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Serbian researcher leads campaign to make Danube blue again

Kyodo

A Serbian environmental scientist is trying to clean up pollution in the Danube River with Japanese assistance.

Kobe resident Vladimir Beskoski, 39, a research fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, was born in Belgrade.

“I played in the Danube chasing fish, and at that time the water was much cleaner,” Beskoski said in an interview in Kyoto, where he was attending a conference. “To get the clean water back, that’s my dream,” he said.

Since March, Beskoski has been leading a project to curtail the dumping of toxic chemicals into the river, under the auspices of the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s grass-roots technical cooperation program.

This spring, he also started research at Kobe University on environmental restoration using micro-organisms, as an invited foreign researcher under the JSPS’s Invitation Fellowship Program for Research in Japan.

“Serbia is not so wealthy and we are lacking high-tech equipment, human resources and money,” he said. “With the help of Japan, I hope we can find a way to clean up our environment.”