Call for Danube River Network of Protected Areas



Appeal for the Development of the Danube River
Network of Protected Areas
signed 19 April 2007, Tulcea, Romania

The representatives of the protected areas undersigned, meeting in Tulcea at the occasion of the International Workshop of UNDP/GEF Danube Regional Project,

Sharing the common mission of the conservation of natural resources and heritage of international interest for current and future generations;

Considering that Danube River and its protected areas represent an unique natural area with ecological, scenic scientific and cultural significance of international importance which emphasizes the need for cross-border cooperation for their conservation and wise use throughout the entire Danube River Basin;

Sharing the conviction that parks and protected areas can play a key role both in conserving and enhancing the Europe's natural and cultural heritage and in charting the path towards more environmentally sustainable lifestyles ;

Taking into account especially the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Co-operation for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the Danube River (Sofia, 1994) and the reinforcement of the principle of joint action from Danube countries to protect and restore the water quality and environmental conditions of the Danube river ecosystem;

Aware that individual actions of protected areas administrations are not sufficient to conserve the ecological systems of the Danube;

Convinced that further international actions aimed at maintaining the ecological functions of the natural areas, ensuring sustainable use and development, preventing and reducing pollution and further damage to the Danube's wetlands should be taken as part of a progressive and coherent programme in order to protect the Danube environment;

launch the initiative of developing a
to co-operate as follows:

1. To take concerted action and develop an active Network of Protected Areas within Danube River Basin that will expand the co-operation, co-ordination, consultation and strengthen links between the national administrations of protected areas of Danube riparian countries aiming to enhance nature conservation of Danube River Protected areas.

2. To undertake joint programs and take all suitable measures to ensure the wise management of the Danube Protected Areas, through both the management of land and water and through the dissemination of practical information ;

3. To exchange, enhance and promote expertise in the management of natural sites in order to improve knowledge on:

a) the status of the Danube Protected Areas,
b) the experiences gained through the application of best practice in and beyond the boundaries of protected areas;
c) actions for prevention, control and reduction of pollution in the floodplains and wetlands in the Danube basin;
d) habitat and species protection and management methods
e) economic, social and environmental impacts on the Danube Protected Areas .

4. To promote awareness of the international importance of Danube River natural sites through joint initiatives and improve knowledge of the natural and cultural heritage of protected areas within Danube river Basin;

5. To seek partners locally and nationally as well as internationally in order to co-operate and assist in the creation and maintenance of a Network of Protected Areas in Danube River Basin.

6. To take efforts to promote sustainable development and ecological imperatives in sectorial policies and in mobilizing national or European funds for environment;

7. To influence the implementation and future development of public policies, programmes and EU Directives on the international level, to the benefit of protection of the natural heritage assets and thereby increasing support for their future protection.

The basis for co-operation between the network parties will be the joint use of their complementary networks, knowledge, approaches and skills to help develop and support protected areas in Danube River Basin, while respecting each other's separate identity, distinctive character and individual programme.

For the interim period the undersigned representatives nominate Mr. Carl Manzano to officially represent the Danube River Network of Protected Areas in international fora to bring in the interests of the Network.

The parties agreed to meet again in autumn 2007, in Visegrad to elaborate in detail the working program for the coming years.
We invite other protected areas to join this initiative.

Signed in the city of Tulcea, on 19 April 2007.

Paul CONONOV, Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, Romania

Andrey Matveyev, Danube Biosphere Reserve, Ukraine

Maria Dakova, Srebrana Biosphere Reserve, Bulgaria

Biljana Panjkovic, Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia

Szabolcs Zavoczky, Duna-Drava National Park, Hungary

Jan Kadlecik, State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic

Carl Manzano, Donauauen National Park, Austria

Thomas Schneider, Auen Institut Neuburg, Germany

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
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2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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