The Third Ministerial Meeting of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) took place on February 9, 2016, in Vienna, Austria. The European Commission and high-level representatives responsible for water management from the 14 countries of the Danube River Basin endorsed two management plans, and also adopted a declaration. Both the “Danube River Basin Management Plan Update 2015” (DRBM Plan) and the “First Danube Flood Risk Management Plan” aim to ensure cleaner, healthier and safer waters for everyone to enjoy. The initiatives have a six-year timeframe and follow the EU Water Framework Directive and the EU Floods Directive.
Pledges made at the meeting include 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. The measures taken will improve the overall purity of rivers, lakes and groundwater; provide thriving lake and river ecosystems for animals and plants; and reduce flood risks. With more than 80 million people living in the region under consideration, the new plans mark a continuance of previous strategies that have addressed some particularly difficult challenges and achieved many positive results.
The plans affect more than 80 million people living in the region and continue the path of the previous plans, which concluded with many positive results. In order to ensure broad acceptance, the EC and country representatives elaborated the plans in the frame of the ICPDR with a comprehensive set of public consultation measures involving environmental NGOs, the business community and other key stakeholders. Awareness raising measures and education — through an online game for children, for example — get the general public involved in supporting the water management work of the ICDPR.
The new Danube Adventure game helps kids to learn more about this beautiful river and its surroundings. Informative environment-related questions about the region and cities on the river are grouped into appropriate segments of the river basin: i.e. upper, middle and lower courses. By choosing the right answers, players collect points and interesting rewards like avatars and badges that can be displayed in an attractive album. By inviting friends to join in the fun, players can compete against each other for obtaining the highest score, or play together in groups to learn more about the Danube. As part of the game exciting mini-games and activities are designed to help young people learn about natural habitats and how to protect our aquatic treasures.