The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas

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DANUBEPARKS STEP 2.0 is a continuation of the DANUBEPARKS project, the objective of it being to strengthen the network of protected areas along the Danube River as a platform for the preservation of the natural heritage of the Danube (Anchoring the Danube River Network of Protected Areas as Platform for Preservation of Danube Natural Heritage)

DANUBEPARKS STEP 2.0 has the task of developing a sustainable organisational structure of network members, of conducting activities of the international action plan for the preservation of the white-tailed eagle and to set up a database of the umbrella species – the black poplar, the bank swallow, the little ringed plover. In collaboration with the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River or ICPDR this project is meant to raise awareness of the strategic importance of the Danube and the dynamics of river morphology. The results should improve the inter-sectoral and integrated approach to management and ultimately develop a basis for the promotion of protected areas along the Danube River as a leading destination for eco-tourism.


Project activities

WP1 - Managing the project
WP2 – Communication activities
WP3 - Sustainable international platform for environmental protection
WP4 – Flagship species
WP5 – River morphology
WP6 – Quality upgrading for tourist services



WP1 - Managing the project

In this project the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park Public Institute is taking part as partner in all activities. The project is being conducted from October 2012 to September 2014. It brings together 15 partners from 8 countries and 17 observer partners. The leading partner in the project is the Donau-Auen National Park of Austria. Through the implementation of the DANUBEPARKS STEP2.0 project, the protected areas along the Danube will jointly consider the problems and the challenges, set up thematic working groups, swap experience, draw up cross-border strategies and implement internationally important pilot projects.




WP2 – Communication activities

Communication at the local and regional levels is the objective of this activity, and it includes the establishment of communication tools such as an intranet, internal newspapers, exchanges of staff among the protected areas and study visits. This activity includes the continuation of the art competition Chance for a Beautiful Blue Danube. All project activities will be covered in the media.


(Nature protection along the Danube River – Cooperation without borders, PDF, 3.83 MB)



WP3 - Sustainable international platform for environmental protection

One of the objectives of the project is to increase the network to 20 partners by the end of the period of the project. In order to expand the DANUBEPARKS network on a higher strategic level, the shortcomings of the network will be analysed, potential partners will be identified and a procedure for the selection and involvement of new partners – protected areas of the main tributaries of the Danube.
Activities of this working package will bring together experts from all areas related to the management of the basin, and reinforce and strengthen project management. Support of international institutions for certain DANUBEPARKS documents points up the growing role of the network in international politics. The new framework of work came to the fore when the European Strategy for the Danube valley region was adopted (EUSDR), which made and is still making additional efforts to ensure a powerful voice for the preservation of nature at the international level. This activity should strengthen institutions that manage protected areas, including an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses to make the management of projects still more effective and assist each protected area to consider possible improvements in its management structure.
Also anticipated is exchange of experience with the network of Alpine Protected Areas (ALPARC), the Carpathian Network of Protected Areas/Carpathian Convention). ALPARC is given in the EU Danube Strategy as a good example for the long-term development of a network of protected areas and it is expected that positive impressions and experience will be transferred with the sharing of experience.

(DANUBEPARKS - Danube River Network of Protected Areas - Draft statutes of the Association DANUBEPARKS, German/English PDF, 6.69 MB)

(Enlargement Strategy - Towards the Completion of the Danube River Network of Protected Areas, PDF, 796 KB)



WP4 – Flagship species

Because of habitat loss and degradation, the black poplar has become a rare and endangered species. This project looks for the establishment of a database (mapping) of the distribution of the poplar along the Danube and its tributaries, sampling of leaves for genetic and morphological examination and improvement of the cultivation and planting of local genotypes in nurseries in collaboration with forestry institutions. The first black poplar afforestation projection will be carried out in Slovakia and Bulgaria.

The DANUBEPARKS STEP 2.0 project calls for activities implementing protection measures from the white-tailed eagle protection action plan.
There will be workshops and meetings of interest groups and collaboration with the Council of Europe / Berne Convention in order to define joint priorities and responsibilities for future activities.

(Variability of European Black Poplar (Populus nigra L.) in the Danube Basin, PDF, 4.45 MB)

(Istraživanje morfoloških i genetskih karakterisitka crne topole (Black poplar) i kartiranje prisutnosti na području Parka prirode Lonjsko polje, PDF, 1.71 MB)

(Molecular Analysis of Black Poplar (Populus nigra L.) Population Variability using Molecular Markers, PDF, 4.70 MB)



WP5 – River morphology

The DANUBEPARKS project has shown what it can do in the successful monitoring of the sand swallow and the small ringer plover on the Danube (2010) as indicator species for defining the morphological state of the river. In this project, mapping of the birds will continue, and it is planned to involve the general public, to raise awareness of the preservation of the rivers’ morphologies and their natural processes. Considering the key role of the Danube protected areas in the preservation of river habitats, the ICPDR invited the DANUBEPARKS STEP 2.0 project team to take part in the upcoming project of the International Commission the Joint Danube Survey 2013, mapping the bank swallow and the small ringed plover.

(Indicators for River Dynamics, PDF, 1.07 MB)

(Istraživanje bregunica i kulika sljepčića na rijeci Savi od Siska do Stare Gradiške, PDF, 652 KB)

(Istraživanje bregunica i kulika sljepčića na rijeci Savi od Siska do Zagreba, PDF, 970 KB)



WP6 – Quality upgrading for tourist services

In order to present the protected areas of the Danube River and its tributaries as an ecosystem with great potential in the development of nature tourism and as important ecological educator, collaboration among partners in the project is needful, as is collaboration with other organisations (PanParks, EuroParcs). The point of joint planning and the involvement of all the partners is to ensure the promotion of the Danube as a tourist destination and to raise the level of the tourist competence of each individual protected area. The DANUBEPARKS STEP 2.0 project has the task of preparing the key elements to ensure the promotion and preservation of the values of the projected areas of the Danube, of organising assessment tours, defining common guidelines for the tourist product, determining carrying capacities and set up visitor centres. In the context of these actions, in the Dunav-Ipoly National Park in Hungary, for the first time there is joint work on the development of the tourist product and strengthening the links between individual visitor centres in the protected areas. In addition, digital info-counters will be set up at which it will be possible to acquire basic information about the natural values of the Danube and collaboration within the network.

(Environmental Education in Protected Areas along the Danube - Guidelines & Checklists, PDF, 762 KB)

(Danubeparks nature trail concept, PDF, 5.69 MB)

(Evaluation of Carrying Capacity in the DANUBEPARKS - Network of Protected Areas - Final Report, PDF, 4.31 MB)