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The danube

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					  The Danube basin
Gabcikovo/Nagymaros conflict
  Some characteristics of the basin
Length : 1 770 mi (2 850 km)

Basin area : more than 312 000 sq mi (800 000 sq km)

Flow at the mouth : 6 500 m3/s

Main tributaries : Inn, Drave, Tisza, Save, Morava, Prout

Main human constructions : Gabcikovo dam. It had very serious
  ecological consequences in Hungary. The Danube is linked to the
  Rhine by the "Europa-Kanal" and to the Oder by the" Danube-Oder
  Canal". The "Main-Danube" enables the communication between
  the Black Sea and the North Sea. 69 hydroelectric dams
Main problems in the danube basin


•   Heigh level of pollution especially in the delta => the ecosystem is in danger.

•   Heigh freqency of floods: the last one was last year and was the 100 year
    flood (march 2002:damage estimated at tens of billions of euros).

•   To many dams built due to the communist ideology which was to control
    mother nature.
        Main problems relative to the
               danube basin

•   Heigh level of pollution especially in the delta => the ecosystem is in danger.

•   Heigh freqency of floods: the last one was last year and was the 500 year
    flood (march 2002:damage estimated at tens of billions of euros).

•   To many dams built due to the communist ideology which was to control
    mother nature.
                 Weight of history
• Crimean war (treaty of Paris in 1856): creation of a european
  commission to control the Danube delta.

• World war one (treaty of Versailles 1919):the european commission
  is confirmed.

• World war two:Nazi germany, communist bloc (created their own
  commission).

• River of coorperation:

   - Establishment of the Environmental Program for the Danube
     River Basin in 1992.
             Weight of history
- Convention on Cooperation for the Protection and Sustainable Use
of the Danube River Basin (DRPC), which was signed in June 1994
by the 11 countries bordering the river and the European Union.

- Strategic Action Plan (SAP) developed and signed in 1994.
    Gabcikovo/Nagymaros conflict
•   1976, the two countries signed the Joint Agreed Plan.




•   Enormous political pressure from environmentalists, they stopped working
    on the Nagymoros dam on July 20, 1989.

•   Czechoslovak Party gave notice to a new provisional solution on August
    31, 1993 -- to divert the Danube on Czechoslovak territory to correct the
    environmental damage that would occur.
   Gabcikovo/Nagymaros conflict
    – The diversion of the Danube River onto Slovak territory will change the
      international boundary between the two countries.
    – Affect Hungarian trade flows because duties may be charged by
      Slovakia to cross their territory on the New Danube River.
    – Environmental impact of diverting the river is immense.
    – Water supplies to some ethnic Hungarian Danube villages will be cut
      off, while others would be flooded.


• In 1992 a European Commission is set up.

• Publication by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) of a study
  warning about the environmental damages caused by the dam.

• On October 29, 1992 both sides agreed to allow the International
  Court of Justice to rule on this matter (The court has concluded that
  both parties committed internationally wrongful acts)
                            Questions
•   When we look at the Gabcikovo/Nagymaros case, what factors affect the
    reaching of an agreement during the building of a dam? How would you
    explain the failure of the agreement between Hungary and Czechoslovakia?

•   Do you think that the era of big dams is over because it is not
    environmentally compatible?

•   The number of members of the European Union has increased recently with
    the admission of Hungary and Czech Republic. Do you think it will improve
    the situation or make it more complicated?

•   The G.N.O (WWF, UNECO etc…) seem to have the power to decide
    whether a project will succeed or not: they can paralyze a project in the
    name of the environment… what role should they play?

•   Does the international community have the right to protect the natural
    treasures of the planet against irresponsible national governments?

				
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