The Danube: Environmental Monitoring of an International River

Sample Chapter
  • Edited Libor Jansky, Masahiro Murakami and Nevelina I. Pachova

    danube fin
    ISBN-10: 92-808-1061-8,
    ISBN-13: 978-92-808-1061-5
    United Nations University Press
    May 2004

    The Danube river is one of the world’s greatest international freshwater resources. It stretches halfway across Europe and passes through 11 countries. Its catchment is shared by 17 nations, many of whom are new members of the expanded European Union.

    This book focuses on the disputed Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project on the Danube between Hungary and the Slovak Republic. It examines the history and progress of the case from the International Court of Justice to the subsequent agreement to joint monitoring and assessment of the environmental implications. It uses a multidisciplinary methodology combining approaches derived from natural resources management, geography, international relations, political science, and international law.

    Environmental monitoring is essential to resolving transboundary water conflicts and the authors discuss the extensive monitoring programmes implemented by the two countries, attempts to link various causes and effects of the project, and how monitoring can help enhance public participation for sustainable solutions. The Danube examines the opportunities and constraints of using environmental monitoring as a tool for decision-making in the sustainable management of shared freshwater resources in the context of an international environmental conflict, and it proposes possibilities for optimising the environmental monitoring of the middle reaches of the Danube. The authors conclude that in view of the recent eastward expansion of the European Union, the environmental monitoring programme developed in response to Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project should be integrated into the environmental management of the Danube River Basin to contribute to its sustainable development.

    Based on original documents and research, and including numerous maps, figures, and authentic appendices accompanying the study, this book is a useful reference on the applications of environmental monitoring and data sharing for improving the management of international waters.

    Libor Jansky is Senior Academic Programme Officer, Environment and Sustainable Development, at United Nations University. Masahiro Murakami is Professor of International Development at the Department of Infrastructure Systems Engineering, Kochi University of Technology, Japan. Nevelina I. Pachova is a Research Assistant in the United Nations University Environment and Sustainable Development Programme.


    • Chronology of Events
    • Introduction
    • Transboundary river problems
    • The Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros Project
    • Environmental monitoring of an international river
    • Joint environmental monitoring – Evaluation and concluding remarks
    • References