International Thiess Riverprize winner 2007
ICPDR Executive Secretary, Philip Weller, said the prize is recognition of the work undertaken during the past 15 years to overcome political and economical obstacles. ‘Hundreds of people throughout the Danube River Basin were actively involved in the ICPDR project which made the Danube River Basin a cleaner and healthier place. We are honoured by this recognition which means a great deal to the ICPDR family’, Philip Weller said.
The ICPDR project has aimed to combat the terrible environmental problems in the Danube River including toxic waste pollution and destructive farming practices brought about by the 45-year long Soviet era. Although many countries along the Danube River are not even part of the European Union, they all agreed to cooperate and meet strict EU water protection laws, showing their commitment to integrated river basin management.
‘Our overarching goal is to witness the rational use of water within the Danube Basin and minimise negative consequences of the 2,780 km Danube on the Black Sea’, Philip Weller said. ‘I would like to thank all those who established and worked on the cooperation in the Danube River Basin including delegates to the ICPDR, Government representatives and non-Government organisations.’
The ICPDR will use the prize money to deliver a presentation at the International Water Association World Water Congress in Vienna in 2008. ‘We will show other water managers the type of activities and results we experienced in the Danube River Basin which will hopefully help them in their efforts. The prize money will enable us to achieve our goals by ensuring communication and activities between Danube countries, stakeholder groups and NGOs remain cooperative and constructive well into the future.’ ICPDR plans to organise a special celebratory event in December this year involving delegates of all Danube countries and representatives from project observer groups.
The Danube project was chosen over three other outstanding Government and community groups from China, New Zealand and Canada.
The International Thiess Riverprize is a partnership between the International Riverfoundation and Riverfestival, an annual 10 day celebration of Brisbane’s river, people, culture and environment. The prize money is funded by the International Riverfoundation and the awards are managed by Riverfestival.