Vienna hosts 3rd ICPDR Ministerial Meeting

February 10, 2016

Representatives endorse water management priorities for Danube River Basin

The 3rd International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) Ministerial Meeting took place on February 9, 2016, in Vienna, Austria, at the ARES Tower.

During the meeting, ministers and high-level representatives responsible for water management from the Danube River Basin countries and the European Commission endorsed two management plans and adopted a declaration.

STANDING TOGETHER: Ministers and other high-level participants of the 3rd ICPDR Ministerial. Photo: ICPDR

The "Danube River Basin Management Plan Update 2015" (DRBM Plan) and the "1st Danube Flood Risk Management Plan" (DFRM Plan) were developed in line with the EU Water Framework Directive and the EU Floods Directive. The aim of both plans is to ensure cleaner, healthier and safer waters for everyone to enjoy. The foreseen measures will be implemented over a six-year period, ending in 2021: the goals are to improve the purity of rivers, lakes and groundwater; make rivers and lakes thriving ecosystems for animals and plants; and to manage flood risks. The plans include measures such as the development of wastewater treatment plants to reduce pollution, the construction of 146 fish migration aids, and the opening of retention spaces to mitigate flood damage.

Better together

SPEAKING UP: Statements from ICPDR observers. Photo: Jovanka Ignjatovic

Active involvement between multiple stakeholders is one of the core principles of sustainable water management, and this rings true also for the Danube Basin. Thus, the ICPDR event brought together different actors from the basin, including organisations such as the REC, which holds 'observer' status to the ICPDR. Over the years, the REC has cooperated actively with the ICPDR on a wide range of environmental and water management issues.

On behalf of the transnational organisations, the representative of the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC) presented a statement, which includes the following message from the REC:

"The implementation of measures from regional to local level; integration issues such as environmental protection and adaptation to climate change; public participation and raising awareness in topics such as IWRM and flood prevention; are matching relevant areas of expertise of the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe."