Inland Navigation and Environmental Sustainability in the Danube River Basin

The process for achieving a "Joint Statement on Development of Inland Navigation and Environmental Sustainability in the Danube River Basin" was launched at the meeting held on April 25-26, 2007, in the Orth an der Donau, near Vienna (Austria).A variety of stakeholders is involved in the process, including representatives of governments dealing with navigation and environmental protection, environmental protection agencies, business, and environmental NGOs.

The process, which is a joint initiative of the ICPDR, Danube Commission, and the Sava Commission, is to be realized during the year 2007. In this period, following two more meetings planned, the Statement should be prepared, including a set of guiding principles and criteria for development and maintenance of navigation in the Danube basin, in a way that effectively protects and improves the environmental situation.

The meeting focused on making a basis for development of the Statement, namely on the following three topics:

(a) possibilities for bringing ecology and inland navigation together;
(b) legal and policy framework, and
(c) example of an integrated river engineering project (the Danube section east of Vienna).

The Sava Commission was presented at the meeting by the Chairman, Mr. Kemal Karkin, and the Secretary, Mr. Dejan Komatina. They expressed, in their short addresses, a strong interest for an active participation of the Commission in the process, and for an overall success of the process, mentioning two main reasons for this: a natural link between the Danube and Sava rivers, and the scope of work of the Sava Commission that covers both navigation and environmental issues.

A proposal of Mr. Karkin and Komatina for organization of the third meeting within the process by the Sava Commission, tentatively on October 4–5, 2007, was accepted at the meeting.