2008 Review

Danube Day 2008: The Danube Rivers - Let's use them, not abuse them!

Danube Day 2008 was a huge event, engaging and motivating people to act for positive change for their rivers. With more events than ever before - 169 in 14 countries - it mobilised countries, communities and organisations to make a difference for the Danube Basin. Tens of thousands of people enjoyed events that stretched across the region. Huge river festivals; fun educational events; boat trips and bank clean-up days combined with ministerial events, public meetings, conferences and exhibitions. Through media campaigns, basin-wide events, sponsorship and organisers' hard work, Danube Day reached hundreds of thousands of people.

Sustainable use was the 2008 theme, with the slogan: "The Danube Rivers - let's use them, not abuse them!" It reminded us that we must use rivers in a way that doesn't compromise our ability to use and enjoy them in the future. Young people were the focus for many activities, empowering them to shape a positive future for the Danube. Scroll down to see details of how each country celebrated in 2008.

International highlights

  • World Water Expo at Zaragoza, Spain
    Ripples from Danube Day spread across the globe as the event was celebrated at the 2008 World Water Expo, the biggest water festival on Earth. The ‘Blue Danube Waltz' got people dancing for the river and visitors collected stamps in special Danube Passports.
  • Danube Art Master schools competition
    This 14-country artistic extravaganza inspired children across the basin to create beautiful art for the Danube. Won this year by two Slovak children, Tomas Spusta and Martin Kratochvíl, 2008 marked the fifth year of the DEF-ICPDR competition which has resulted in the creation of over 14,500 artworks. Download the press release announcing the 2008 winners:Danube Art Master 2008 Press Release 113.07 KB
  • Danube Photo competition
    Focussed on "The Danube and its Tributaries", three photographers won the 2008 IFN Master Photographer competition. Winning entries were "Good Catch" by Switzerland's Max Rupff; "Sonnenbad" by Austria's Erich Stiglitz; and "Boats of Silence" by Romania's Dorian Hodorogea. Selected entries were exhibited at the UN Vienna International Centre and go on to tour Danube countries in 2009.
  • Vukovar Film Festival
    Spectacular Danube scenes were on-show at the 2008 Vukovar Film Festival, the result of a new collaboration between the ICPDR and the Danube focussed international film event.
  • Danube Box
    2008 saw the ICPDR's Danube Box education kit launched in Romania as part of a programme to provide it to all Danube children. Romanian State Secretary for Environment and Sustainable Development, Lucia Ana Varga, went 'back to school' for the launch event, with children acting as the teachers during a Danube lesson. See also: www.danubebox.org.