Press Releases

    UNIS/INF/128
    9 March 2006

    62 Danube NGOs Get $636,000 to Reduce Danube Pollution

    VIENNA, 9 March (UN Information Service) -- The Danube Regional Project (DRP) today awarded more than US$ 636,000 to 62 NGOs for their efforts to reduce nutrient and toxic pollution in the waters of the Danube. The main sources of nutrient pollution are agriculture, municipal wastewater and industry. The NGO projects were launched in 11 Danube River Basin countries -- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

    The money was awarded via the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), an international organization. Funds have been allocated to five multi-country projects aimed at building bridges between stakeholders near the Hernad River in Hungary and the Sebes-Koros river in Romania; increasing public participation in managing the Sava River Basin; promoting best agricultural practices to reduce pollution from farming in Lower Danube countries and communicating the advantages of reusable diapers and environmentally-friendly detergents in Croatia and Slovenia.

    At the national level, 57 projects will be supported. Examples include: reducing pollution from Danube tributaries such as the Drina, Ipoly, Maramures, Prut, Sava and Zitova rivers; campaigning for and promoting organic agriculture in Vukovar, Croatia, the Morava River Basin in the Czech Republic, Subotica in Serbia and Montenegro, and Moldova; promoting best agricultural practices to eliminate nutrients and toxins in Croatia, Hungary and Serbia and Montenegro; promoting environmentally-friendly detergents in the Czech Republic and Slovenia; and implementing new wastewater cleaning systems for households and farms in Slovenia.  

    "The work that these NGOs will do in raising awareness about water pollution is crucial for us," said Kari Eik of the United Nations Development Programme - Global Environment Facility (UNDP-GEF) Danube Regional Project (DRP). "The people of the Danube have a right to be informed about the quality of their water. Their countries have agreed to clean these waters by 2015 to conform to international policy."

    This second round of DRP grants builds on its first round of 65 grants which started in 2004. "Key successes from the first round included the protection of Slovakian wetlands, improved trans-boundary water protection between Moldova and Ukraine, and raising awareness among 200,000 residents in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina," said Entela Pinguli, Grants Manager, The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC).

    Note to Editors:

    What is the Danube Regional Project? The overall goal of the Danube Regional Project (DRP) is to improve the environment of the Danube River Basin, protect its waters and sustainably manage its natural resources for the benefit of nature and people. The DRP helps 13 Danube countries implement the Danube River Protection Convention primarily through reducing nutrient and toxic pollution and strengthening trans-boundary cooperation in the most international river basin in the world. Through its partnerships with governments, industry, NGOs and local communities, the DRP provides both technical and financial support. It also ensures, through sophisticated public participation and communications activities, that all Danube stakeholders are aware of relevant issues and can put their concerns into action.

    Who manages these grants? The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) manage this granting programme through its head office in Hungary, in cooperation with its offices in 10 countries listed above. The autonomous REC Moldova coordinates and implements the grant programme for Moldovan NGOs.

    For more information:

    UNDP-GEF Danube Regional Project: Contact Paul Csagoly, paul.csagoly@unvienna.org , (tel) +43 1 26060 4722, (mob) +43 664 561 2192, www.undp-drp.org

    The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe: Entela Pinguli, Epinguli@rec.org , Tel: +36 26 504 065, Fax: +36 26 311 294, www.rec.org

    More info and background materials:

    http://www.rec.org/REC/Programs/NGO_Support/Grants/RegionalDanubeGrants/

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