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    For information only - not an official document

    UNIS/OUS/152
    28 June 2012

    Danube Day 2012: Get active for the Rivers!

    Activities for kids, tours with wildlife guides, open days at water research facilities: Danube Day is colourful and diverse.
    On June 29, you can join tens of thousands of people throughout the Danube River Basin and celebrate the most successful river festival in the world.

    Vienna, 29 June (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River) - "All aspects of our lives relate to water: we drink it, we swim in it, we cycle along the shores of rivers, transport goods on ships, generate electricity from water. If we want to continue using water at this level we have to take good care of this valuable resource", says Wolfgang Stalzer, ICPDR President of 2012. "The ICPDR envisages using water and its related resources in a sustainable way by balancing the needs of people, animals and plants."

    Danube Day, which encourages people throughout the Danube River Basin to "get active for the rivers", is an annual event organised by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) in partnership with Coca-Cola Hellenic, The Coca-Cola Company and national partners.

    Michael Llewellyn-Smith, Chairman of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Social Responsibility Committee, said: "It is especially important to not only raise local awareness about conservation but also spread the message across borders because activities in one location affect those elsewhere. In this, we are encouraging businesses to play a role in supporting water protection initiatives."

    Salvatore Gabola, Head of European Public Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company added: "People in Europe are increasingly aware how important it is to our daily lives to have sufficient and safe water resources. The Danube Day celebrates achievements and calls on everybody to do more to support this wonderful river. At Coca-Cola, we want to add our voice to call others to join in the celebration and in the conservation efforts."

    Danube Day has many faces: every country celebrates it through local, often personal ways. Street festivals in Belgrade, lectures in Romania, Facebook-organised flash mobs in Austria - the basin's diversity is reflected in these many and varied events. A flagship event this year will be a tour by Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for Rural Development, in the Danube Region. With the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, the European Union has recently dedicated much attention to this area.

    Over time, Danube Day has grown into the biggest river festival in the world. More then 230 events were held in 2011 with tens of thousands of participants, and Danube Day 2012 will build on this success. Essential for this growth is a fruitful cooperation between the ICPDR and the Coca-Cola system: the Green Danube Partnership. Find more information about local events in your country on www.danubeday.org.

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    About Danube Day

    Danube Day is celebrated on June 29, the signing date of the Danube River Protection Convention, throughout the Danube river basin, to pay tribute to the vital role the Danube and its tributaries play in people's lives: providing water, food, power, transport, recreation and prosperity; while drawing attention to the importance of conservation. Danube Day was first held in 2005.

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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