From the Black Forest Mountains to Sulina, the Danube has shaped over time 10 countries and countless communities and cultures. Today, 83 million people live in the Danube river basin, of which over 20 million depend directly on the Danube for drinking water. Rivers and streams play a vital role for millions of people and along them, wetlands play a key role in maintaining water quality and are essential types of ecosystems for migratory fish species.
However, up to 87% of global wetlands have been lost in the past 300 years, 1/3 of those just since 1970. This loss has significantly contributed to the huge loss of species populations over the same period. Also the Danube and its main tributaries have seen 80% of their wetlands disappear over the past 150 years and river flows are also interrupted. Damage to the river has mainly been caused by diking, river regulation and damming to meet the needs of hydroelectric power, navigation, agriculture and flood prevention projects.
Therefore, the proposed MEASURES Strategy emphasizes the need for green infrastructure to manage the risk of floods and nature-based solutions, such as ecological restoration of wetlands and of riparian forests. Thus, both people and migratory fish thrive. Communities have cleaner water, lower air temperatures and green spaces for recreation, while protecting livelihoods such as fishing and sustainable aquaculture.
Moreover, the MEASURES Strategy advises to improve the participation of the general public, all stakeholders and supporting national networks for migratory fish in shaping these solutions.