Danube Floodplains - Austria

In 1983-84, Franz Weber came to the rescue of the floodplain forests along the Danube at Hainburg, which the Austrian government wanted to destroy for the construction of an enormous electrical power station. Franz Weber alerted the international general public, and twice (December 1983 and December 1984) invited 30 European journalists to the site. On his initiative, 12,000 conservationists gathered in the very heart of the Au (the floodplain forest) on 8 December 1984. Franz Weber gave an impassioned speech, leading to the occupation of the Au by the protesters, who were then joined by students from several Austrian (and European) universities and thousands of other Austrians from all social classes, as well as supporters from further afield. The project was abandoned. The Hainburg floodplain forest is now a National Park.