The Danube River is the second largest river in Europe and has a significant impact on the Black Sea. From source to mouth, it passes through 10 countries, while 19 countries share the Danube River Basin (DRB), which makes it the world’s most international river basin.
The DRB is well known for its diverse environment and unique biodiversity including the highly valuable sturgeon species. In the last century however, it has suffered continuous ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss as a result of different impacts such as hydro-morphological changes, climate extremes (e.g. droughts or flood events), eutrophication, acidification and invasive alien species. All of the above are seen as global alterations with far-reaching effects.
Therefore, transboundary cooperation in scientific research and river basin management is crucial for the sustainable development in the Danube and Black Sea region. An important step in this direction is the adoption of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region which focuses on cooperation and aims at meeting the ecological and socio-economic needs of the Danube countries.
The IAD was founded in 1956 with the goal of promoting and coordinating activities in the fields of limnology, water management, water protection and sustainable development in the Danube River basin. So far twelve countries are members of IAD. Since 1998 IAD has been observing and participating actively in the various expert groups of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). IAD was also actively involved in the development of the DRB Management Plan, the Joint Statement for Navigation, the draft Guidelines for Hydropower in the Danube Region, the Sturgeon Action Plan and the Sturgeon 2020 Program.
The 40th Anniversary IAD Conference will provide a forum for the presentation of long-term multidisciplinary research activities and discussions on various topics highlighting the application of ecosystem and sustainable development approaches, which are essential in order to strike a balance between the economic development and protection of the unique environment in the Danube River Basin.
1. Biodiversity – freshwater, riparian and floodplain flora and fauna, conservation, soil diversity and protection
2. Protection and rehabilitation of Danube sturgeons
3. Ecosystem services, wetlands, sustainable use of biological resources
4. Climate change, habitat change, hydromorphology
5. Invasive alien species – early warning, priority species and pathways, risk assessment and management
6. Water quality elements, ecological status, emerging pollutants, microbiology, ecotoxicology, biomonitoring and saprobic systems
7. Ecological functions and integrated basin management of lotic and lentic ecosystems
8. Riparian landscapes, landuse, flood risk assessment, hydrological modelling and restoration
9. Sustainable development and public participation in the Danube and Black Sea region