Danube/Freshwater Programme

Over the past 150 years, the Danube has been much abused. Dikes, dams and dredging have straightened large sections of the "blue river". More than 80% of the Danube's wetlands have been lost, and with them the rich diversity of fish and other species on which they depend.
Fortunately, over the past 20 years much has changed for the better. Water quality is improved thanks to tougher environmental standards, much of it pushed by the European Union. The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River and the EU Water Framework Directive have given the world's most international river an exemplary framework for governance and integrated river basin management.

At the same time, however, EU and government plans anticipate diking and dredging up to 1,000 km of the river, including its most valuable natural areas. 

Against this background, WWF's efforts focus on:

River basin management: promoting integrated river basin management, largely by participating in the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River and supporting implementation of the EU's innovative Water Framework Directive.

Wetland and floodplain protection and restoration, especially on the Lower Danube and Danube Delta as well as valuable areas on the Tisza, Drava, and Morava tirbutary rivers and sub-basins.  

Sustainable navigation: promoting sustainable approaches to navigation and fighting damaging projects that seek to "fit the river to the ships rather than the ships to the river".

Danube sturgeon: pushing for concerted action to return the Danube's giants from the brink of extinction.

Contact: Dr. Orieta Hulea, Conservation Director, WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme
 / ©: Synthakus Musikproduktion
The protection of the Danube is a central concern for me. Together with WWF and its partners, I want to contribute to preserving this unique heritage for the benefit of people and nature and protecting it from future threats – Musician Hubert von Goisern
© Synthakus Musikproduktion
  • Orieta Hulea is the Head of the Freshwater Programme at the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme.  / ©: Andreas Zednicek / WWF
    Europe's most ambitious wetland project - Interview with Orieta Hulea, Conservation Director of WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme

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