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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 30th, 2018
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

On Wednesday, July 4th and Thursday, July 5th I have attended an event designed to mark the Danube Day 2018 at the Vienna International Center at the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

The event was organized by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, and the United Nations. The program was as follows:
Danube Day 2018 “Get active for a healthier Danube!”
Wednesday, 4 July and Thursday 5 July 2018
Vienna International Centre (VIC), Rotunda
Wagramerstrasse 5, 1220 Vienna

Programme:

Day 1: Wednesday 4 July
1 PM – 2 PM, Rotunda, VIC
Welcome and exhibit opening by Ivan Zavadsky, Executive Secretary, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR)

Remarks by Susanne Brandstetter, Chairperson of the ICPDR Public Participation Expert Group, Unit for Strategic Communication and Information, Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism

Remarks by Veronika Koller-Kreimel, Chairperson of the ICPDR Hydromorphology Task Group, Division IV/3 – National and International Water Management Austrian Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism

Remarks by Cristian Istrate, Permanent Representative of Romania to Austria, Permanent Mission of Romania (tbc)
The event is moderated by Martin Nesirky, Director, UNIS Vienna.

Day 2: Thursday 5 July
10 AM – 12 AM, Rotunda, VIC

The exhibition featured a “meet the press” session with special guest Pascal Rösler, who has traversed 2,467 km of the Danube River on his stand-up paddle board (SUP), and felt the incredible power of the water, and the great importance water has for our lives. This expedition was documented in a film “2467 – Eine Reise bis ins Schwarze Meer” which was shown at the UNIS cinema room, (German with English subtitles) after the press meeting.

The exhibition was open at the Vienna International Centre until 1pm Friday 6 July 2018.

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The International Danube Day was initiated by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), the organisation responsible for achieving a cleaner, healthier and safer Danube River for all citizens to enjoy.

The exhibition showcases some of the highlights of previous and ongoing celebrations of International Danube Day. It is a celebration of healthier rivers following 24 years of ground breaking international cooperation. During June and July, riverside festivals, public meetings and fun, educational events pay tribute to the Danube river, its peoples and the progress being made. The events strengthen “Danube solidarity”: in spite of different cultures and histories, we have a shared desire and responsibility to protect our precious resource.

The Danube River Basin is the most international river basin in the world, covering 817,000 kilometers and embracing 18 countries. From the Black Forest in Germany to the Black Sea at the Romanian–Ukrainian border, it is home to over 80 million people. The Danube and its tributaries, the Inn, Morava, Drava, Tisza, Sava, Iskar, Siret and Prut, are rivers of life, providing people with water, food, power, livelihood, recreation, and a commercial link to the rest of Europe. The rivers are a unifying force, bringing together communities with very different cultures, languages, and histories.

On the second day I attended the “Meet the Press” with special guest Pascal Rösler, an Austrian activist, born on the bank of the Danube in Austria. Pascal has traversed 2,467 km of the Danube River on is stand-up paddle board (SUP) from Germany to the Black Sea in Romania. It took him 62 says and in his words he felt the incredible power of the water, and the great importance water has for our lives. His journey was documented in a film “2467 – Eine Reise bis ins Schwarze Meer” which was later shown at the UNIS cinema room.

Pascal was very emotional about his trip, and is committed to continue to work further to promote awareness of the important of clean water in the Danube for generations to come.

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