Position on Danube navigation

A living river for people and nature!

WWF supports navigation on the river alongside many other vital uses, from drinking water to supporting biodiversity to flood protection. WWF does not want the Danube to simply become a numbered transport corridor or a highway to the sea.
WWF developed a vision for the Danube together with several NGOs from the region in October 2009 at a workshop in Ruse, Bulgaria.

Our vision of the Danube River is a lifeline where ecology and river users/uses (including navigation) thrive hand-in-hand to provide life and ecosystem services, as well as continue supporting the livelihoods of the people who live in the Danube basin.

We appreciate the role inland navigation plays as a contribution to the European transport sector and recognize that it satisfies specific social and economic needs of Danube states.

river engineering projects for improving the conditions of inland navigation should only be implemented or continued if they:

  • Guarantee and regain functioning ecosystem processes (amount, quality and timing of water and sediment flows required by ecoregion specific freshwater and estuarine ecosystems and human livelihoods to sustain themselves)
  • Respect socio-economic needs of regional and local economies
  • Prove that they meet all legal requirements, in particular compliance with the non-deterioration clause of the European Union's Water Framework Directive (WFD) as well as achievement of the environmental objectives of the Danube River Basin Management Plan and Natura 2000 sites.
  • Do not require new dams or barrages on waterways.

If these conditions are not met, then WWF strongly urges that the navigation project be changed or stopped.

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