Press Releases

    UNIS/INF/8
    26 April 2004

    Alcoa Foundation Assists in Cleaning up the Danube

    VIENNA, 26 April (UN Information Service) -- The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) today announced that it had received a US$ 100,000 grant from the Alcoa Foundation, to support trans-boundary water management in the Danube River Basin. The announcement was made at a press briefing in Vienna.

    “To effectively manage water resources and to reduce pollution, there is a need for expanded technical capacity to monitor the quality of the water”, said Philip Weller, Executive Secretary of the ICPDR. “Only if we know what is in the water, can we develop strategies to remove these pollutants and the Alcoa Foundation is assisting us in these efforts”, he added.

    The grant is designated for the purchase of technical equipment for water research institutions to support trans-boundary water management on the Crisuri river in Romania, in co-operation with Hungarian Authorities. With the new technical equipment, the local laboratory in the Northwest of Romania will be able to fully participate in the Transnational Monitoring System (TNMN) managed by all the countries in the Danube Basin. The TNMN is an integrative monitoring system for microbiological, biological and chemical substances.

    "Alcoa’s grant to the ICPDR reflects our commitment to the environment, which is based on the principle of sustainable development," said Juerg Furrer, Director, EHS (Environment Health and Safety) Europe. "At Alcoa and all our worldwide facilities, we are not just in the business of making aluminium, but in safeguarding the communities and environment in which we live and work."

    The cooperation between the ICPDR and the Alcoa Foundation began in 2003. In June last year, the Foundation donated a Total Organic Carbon/Total Nitrogen Analyzer to the National Institute for Marine Research and Development in Constanta, Romania, at the mouth of the Danube in the Black Sea. This equipment is fully integrated into the TNMN and is working to keep the Danube clean.

    The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is an inter-governmental platform which facilitates cooperation between all the Danube basin countries (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine), as well as the European Commission. The ICPDR aims at reducing the pollution levels of the Danube and working towards sustainable use of the water and the natural resources of the Danube Basin, for the benefit of its people.

    The Alcoa Foundation, established in 1952, is a global resource that actively invests in improving the quality of life in more than 32 countries around the world where Alcoa operates. The Foundations' grants address global and local needs in areas of excellence that include: conservation and sustainability, global education and workplace skills, business and community partnerships and safe and healthy children and families. The Foundation manages the ACTION and Bravo! employee volunteer programmes.

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    For further information:

    Jasmine BACHMANN, ICPDR Secretariat at UNOV
    E-mail: jasmine.bachmann@unvienna.org, Home  Page: http://www.icpdr.org

    Dave BOUFFARD, Director Communications Europe at ALCOA
    E-mail:  dave.bouffard@alcoa.com, Home Page: http://www.alcoa.com