Danube Watch 2/2019 - [Re] Discover Danube: Public Involvement / Awareness JDS4


[Re] Discover Danube: Public Involvement/ Awareness JDS4

In addition to scientific and technical goals related to water quality monitoring, JDS4 is an opportunity to increase public awareness of water protection and conservation issues throughout the Danube River Basin. The ICPDR's experience with local, national and international outreach is informed by its three previous surveys over the last 18 years. During that time, news of the JDS has been featured in many of the most widely distributed newspapers, listened to radio programmes and watched TV stations in the Danube countries.

In 2019, ICPDR's outreach goals are significantly greater as a result of new processes JDS activities are engaged in at the national level, increasing the responsibility of those who best know the local regions, cultures and opportunities. This year, more people than ever could discover the importance of the Danube and the national and international protection efforts, and genuinely come out for a good time on the Danube!

The JDS4 website (www.danubesurvey.org) is continuing its commitment to sharing its results online, along with various stories and pictures, updated for the more international, more locally-sensitive and more educational style adopted in 2019.

JDS4 Events

With this increased focus on communications and public engagement, this year's Joint Danube Survey has already started off on the right foot with JDS4- related events taking place all along the sampling site route.

a man standing next to a bicycle

The official kick-off for JDS4 took place in Budapest this year, beginning the Danube-wide survey with an afternoon press conference held in the heart of the Hungarian capital. Among others, the deputy mayor of Budapest and the Hungarian State Secretary for the Interior were in attendance for this event that was held on the 27th of June on Margatsziget (Margaret Island).

a young man riding a skateboard up the side of the water

JDS4 launched in Austria on the 10th of July 2019 in two different locations along the Danube. At the sampling station in Wolfsthal, presentations and discussions with scientific experts were held. Later on, in Hainburg, a key location for the 2019 action for sampling Macrozoobenthos (small animals living on or in sediment), demonstrations of the sampling procedure and equipment were undertaken. These demonstrations were complemented by various discussions and talks from JDS4 experts on Phytobenthos, Phytoplankton and Zooplankton.

a group of people standing next to a body of water

Czech Republic
On the 20th of June 2019, the Open Door Day of the Water Research Institute in Prague was held from 9:00- 17:00. This event kicked off JDS4 in the Czech Republic, and included a lecture and Q&A session about JDS4, as well as some takeaway materials available to any and all interested members of the public.

a woman looking at the camera

In 2019, the launch of JDS4 in Ukraine went hand in hand with the launch of Danube Day and the celebration of the Danube Herring Festival on the 29th of June in Kiliya, on the Danube Delta. Water managers at national and regional levels presented and answered questions in Kiliya regarding a new national WFD-compliant system of surface water monitoring, which entered into force in 2019. Experts from the Dnipro basin, within the framework of the EU's Water Initiative project, shared information on the status of the Dnipro RBMP preparation. The connection of the JDS4 and Joint Black Sea surveys was also highlighted, the latter also due to take place in 2019, within the framework of the EU/UNDP project, “Improving Environmental Monitoring of the Black Sea: selected measures” (EMBLAS-Plus). Speakers at the event included:

  • Mykola Kuzyo – Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine
  • Iryna Ovcharenko – Head of State Agency of Water Resources of Ukraine
  • Johannes Baur – First Counsellor, Head of Operations Section, Economic Cooperation, Energy, Infrastructure and Environment, Delegation of European Union to Ukraine
  • Yunona Videnina – Thematic Communication Leader EUWI+
  • Jaroslav Slobodnik – Coordinator of the Joint Danube Surveys 4 and Joint Black Sea surveys
a group of people posing for the camera

This year, Bavarians also celebrated JDS4 in conjunction with Danube Day on the 29th of June and in close partnership with their Austrian neighbours. The festivities took place at the “Haus am Strom” in Untergriesbach, very close to the Austro-German border in Jochenstein, a short distance from Passau.

a group of people in a small boat in a body of water

An article about JDS4 will be published in a special edition of the magazine Hidrotehnica. This special issue was also dedicated to Danube Day 2019. To raise awareness of JDS4, the Romanian Ministry of Waters and Forests published a press release on national media channels, presenting the survey to the general public on the 27th of June and circulated further press information a month later. Looking forward, a special press release due to cover the first results of the micro-plastics analysis from the Giurgiu sampling area is expected on the 26th of August and an additional press release on national media channels in September will cover the five month (April-September) special monitoring of micro-plastics carried our in the Galați section of the river.

a man standing next to a woman

In Slovakia, JDS4 was launched in conjunction with Danube Day 2019's celebration with an event on the on 22nd of June 2019 at the Gabčíkovo Dam. Researchers participating in the JDS4 project were on hand to provide information about the JDS event to members of the public. JDS4 was further promoted on ships during cruises on the Danube on the 27th of June as part of the Danube Day 2019 celebrations organised by the Ministry of Environment SR. Furthermore, the story of the Joint Danube Survey was covered in the press, along with a short summary published in the journal for water managers titled Vodohospodársky spravodajca.