Schwarze Meer” which was shown at the UNIS cinema room after the press meeting.  

Why Danube Day?

Danube Day is a celebration of healthier rivers following 24 years of ground breaking international cooperation. During June and July, riverside festivals, public meetings and fun, educational events pay tribute to the Danube River, its people and the progress made. Such events strengthen "Danube solidarity" and show that in spite of different cultures and histories, we have a shared desire and responsibility to protect our precious resource.

Launching Danube Day marked a significant step towards the involving civil society in the process of getting active for the protection of the Danube River. The day is essential for demonstrating the true alliance between the River and its inhabitants in the Danube Basin and beyond. Danube Day mobilises not only targeted stakeholders, but rather a comprehensive and inclusive group.

One day of symbolic unity for the Danube

Danube Day was first celebrated by the ICPDR in 2004 to highlight the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention. Through the joint effort of different organizations, the celebration of Danube Day throughout the Danube River Basin has become an annual event, paying tribute to the Danube.

Although there are a variety of events happening at the international level with Ministers and high-level officials, Danube Day gives provides an opportunity to take these messages to the people and local actors on the ground exposing and allowing them to interact with the youth on these issues. Most importantly, this one coordinated day of simultaneous events taking place throughout the Danube River Basin illustrates the spirit of cooperation of the international efforts of the ICPDR countries.

Source and Editorial: ICPDR, Photo credits: ICPDR