The Danube: Environmental Monitoring of an International River

The Danube: Environmental Monitoring of an International River

The Danube: Environmental Monitoring of an International River

The Danube: Environmental Monitoring of an International River

Synopsis

The Danube river is one of the worlds greatest international freshwater resources, stretching halfway across Europe and passing through 11 countries with a catchment shared by 17 countries. Environmental monitoring is essential to resolving transboundary water conflicts. This publication examines the development of the disputed Gabc¿kovo-Nagymaros project between Hungary and the Slovak Republic, and its progress from the International Court of Justice to the subsequent agreement to joint monitoring and assessment of the environmental implications. The study uses a multidisciplinary methodology combining approaches derived from natural resources management, geography, international relations, political science, and international law, in order to explore the applications of environmental monitoring and data sharing for improving the management of international waters.

Excerpt

Building upon the United Nations University research project on the management of transboundary water resources, this work examines the opportunities and constraints related to the use of environmental monitoring as a tool for providing scientific data and information to support decision making for the sustainable management of shared freshwater resources in a conflictual international environment. Based on original documents and research, the study presents an overview of the development of the environmental monitoring in the middle reaches of the Danube, which was established in the course of the escalation of an international dispute over a water management project on the section of the river that flows as a border between Hungary and the Slovak Republic. the work also examines the results from the monitoring and proposes possibilities for its optimization.

The original Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project (GNP), the key provision of a treaty signed by the governments of Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1977 (see Appendix No. 1) was a joint endeavor for the construction of a system of locks for flood control, navigation, and hydropower generation in the middle Danube. the sociopolitical and economic transformations in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, which began in the late 1980s, and the changes of the respective goals and priorities of both countries turned the gnp into a subject of a heated debate on the environmental implications of the water regulations and at the same time into a political dispute. Currently, only the upper “Gabčíkovo” part of the original twin-dam . . .

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