I’m passionate about this beautiful river. Standing on its banks I feel I’m at the edge of the Earth. It’s funny to think back on my first sight of the Danube. I wasn’t impressed.
As a student in Bulgaria I loved bird-watching, and I’d heard so much about the Danube, renowned for its birds of every colour and shape, like pelicans and sea eagles.
But when I first saw this fabled river, its surroundings were so built up and it seemed confined – it wasn’t the river of my dreams.
Now, since I’ve been working for WWF, spending time monitoring the Danube, I’ve got to know the true river. I explore its islands and constantly moving sandbars – areas that were unknown to science when I was a student.
The Danube is increasingly seen as little more than a route for transporting freight – but I’m standing up for the river I love, and the nature that depends on it.
Ivan Hristov (Freshwater Expert, WWF)
Around 50 countries (700 million people) are already experiencing moderate to severe water stress on a year-round basis, while many more are affected by shortages during part of the year