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“Protected areas” may include groundwater, drinking water, bathing water and other features, as well as natural species and habitats
The rich and unique biodiversity and riverine habitats along the Danube and its tributaries have been under severe pressure due to human activities since the 19th century.
In order to enhance nature conservation along the Danube, the ICPDR is working to compile an inventory of the species and habitats conserved in protected areas based on a list currently containing 250 sites officially nominated by the Danubian States. The final selection of areas for protection will occur when the European Natura 2000 Network is completed in 2005. Natura 2000 is one of the European Union’s most ambitious environmental programmes.
The map shows 55 protected areas containing aquatic, wetland or waterside habitats of basin-wide importance.
The national laws of Danubian and other European states are crucial factors, since each state is authorised to define the limits, extents and restrictions for every protected area within their territory.
Agreements under international law, such as the Danube River Protection Convention, the Convention on transboundary river courses and lakes, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the World Heritage Convention and others, determine the procedures for the designation of protected areas.
These numbers are based on the findings of the Danube Basin Analysis 2004. The inventory on protected areas is currently updated in the frame of the development of the Danube River Basin Management Plan (according to the WFD). A final version of this Plan including the final inventory of protected areas will be available end 2009. However, preliminary findings on wetlands/floodplain can be found in the draft Danube River Basin Managment Plan.
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