JDS4 started in Hungary with the official kick-off for JDS4 together with first microplastic sampling on 27th June in Budapest, organised by the Hungarian Ministry of Interior (BM) and the General Directorate of Water Management (OVF).
The event included series of introductory talks, presentations, and a press conference in the presence of the Deputy Mayor of Budapest and the Hungarian Deputy State Secretary for the Interior, along with ICPDR president, Péter Kovács, plus ICPDR Executive Secretary Ivan Zavadsky and JDS4 co-ordinator, Igor Liska. The presentation of JDS4 gave an outline into some of the importance, aims and programs of the survey, before attendees were able to observe a live demonstration of microplastic survey sampling on the banks of the Danube in Budapest.
(Presentation of ICPDR Technical Expert for Monitoring and Assessment Working Group and JDS4 by Igor Liska at the JDS4 launch in Budapest)
The JDS4 was highly publicised, with three television channels and the official news agency of Hungary (MTI) present. There was even a separate radio programme on JDS4 ending with another invitation when the results are available. The expected results of JDS4, especially on microplastics (MP), micropollutants antibiotics, were included in the replies to the interpellations of MPs in Hungary and to the questions of newspapers.
Ida Nagyné Sós
JDS4 launched in Austria on the 10th of July 2019 in two different locations along the Danube. At the sampling station in Wolfsthal, presentations and discussions with scientific experts were held. Later on, in Hainburg, a key location for the 2019 action for sampling Macrozoobenthos (small animals living on or in sediment), demonstrations of the sampling procedure and equipment were undertaken. These demonstrations were complemented by various discussions and talks from JDS4 experts on Phytobenthos, Phytoplankton and Zooplankton.
On the 20th of June 2019, the Open Door Day of the Water Research Institute in Prague was held from 9:00- 17:00. This event kicked off JDS4 in the Czech Republic, and included a lecture and Q&A session about JDS4, as well as some takeaway materials available to any and all interested members of the public.
In 2019, the launch of JDS4 in Ukraine went hand in hand with the launch of Danube Day and the celebration of the Danube Herring Festival on the 29th of June in Kiliya, on the Danube Delta. Water managers at national and regional level presented and answered questions in Kiliya regarding a new national WFD-compliant system of surface water monitoring, which entered into force in 2019. Experts from the Dnipro basin, within the framework of the EU's Water Initiative project, shared information on the status of the Dnipro RBMP preparation. The connection of the JDS4 and Joint Black Sea surveys was also highlighted, the latter also due to take place in 2019, within the framework of the EU/UNDP project, “Improving Environmental Monitoring of the Black Sea: selected measures” (EMBLAS-Plus).
Speakers at the event included:
- Mykola Kuzyo – Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine
- Iryna Ovcharenko – Head of State Agency of Water Resources of Ukraine
- Johannes Baur – First Counsellor, Head of Operations Section, Economic Cooperation, Energy, Infrastructure and Environment, Delegation of European Union to Ukraine
- Yunona Videnina – Thematic Communication Leader EUWI+
- Jaroslav Slobodnik – Coordinator of the Joint Danube Surveys 4 and Joint Black Sea surveys
This year, Bavarians also celebrated JDS4 in conjunction with Danube Day on the 29th of June and in close partnership with their Austrian neighbours. The festivities took place at the “Haus am Strom” in Untergriesbach, very close to the Austro-German border in Jochenstein, a short distance from Passau.
An article about JDS4 will be published in a special edition of the magazine Hidrotehnica. This special issue was also dedicated to Danube Day 2019. To raise awareness of JDS4, the Romanian Ministry of Waters and Forests published a press release on national media channels, presenting the survey to the general public on the 27th of June and circulated further press information a month later. Looking forward, a special press release due to cover the first results of the micro-plastics analysis from the Giurgiu sampling area is expected on the 26th of August and an additional press release on national media channels in September will cover the five month (April-September) special monitoring of micro-plastics carried our in the Galați section of the river.
In Slovakia, JDS4 was launched in conjunction with Danube Day 2019's celebration with an event on the on 22nd of June 2019 at the Gabčíkovo Dam. Researchers participating in the JDS4 project were on hand to provide information about the JDS event to members of the public. JDS4 was further promoted on ships during cruises on the Danube on the 27th of June as part of the Danube Day 2019 celebrations organised by the Ministry of Environment SR. Furthermore, the story of the Joint Danube Survey was covered in the press, along with a short summary published in the journal for water managers titled Vodohospodársky spravodajca.