In November 2017all members came together to elect a new management board. Carl manzano, Director of Donau-Auen National Park has been re-elected as DANUBEPARKS President.
Despite severe human alterations, the Danube River still is of transnational importance to protect biodiversity in Sout-East Europe, and represents a major ecosystem on European scale. The Protected Areas along the Danube preserve and restore the most valuable habitats, thus safeguarding an important part of Europe’s natural heritage for future generations.
Consequently, already in 2017, DANUBEPARKS – the Danube River Network of Protected Areas was founded to boost transnational and Danube-wide efforts for nature conservation, river restoration and nature education.
After the successful implementation of two Danube wide EU-Projects, the DANUBEPARKS Association was founded in 2014 to provide a more stable framework of cooperation and a stronger joint voice. 12 full members and four observer members provided a solid ground for collaboration and experience exchange. Carl Manzano, Director of Donau-Auen Nationalpark has been elected as President and Georg Frank has been appointed as General Secretary. Since then the DANUBEPARKS office was located at Donau-Auen Nationalpark.
Meanwhile, DANUBEPARKS continued to grow and today consists of 16 Protected Areas from nine Danube countries. In November 2017 all members came together in Ruse (Bulgaria) for the General Assembly and to elect a new management board. The management board is the elected body steering the operational work of the organisation and has to be elected every three years, according to the associations’ statutes. Carl Manzano (Donau-Auen National Park, Austria) has been re-elected as DANUBEPARKS President, Stela Bozhinova (Persina Nature Park, Bulgaria) and Vlatko Rožac (Kopački Rit Nature Park, Croatia) as Vice-presidents. Radmila Šakić (Vojvodinasume, Serbia) and Thomas Schneider (City of Ingolstadt, Germany) represent.
The 10 years anniversary has already been celebrated in July in Kopački rit (Croatia). “One of our guiding principles has been that nature conservation along the Danube needs cooperation without borders. The experience of the last ten years, proved us to be right“, explains Carl Manzano, Director of Donau-Auen National Park, and DANUBEPARKS President after his election.
The current project, funded by the Interreg Danube Transnational Project, fosters ecological connectivity by bridging the Danube Protected Areas towards a Danube Habitat Corridor. The initiative shows that DANUBEPARKS continues with intense experience exchange and cooperation and the development and implementation of cross-border and Danube wide nature conservation strategies and measures.