Ramsar Convention delegates receive WWF's Danube album
14 photographers from Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and France contributed images to the album.
“The end result is an excellent portrait of the river with its incredible diversity of life. Besides the pictures, the album contains texts that sketch the history and natural heritage of this part of the Danube”, said Andreas Beckmann, Director of the WWF Danube-Carpathian Programme.
“The Lower Danube and Danube Delta have been the focus of WWF’s conservation efforts in the region for the past two decades. Much has been accomplished over this time and we wanted to introduce these remarkable places to the Ramsar delegates who are perhaps visiting our region for the first time. In a word, this book reveals not only the Danube’s beauty and natural treasures, but also some of the achievements of the past years”, Beckmann said.
In 2000, facilitated by WWF, the governments of Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine agreed to establish the Lower Danube Green Corridor. Twelve years on, Europe’s most ambitious wetland conservation initiative is well on its way, with 1.4 million hectares of valuable floodplain areas under some form of protection.
A similarly ambitious initiative is now underway on the middle Danube, where the governments of Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and Austria have committed themselves to establish another green corridor of protection along the Drava from the Mura to the Danube rivers. When established, the Mura-Drava-Danube, the Amazon of Europe, will be the world’s first five-country UNESCO Biosphere Reserve”.
Just in time for the Ramsar Conference in Bucharest, the Romanian government has officially designated another 1000 km2 of floodplain and wetland areas as sites expressly protected under the Ramsar Convention.
However, some EU and government plans anticipate diking and dredging up to 1000 km of the river, with potentially massive impacts on valuable wetland areas. Another cause for concern are current plans to install hundreds of hydropower plants along all of the Danube’s tributaries, with potentially massive impacts on wetland areas.