Ivan Patzaichin

Ivan Patzaichin

Through his organization, Ivan supports local development in the Danube Delta and other natural regions in Romania. Their mission is to protect the cultural and natural biodiversity of water areas in Romania, to bring back Romanian traditions, to promote the cultural and natural profile of the Danube Delta, and to encourage a healthy lifestyle by practicing outdoor sports. The association develops social entrepreneurship programs to support the underdeveloped areas of the Danube Delta and other natural parks.

“In collaboration with my partner, Teodor Floru we started Rowmania and Ivan Patzaichin Association - Mila 23. What do we really want to achieve? - To teach people from the Danube region to practice common sense tourism. Let's respect the traditions, but also bring the comfort of the 21st century together with the exceptional potential of nature and the traditions of the locals called lipoveni”.


Addressed issues: reconnecting people with nature, protecting local rivers, promoting urban river landscapes

Main challenges in his work: financial and legislative - access to funding, infrastructure challenges

The Rowmania project aims to reconnect people with nature. Through rowing competitions, they create the context for debate and discussions about ecotourism and the efficient exploitation of local resources. Launched in 2013 and organized annually by the Ivan Patzaichin - Mila 23 Association in partnership with the National Romanian Water Administration and local City Halls, the campaign includes a series of mini-festivals in over 10 cities around the country.

The tournament ends annually with the national final, held at the International Rowing Boat Festival - Rowmania FEST, now in its ninth edition. The International Rowing Boat Festival takes place in Tulcea where people play sports, music and discuss serious topics. In addition to rowing competitions, workshops, and film screenings, they organize Rock’n’Roll concerts.

AUR (United Waters of Romania) is a campaign that focuses on raising awareness of the hydrographic heritage. The campaign is also a part of the Rowmania Movement. It encourages local communities to protect the rivers and to enrich their economic potential. Their strategy is to achieve this objective through non-formal education and outdoor sports.