DANUBE VOLUNTEERS DAY - jointly for our Danube natural heritage

The Danube river is a green lifeline and hub for biodiversity in Europe. Over 2,000 plant and 5,000 animal species live in or by the waters of the Danube. Along its course there are some 230 Natura 2000 sites, forming an ecological corridor of outstanding importance.While DANUBEPARKS - The Danube River Network of Protected Areas - preserves the most valuable sites, habitat fragmentation limits efforts to preserve a cohesive ecosystem. Extensions of urban areas, new transport and energy infrastructure as well as the ongoing intensification of the land-use put growing pressure on the natural treasures. More than 80 million people from 19 countries share the Danube catchment area, making it the world´s most international river. People interact with and benefit from the Danube ecosystem services in many ways. However, the awareness for the key role of Protected Areas and the Danube as an inter-related ecosystem is missing. For ten years, DANUBEPARKS has been operating on a macro-regional level, receiving the Natura 2000 Award 2015 “for its concerted efforts to preserve the Danube´s natural heritage“. Building on these achievements, DANUBEPARKS launched the Danube Volunteers Day: At the 1st Danube Volunteers Day in 2017, youth groups, schools, locals, NGOs, companies and the military assisted in the management of valuable dry habitats. At the 2nd Danube Volunteers Day 2018, riparian habitats were cleaned-upp: rubbish was collected and over  2,700 working volunteer hours were put in to improve habitat conditions in 21 Natura 2000 sites. 800 volunteers joined 30 events in all Danube countries and gained new inspiration and awareness. In 2019, the 3rd Danube Volunteers Day aims to anchor this initiative on a long-term.

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