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    UNIS/OUS/122
    13 December 2011

    Re-issued as received

    Climate Change, drought and the Danube:
    ICPDR tackles major challenges at 14th Ordinary Meeting

    VIENNA, 13 December (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River) - The Danube River Basin faces a range of environmental threats in the light of global warming. In order to find appropriate responses to these threats, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) gathers its 15 members to discuss these issues at the 14th Ordinary Meeting. It takes place in Vienna on the 13th and 14th of December.

    "Healthy rivers are the basis for any development - without clean water, there is no agriculture, no health, no sustainable economy," says Ambassador at Large of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mykola Melenevskyi, this year's President of the ICPDR. "For 20 years, the countries of the Danube have worked with great dedication towards improving the Danube and its tributaries. The Ukrainian Presidency worked towards ensuring further implementation of the Danube River Basin Management Plan, finalization of the Sub-basin River Management Plan for Danube Delta and the adoption and further implementation of the Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan. Ukraine has paid special attention to strengthening an overall international Danube Delta cooperation under the auspices of the ICPDR in order to achieve a good ecological status of Danube Delta.

    Stopping climate change completely is considered to be practically impossible. Adaptation strategies are under discussion world wide. The ICPDR will discuss such a strategy for the Danube River Basin, which is characterized by a high number of countries that have a share in it: no less than 19 countries contribute to Europe's second biggest river. To unite them and to provide a platform for them to join their efforts in protecting the Danube and its associated resources - this is the task of the ICPDR. It coordinates the implementation of the Danube River Protection Convention and important EU Directives.

    In 2012, the Presidency will be passed on from Ukraine to Austria. "Austria with its experience in environmental policy has played a pioneering role in the protection of the Danube. Now there are many challenges concerned with climate change", comments Niki Berlakovich, Minister of the Environment of Austria. "When we will take over the ICPDR Presidency from Ukraine, we will pursue the protection of the Danube with the highest priority."

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    For more information contact:

    Benedikt Mandl
    ICPDR Secretariat
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4373
    Email: benedikt.mandl[at]unvienna.org
    Web site: www.icpdr.org