Nature protection and transport on the Danube <

Wednesday 27 Nov 2013 / Gerelateerde tags: Infrastructure Environment Policy EU 

The Danube River is a lifeline of its region, a backbone for biodiversity as well as a Trans-European waterway. Hotspots for nature protection are bottlenecks for navigation. New EU transport policy (Corridor VII, TEN-T etc.) focuses on Danube waterway development while nature protection directives and legislations like NATURA 2000 have become increasingly relevant in the Danube countries.

These different priorities can create different conflicts in day-to-day river management as well as for long-term perspectives. Past milestones such as the ICPDR Joint Statement on Inland Navigation and Environmental Sustainability in the Danube River Basin and the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region foster an integrated cross-sectorial approach.

Danube Protected Areas play a key role for the conservation of the natural heritage along the Danube, resulting in the transnational co-operation in the Danube River Network of Protected Areas (DANUBEPARKS). At the same time, the Danube waterway administrations – key actors for the maintenance of the Danube – established a closer cooperation under the umbrella of the NEWADA initiative.

The DANUBEPARKS Network stresses that river hydrology and morphology are determining parameters for the long-term development of river and floodplain ecosystems, and NEWADA has defined the ecological perspective of the Danube as one of the main project pillars, besides creating common standards for an integrative and modern waterway management.

To build up and to strengthen a platform for closer cooperation, the Cross sectorial Conference on River Morphology and Ecological River Management conference was organised on 16/17 October 2013 in Hainburg (Austria), to foster an integrated approach in the field of river management. The workshop aimed at proactively identifying possible fields of cooperation, to boost concrete Danube-wide cross-sectoral initiatives as best practice examples for river management and to create ideas and visions for the wise future management along the Danube River while preserving its natural values. 40 experts from 8 Danube countries, representing the nature conservation as well as the inland waterway sector participated in cross-fertilization group workshops and a field visit in a rubber boat.

The conference demonstrated the willingness and interest of both sectors to proceed with the integrative process, a follow-up cross-sectorial project meeting will be held in April/May 2014.

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