Background Reading: Legal and Institutional Frameworks of River Basin Organizations- International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR)
Since its creation, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) has grown into one of the largest and most active international bodies of experts on IWRM, promoting policy agreements and setting joint priorities and strategies to improve the Danube Basin.
The Danube is a truly international river with the diversity in landscapes matched by a high diversity of languages, administrative traditions, religions and cultures. This river basin extends into the territories of 19 countries, comprises of more than 800,000 square kilometers or about 10 percent of Continental Europe, and is home to over 80 million people. Starting in 1991, the GEF/UNDP Danube Basin Environmental Management Program helped the Danube countries generate $3.5 billion worth of investments to improve agricultural practices, municipal wastewater treatment and the management of important wetland areas.
Thanks to this program the Black Sea dead zone has been virtually eliminated and the number of species has almost doubled from 1980 levels. Through this GEF IW intervention, the Danube became a remarkable success story in water quality improvement and regional cooperation.