DANUBEparksCONNECTED - Successful Kick-off conference


The DANUBEparksCONNECTED Kick off conference has been organized on 21st and 22nd of February in Ingolstadt/Germany. More than 100 participants from 11 countries came together to learn more about the new DANUBEPARKS project.

A welcome speech of Christian Lösel (Lord Mayor of the City of Ingolstadt), key notes by Carl Manzano (DANUBEPARKS President), Florian Ballnus ( Priority Area Coordinator, PA 6, EUSDR), Veronika Sikova (Priority Area Coordinator, PA 2, EUSDR) and Gusztáv Csomor (Project Officer, DTP Joint Secretariat), perfectly introduced the audience to the subject.

DANUBEparksCONNECTED consists of 15 project partners and 9 associated partners from almost all Danube countries. It is co-funded by the European Union through the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme and has an overall budget of more than 3 Mio. EUR. The main objective of the project is to expand the already well established DANUBEPARKS network beyond the borders of the protected areas and develop a Danube Habitat Corridor.

Over the next 2, 5 years strategic activities and pilot actions will be implemented on land, water and in the sky. The different Work packages have been presented by the Work package leaders. The main topics of the conference were the work packages DANUBE FREE SKY and WILDisland.

DANUBE FREE SKY ensures collision- free bird migration along the Danube flyway. In the course of the conference the concept of marking powerlines by drones to prevent bird collision has been introduced.

The cross-sector Danube WILDisland corridor protects islands which are flagship habitats for intact river dynamics and home to characteristic species. Each project partner nominated WILDislands within their territory which will not be managed in the future and dedicated to nature protection.

The corner stone of DANUBEparksCONNECTED is the cross-sector approach. Among the participants of the kick off conference were representatives from Danube Protected Areas, NGO’s, energy sector, navigation and water management, local politics and public. The main success of the event is that cross-sector cooperation’s have been established directly at the conference.   

Our partners of the City of Ingolstadt managed to interest the local media in the event which resulted in an article on the front page of the local newspaper “Donaukurier” and a short reportage on local TV.



The presentations are available for download:



DANUBEPARKS - from cross-border cooperation to DANUBEparksCONNECTED
(Carl Manzano, DANUBEPARKS President)


Success stories in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region
(Florian Ballnus,
Priority Area Coordinator PA 6 Biodiversity)    
(incl. statement by Veronika Sikova,
Priority Area Coordinator PA 2 Energy)



The Danube Transnational Programme and the expected role of DANUBEparksCONNECTED (Gusztáv Csomor, DTP Joint Secretariat)


Coordination & Project Management (Project internal session)
Key note, Questions & Answers: Gusztáv Csomor, DTP Joint Secretariat


Technical solutions against bird collision, Oda Wieding, Landesbund für Vogelschutz (LBV)


Implementing DANUBE FREE SKY – objectives and activities, Ion Munteanu, DDBRA, Laura Bischof, Donau-Auen National Park & Georg Frank, DANUBEPARKS


Implementing WILDislands – Balász Tóth, Danube Ipoly National Park & Georg Frank, DANUBEPARKS


Wilderness at European rivers, non-intervention management, Max Rossberg, European Wilderness Society



Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)