Vienna, 28 June, 2006 – In celebration of “Danube Day” on June 29 a wide range of projects and activities are being undertaken in all 13 Danube countries, as part of a major awareness raising effort.

he Danube river, the second longest river in Europe, supports 81 million people in 13 countries. This major river celebration, which was launched by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) in 2004, intends to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the Danube and the sustainable use of its resources.

The theme for Danube Day 2006 is “Danube: Living Space” and it will be celebrated in cooperation of national and local governmental organizations, scientific and environmental institutions, schools and others.

An important component for the celebrations of Danube Day is the “Green Danube Partnership” which is a private/public partnership to demonstrate business responsibility for the future of the Danube.

The Partnership is founded on the cooperation of the ICPDR, together with The Coca‑Cola Company and Coca‑Cola HBC, and is the result of an agreement signed last year through which an on-going series of joint activities will be conducted to support the protection and sustainable use of the Danube river and its tributaries.

During the past 12 months local partnerships have been developed in Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia. Following the inclusion this year of Austria, activities are now also being extended to the Ukraine and Moldova.

In addition to awareness-raising events, clean-up operations, river tours and exhibitions, a primary focus of the Green Danube Partnership this year is the launch of an extensive education project called the “Danube Box”. It consists in a “teaching kit” that will give local schoolchildren a greater understanding of the threats posed to the river, and the need to preserve water resources. The Danube Box will be launched in Austria on July 5th. It is intended that the educational tool, which the ICPDR will offer to Austrian teachers, will later be made available to school authorities in other countries along the Danube.

Speaking at the Danube Day celebration, Mr Philip Weller, executive secretary of the ICPDR, said, “The ‘Danube Box’ answers a need to effectively communicate information to the younger generation on the importance of the Danube river and its tributaries as part of our natural heritage. Along with the many other attention-raising events and activities, it is expected to prove valuable in giving people a greater understanding about the role rivers play in their lives, and stimulate a heightened interest in respecting, and protecting this great natural resource.”

Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith, board director Coca‑Cola HBC, added, "We take our corporate social responsibilities very seriously indeed, and we have significant operations along the Danube River which contribute to water conservation and to a wider understanding of the concept of sustainable development. Our recent signature of a cooperation agreement with the Duna-Drava National Park authority comes as a direct result of our relationship with the ICPDR and is a leading example of our commitment to sustainability.”

Another major activity underway in the framework of the “Green Danube Partnership” is the establishment of a non-profit entity called “Business Friends of the Danube’. This entity will seek to raise financial support from the business sector to conduct activities under the leadership of the ICPDR.

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For further information: 

ICPDR:

Ms. Jasmine Bachmann

 

 

ICPDR’s website is located at:

www.icpdr.org

Tel: +43 1 26060 4373

Mob: +43 650 514 7 514

 

 

Email: jasmine.bachmann@unvienna.org

Coca‑Cola HBC:

Ms. Ulrike Gehmacher 

 

Coca‑Cola HBC’s website is located at:

www.coca-colahbc.com

Tel: +43 1 66171 2104

 

 

Email: ulrike.gehmacher@cchbc.com

 

 

The Coca‑Cola Company

Mr. Salvatore Gabola

Tel: +32 2559 24 77

Email: Sgabola@eur.ko.com

Note to the Editor:

Danube Day

   Danube Day is an international day honouring the Danube and the rivers that flow into it, paying tribute to the vital role they play in providing water, food, power, recreation and livelihood. Held on June 29, Danube Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention in Sofia, Bulgaria on June 29, 1994.

   Danube Day grows each year to raise awareness about the Danube Rivers – huge festivals on the riverbanks plus public meetings, educational events, and more pay tribute to the Danube Rivers, the people, and the progress that has been made.

   Danube Day demonstrates the need for countries and organisations to join forces and work together. Celebrating Danube Day helps to ensure that the Danube and its tributaries are protected, to be used and enjoyed by generations to come. More information: www.danubeday.org 

ICPDR

The ICPDR (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River) is an international organization consisting of 13 cooperating states and the European Union. Since its establishment in 1998, it 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 ground water resources of the entire Danube River Basin. The ultimate goal of the ICPDR is to implement the Danube River Protection Convention, and make it a “living” instrument. Its mission is to promote and coordinate sustainable and equitable water management, including conservation, and improvement and rational use of waters for the benefit of the Danube River Basin countries and their people. The ICPDR pursues its mission by making recommendations for the improvement of water quality, developing mechanisms for flood and accident control, agreeing on standards for emissions and by assuring that these measures are reflected in the Contracting Parties’ national legislations and are applied in their policies. 

Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A.

Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A., also known as Coca‑Cola HBC, is one of the world’s leading providers of non-alcoholic beverages, and one of the largest bottlers of products of The Coca‑Cola Company. Headquartered in Athens, Coca‑Cola HBC serves a population of more than 500 million people in 27 countries. The company is listed on the Athens, London, New York and Sydney stock exchanges. 

The Coca‑Cola Company

"The Coca‑Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca‑Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1.3 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca‑Cola Company, please visit our website at www.coca-cola.com."