COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC AWARENESS RAISING
Communication and awareness raising have been central to the Danube Regional Project's work. The practical awareness and daily sensitivity of the general public on pollution problems and their transboundary impacts is still very low in most DRB countries. Public communication has been one of the projec's priorities.
To this end, a number of initiatives have been undertaken:
- Preparation of a communication strategy (and good practice sourcebook), which is being implemented. Some of the key interventions of the strategy include building capacity for communication in NGOs (including training of trainers), enhancing media work, clarifying the identity and profile of DRP and ICPDR, sharing good practice, and supporting and developing effective periodicals (e.g. Danube Watch) and other information materials.
- Danube Day was launched. It was a major public event in 2004, and will be followed up in 2005 Phase 2 of the Small Grants Scheme (see above) will emphasise, in the awarding of grants, the importance of public communication.
- A professional media agency has been engaged to generate media coverage of DRP, ICPDR and partner NGOs (including DEF) and their activities.
- A strategic capacity-building plan for communication by NGOs is being prepared.
- Target Audience analysis and Stakeholder Analysis workshop was conducted? updating the Stakeholder Analysis carried out under the Pollution Reduction Programme.
- The NGO small grants projects can have a much wider impact and become more relevant for the public's opinion-making at national and regional scale if they are complemented by public awareness raising campaigns and professionally work with the media, in this respect we will focus especially on these projects during Phase 2.
- The DRP supports the creation of enabling structures for public participation on basin-wide, sub-basin, national and local levels. Public participation strategies for all these levels have been discussed at a joint DRP/ICPDR workshop in Bratislava in April 2003. Following this workshop, a sub-group of the River Basin Management Working Group, including the DRP, ICPDR, WWF, REC and GWEP, developed a Danube River Basin Strategy for Public Participation in River Basin Management Planning, 2003-2009. The ICPDR adopted the strategy for the Danube River Basin level and recommended to the Danube countries to implement the strategy at the other levels as well. This implementation will be continue in Phase 2 of the project.