International Commision for the Protection of the Danube River – an Overview
At the very beginning it is worth mentioning a few facts about the world's most international river basin, the Danube River Basin (DRB). It includes the territories of 19 countries, and is home to 81 million people with a variety of languages and historical backgrounds. The River Danube itself, stretches over 2,780 km between its source in Germany’s Black Forest and the Danube Delta. Floodplain forests, marshlands, deltas, floodplain corridors, lakeshores and other wetlands are essential components in the basin’s biodiversity and hydrology. Many are transboundary in nature and represent valuable drinking water reserves for millions of people. The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) comprises 15 Contracting Parties who have committed themselves to implementing the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC). All Danube countries with territories of 2,000 km2 or more in the Danube River Basin are Contracting Parties to the DRPC. Since its establishment in 1998, the ICPDR has grown into one of the largest and most active international bodies engaged in river basin management in Europe. Its activities relate not only to the Danube River, but also the tributaries and groundwater resources which will be the focus of this chapter.