The European Union Strategy for the Danube Region and Romanian Scientific Community

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Nov 6, 2013 (4 years and 11 months ago)

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The European Union Strategy for the
Danube Region

and

Romanian Scientific Community

The Danube River is the largest river in the EU (~2 850 km in length); its
drainage basin (~817.000 km
2
) is shared by
eight EU countries (Germany,
Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria and
Romania) and six non
-
EU countries (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Montenegro, Ukraine and Moldova) with a population over 115 million .

The region is facing numerous problems as: environmental threats,
insufficient energy and transport connections, uneven socio
-
economic
development as well as some life safety and security problems.

The Danube River is part of the largest river


delta


sea system of
European Union. The other two components of the system are:


The Danube Delta (
~5 800 km
2
) shared by Romania (~80%) and
Ukraine (~20%)


The Black Sea
(~420.000 km
2
) with six riparian countries: Bulgaria,
Romania, Ukraine, Russian Federation, Georgia and Turkey


The three components of the system (the Danube River, the Danube
Delta and the Black Sea) strongly interact and influence each other

Bl ack Sea

Romania

Ukraine

Russian Fed
.

Bulgaria

Turkey

Georgia

The
European Union

Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR)
was
launched in June 2011. It aims to implement an integrative policy in the
region and to enhance cross
-
border cooperation for achieving a real
sustainability.

The main objectives of EUSDR are: (1) connectivity; (2) protecting the
environment; (3) building prosperity; and (4) strengthening the Danube
Region.

The EUSDR comprises 11 Priority Areas:


To improve mobility and intermodality *


To encourage more sustainable energy


To promote culture and tourism, people to people contacts*


To restore and maintain the quality of water


To manage environmental risks*


To preserve biodiversity, landscapes and the quality of air and soils


To develop the knowledge society


To support the competitiveness of enterprises


To invest in people and skills


To step up institutional capacity and cooperation and


To work together to tackle security and organised crime.

The Scientific Support to the
EUSDR,
as it was defined by JRC, focuses on:


Environmental protection
: climate changes and consequences on
ecosystems state, anthropogenic activities and their impact on
environment; degradation of biodiversity and deforestation, major
floods etc.;


Water use and agriculture development
: In compliance with the EU
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) there are needs (1) to develop
models of integrated landscape management of the river basin and
sustainable land use balancing socio
-
economic development and
protection of nature and (2) to establish a water abstraction
management concept with special attention to water demand
management using new efficient and sustainable water saving irrigation
techniques.


Navigability:

Development of new and more sustainable waterway
management policies as the Danube River is a major inland waterway
from the Black Sea to the North Sea (the 7
th

transport corridor).


Energy production
: Extensive and sustainable use of renewable
energies, including the bioenergy, according to the huge natural
potential of the Danube Region. Establishment of a common energy
market.

International conventions and organisations

in charge with the environmental and sustainable management
of the Danube River


Danube Delta


Black Sea System
(1)


The Danube River

Environmental protection


1985

-

the Bucharest Declaration on Water Management of the Danube
River.


1991

-

the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC). The DRPC and
the Water Framework Directive (WFD) of the EU became the major
legal instrument for cooperative cross
-
boundary water management in
the Danube Basin. The DRPC came into force in October, 1998.


1991

-

the Environmental Programme for the Danube Basin (EPDRB).


1991

-

the Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) in the Danube
.


1998

-

the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube
River (ICPDR) was established for implementing the stipulations of
DRPC, and EPDRB as well as to ensure the sustainable and equitable
management of water resources in the Danube Basin.


2007



the European Floods Directive


integrated flood management.

International conventions and organisations (2)


The Danube River

Navigation


1856

-

The Danube River European Commission was established for
ensuring and improving international navigation on the lower
reaches of the river and the general socio
-
economic development of
the region.


1938

-

the Administration of the Lower Danube, under the
coordination and control of Romania. The Administration was
closed in 1940 according to the so called “Vienna Agreement”.


1948
-

the International Convention of navigation on the Danube
River, signed in Belgrade.


1954

-

the Intergovernmental Danube Commission was established
in Budapest, Hungary. The Intergovernmental Danube Commission
is in charge with ensuring optimal conditions for international
navigation on the Danube River. One of the operational units of the
Commission is the Fluvial Administration of the Lower Danube
located in Galati, Romania.

International conventions and organisations (3)


The Danube Delta


1990
-

the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (DDBR) and the Danube
Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority (DDBRA) were established in
Tulcea under the coordination of the Romanian Ministry of
Environment.


1998
-

the Danube Biosphere Reserve for the Ukrainian part of the
delta (Kilia Delta) was established in Vylkovo under the coordination
of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.


The Black Sea


1992
-

The Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against
Pollution (
Bucharest Convention
). Ratified in the 1994.


1996
-

the Strategic Action Plan for the Environmental Protection and
Rehabilitation of the Black Sea
. U
pdated in 2002 and 2009
.



2004

-

the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against
Pollution (
the Black Sea Commission or BSC
) with its Permanent
Secretariat w
ere

established as intergovernmental bod
ys

of
coordination.


Romanian projects to support EU Strategy for Danube Region


1. Short and medium term projects

1
.
A

-

Global

Change

Atlas

of

the

EU

Strategy

for

the

Danube

Region



a

tool

for

the

stakeholders

in

the

decision
-
making

process
.


The

project

is

proposed

by

the

Institute

of

Geography

of

Romanian

Academy

in

collaboration

with

the

Ludwig
-
Maximilians

University,

Munich

Main objectives:


The Atlas will reflect the current and future situation of the Danube Basin
within a global change perspective


The Atlas will be a tool for decision makers from Danube countries to
respond to the challenges of a changing environment


The Atlas will be a product responsive to the local, national and regional
stakeholders’ requirements and to assure visibility of the Strategy


It will contribute to clearly distinguish the threats and opportunities for
the development of the Danube Region community


The Atlas will identify critical areas in terms of environmental degradation,
industrial decline, poverty and conflicts


1.
Short and medium term projects (2)

1 B. Sturgeon conservation in the Danube River Basin


a complex
environmental
-
economic
-
social approach

Project proposed by the Institute of Biology of Romanian Academy

in
collaboration with an international consortium

Main objectives :


The assessment of health status for habitat and biota in the Middle and
Lower Danube (focus on fish species / and especially sturgeons and their
food resources)


Identification of key habitats for sturgeons and commercially important
fish species and enhancement of their conservation status


Evaluation of potential economic damage of invasive alien species on
sturgeon and commercial fishery and measures for ecological control of
the selected alien species


Promotion of sustainable fishery and non
-
destructive caviar production
by introducing „green labelling”


Ecological education and promotion of green tourism; identification of
alternative income sources for local communities; awareness raising
regarding the need to conserve the biodiversity of the Danube River
Basin

1.
Short and medium term projects (3)

1.C. Aquatic Biodiversity Station in Sulina


Danube Delta


Project proposed by the Institute of Biology of Romanian Academy


1.D.

Danube River Research and Management
-

DREAM

Project proposed by BOKU Vienna, Austria, in collaboration with the
University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest, National Institute of Marine
Geology and Geo
-
ecology
-

GeoEcoMar in Romania and other institutes and
universities from all Danube riparian countries.

Main objectives:


Construction of

two large Responsible River Modelling
Centers
/hydraulic
and environmental engineering laboratories (5000 l/s flow capacity)


Formation of a

cluster of river engineering simulation tools


Establishment of a

network of field study sites along the Danube River and
tributaries


Construction and

operation of a

research vessel with diving shaft


Establishment of a

network of existing and extended

Danube River
Research Institutions

2. Long term projects


2
.
1

Danube

International

Centre

for

Advanced

Studies

in

the

River



Delta



Sea

systems

Case

study
:

Danube

River



Danube

Delta



Black

Sea

System

a

Pan
-
European

Research

Infrastructure

The Danube International Centre will answer to the:

To Priority Areas of the
E.U. Strategy for the Danube Region
as:


The Priority Area 7
-

Specific Action of the Danube Strategic Action Plan
already mentioned:
“To strengthen the capacities of research
infrastructure: To establish joint international research centres for
advanced studies”
-

a project proposed by Romania focusing the Danube
River and the Danube Delta.


Connecting the Danube Region (added value


interconnection with ALL
Europe);


Protecting the Environment in the Danube Region;


Building prosperity in the Danube Region;


Strengthening the Danube Region

To
Europe 2020 strategy


all 5 major goals

(employment, innovation,
education, poverty reduction and climate/energy
)

The
Danube International Centre for Advanced
Studies for Rivers


Deltas


Seas




Will represent a new Pan
-
European Research Infrastructure that
would gather and integrate excellent expertise and facilities in
Europe;


Will represent the needed HUB for a new European focus to
characterize a complex river
-
delta
-
sea system of continental
importance (Danube


Black Sea) and interconnect other
centres dealing with less complex systems around Europe
(NODES)


The
Danube International Centre for Advanced Studies for
Rivers


Deltas


Seas

would provide excellent accessibility to
the most important and true
Natural Laboratory in Europe :
Lower Danube


Danube Delta


Black Sea.




The
Danube International Centre for
Advanced Studies for Rivers


Deltas


Seas

is not only the solution to European political
priorities


but also a needed and agreed
research infrastructure from an ever
increasing number of EU universities and
R&D institutions


“The actors”


Initiative



Present



(Near) Future

“The actors” (institutions)


Initiative




Present





To improve the sustainable, innovative and adaptable
management of wetlands, deltas, lagoons and coastal
ecosystems by studying in deep the processes influencing
the evolution environmental state of the River


Delta


Sea systems


To increase the involvement of local communities in the
sustainable management of wetlands


To develop knowledge based economy to support the
economic growth of Danube


Danube Delta


Black Sea
region without disturbing its natural biodiversity

Major goals

Scientific mission


Assessing the river
-
delta
-
sea macrosystems`
characteristics and reference state of environment


Global climate changes and related consequences for
river
-
delta
-
sea macrosystems


Ecosystem response to climate change


Effects of increasing human activities on river
-
delta
-
sea
macrosystems


Changes in Societal Demand on river
-
delta
-
sea
macrosystems






Scientific domains

Life sciences:

-

Ecosystem assessment and monitoring; restoration
strategies, nature conservation, modelling, simulation and
hypothesis testing etc.

Earth sciences:

-
Origin & evolution of D
-
DD
-
BS system; geodynamic
processes; oceanography, hydrology and sedimentology;
geo
-
hazards and risk assessment; modelling regional
impact of climate change etc.

Socio
-
economic sciences:

-

Assessing the changes in society demand; natural
resources assessment and valuation; anthropogenic impact
on ecosystems goods and services; development scenarios
and measures for sustainable use


A.
Permanent education



common international
programmes will contribute to harmonising teaching systems
across the D
-
DD
-
BS region; the ecological education will
increase awareness on the environmental values and the
need to preserve it


B.
Environmental laws and regulations



provides tools for
the implementation of EU policy for environmental protection


C.
Green products and technologies



focus on the
valorisation of natural resources in the D
-
DD
-
BS system
according to the sustainability principles


D. Impetus for
new R&D technologies and equipments and
ICT

Additional issues

Distributed Research Infrastructure


Hub

(Danube
Delta)

Node

Node

Node

Node

Node

Node

(
Example

of connecting hub and nodes in function of request)

International
Centre

Tulcea

Sulina

Kilia

St.George

Sulina

Murighiol

Location of the Danube International Centre for
Advanced Studies on River


Delta


Sea Systems

Danube Delta

WHY DANUBE DELTA?

Position: interface between the Danube River (the most
international river in the world, over 2 800km in length) and the
Black Sea


Unique place:



the largest delta of
the European Union

(~6 000 km
2
)



less affected by human activities



high biodiversity (over 30 types of ecosystems)


Conservation status:

Ramsar site (1991)

Biosphere Reserve

UNESCO MAB Program

UNESCO World Heritage site


site

WHY MURIGHIOL?

Location
: placed on the Danube River (St. George arm, within the
Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, the location was selected from
11 sites)

Access facilities
: by road and by the Danube River, immediate
access to the Danube Delta, access to the coastal zone and to the
Danube River.

Land availability
:
Murighiol Local Council approved about 10
hectares area for the Centre

Other already existing major facilities that will be used by the
Centre since the beginning

R/V “Mare Nigrum”


3 000 tdw

R/V “Istros”


for river and
coastal sea research

Laboratory boat “Halmyris”

for the Danube Delta research

The Centre will:


become an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure
Consortium) from the legal point of view


have an international management


have an International Scientific Board


have an International General Council with participation of
Stakeholders and NGO
-
s



Principles of Centre’s functioning as
Pan
-
European distributed Research
Infrastructure

The Danube International Centre for Advanced Studies on River


Delta


Sea Systems: case study the Danube River


Danube
Delta


Black Sea System
is considered by the Romanian
Government as a project of national priority

Short term plan (end of 2013
-

2014)

Final
Version of the White Book


a scientific and
structural Framework Programme of the Centre

Drilling
reference

borehole

(100 m depth) inside
Murighiol Centre location

Designing, obtaining official approvals and starting
works on
building No.1 of the Centre


2014


application of the Danube International Centre
as
ESFRI ENV Pan
-
European Distributed
Research Infrastructure



Mid
-
term plan 2014


2020 (structural funds
-

construction)

Construction


Phase 1



late 2014


2015


Basic constructions


to add to already existing
facilities and infrastructures from other partner
countries


Buildings for field research activities on the river


delta


sea system



Administrative building of the Centre and office
building for scientists


Main logistics

Mid
-
term plan 2014


2020 (structural funds
-

construction)

Construction

Phase 2



2016


2017


Specialized high
-
tech laboratories


as agreed in the
ESFRI Proposal

Phase 3



2018


2020


Specialized high
-
tech laboratories


as agreed and
resulted from the Preparatory Phase.


Research Vessels to replace existing fleet for
studying the river, delta and sea



GENERAL VIEW OF THE DANUBE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE

2. Long term projects



2
.
2
.

MARINEGEOHAZARDS

-

Black

Sea

Early
-
Warning

System


Romania
-
Bulgaria

cross
-
border

project

with

four

participating

institutes
:


from

Romania
:

the

National

Institute

of

Marine

Geology

and

Geo
-
ecology



GeoEcoMar

and

the

National

Institute

of

Earth

Physics
;


from

Bulgaria
:

the

Institute

of

Oceanology



Varna

and

the

Geological

Institute

-

Sophia,

both

from

the

Bulgarian

Academy

of

Sciences


The Black Sea Early
-
Warning System


MARINEGEOHAZARDS
will be composed of two networks forming sub
-
systems:


The
EUXINUS network
-

the Black Sea regional early
warning system to marine
-
geohazards


The
GeoPontica

-

the first on
-
line geodynamic surveillance
network in the entire Black Sea region


1. The EUXINUS network
-

the Black Sea regional early
warning system to marine
-
geohazards


Components of the
EUXINUS cross
-
border
infrastructure
:




Network of 5 complex, fully
automatic marine stations
(buoys) with automatic
equipment for measuring the
characteristics and the
dynamics of water masses

.



Interconnected, national co
-
ordination Centres
,
located in Constanta, Romania and Varna, Bulgaria. The
Centres will be provided with common decision support
software and technical means to evaluate and forecast
marine geo
-
hazards

The EUXINUS network
-

the Black Sea regional early
warning system to marine
-
geohazards

(continuation)




Regional capability for marine seismic monitoring and surveillance
comprising
:



-

real
-
time on
-
shore equipment (3 marine seisimicity monitoring
systems, 1 coastal gauge, 5 strong motion seismometers and 5
extensometers);


-

specialized seismic devices operated from the Romanian R/V
Mare Nigrum and the Bulgarian R/V Akademic (7 Ocean Bottom
Seismometers and 1 Marine seismic acquisition system)


The GeoPontica network will include:

-

18 on
-
line geodynamic stations located along the Romanian
-
Bulgarian coast;

-

2 coordination Centres located in Constanta, Romania and Varna,
Bulgaria

2. The GeoPontica network
-

the first on
-
line geodynamic
surveillance network in the entire Black Sea region

With GeoPontica, the MARINEGEOHAZARD project is setting up
a cross
-
border infrastructure that will establish an unitary
reference system based on information from the geodetic
networks and the tide
-
gauges in Dobrogea


Romania and
Bulgaria.

Based on ETRS (EU Terrestrial Reference System) and EUVN
(EU Vertical Reference Network), GeoPontica will provide
information on:


Vertical movements of the Earth crust as isostasy,
epeirogenetic up
-
lift, subsidence, sediment compaction;


Horizontal movements of the Earth crust due to global
tectonics (motion of the lithosphere plates) or relative
movements of tectonic blocks;


Changes of the mean sea level position.

The Marine
-
geohazards project will enter
from the
beginning major EU Observing Systems and ESFRI
projects:



LIFE WATCH

-

Science and technology infrastructure for
biodiversity data and observatories


European Plate Observing System (EPOS)
-

Research
Infrastructure and
e
-
Science for Data and Observatories on
Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Surface Dynamics and Tectonics.


EURO
-
ARGO Research infrastructure for ocean science and
observations



EMSO European multidisciplinary seafloor observation
infrastructure


GOOS


Global Ocean Observing System, specifically Black
Sea GOOS, and EOS


Earth Observing System

Thank you for your attention