UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube
Natural stretches of the Drava, Mura and Danube are under pressure from unnecessary river regulation and gravel extraction, which significantly affect the state of the water body and cause lowering of the groundwater level, impacting agriculture, forests and drinking water sources, and thus wildlife and the local people.
The main objective of the project “Protection of the European lifeline – Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube (TBR MDD)”, or as we like to call it – “the European Amazon”, is to ensure the protection and sustainable management of transboundary river ecosystems of Mura, Drava and Danube.
In order to successfully manage such a large protected area it is necessary to have good cross-border cooperation and joint management measures. Therefore, WWF's work is focused on linking relevant institutions in all five countries to establish good mutual cooperation. Among the five countries, Hungary and Croatia already obtained the UNESCO protection status, Serbia submitted the nomination to UNESCO, while in Slovenia the procedure for nomination is on the agenda of the government. Austria hasn’t started with the procedure yet.
WWF and its partners - Green Osijek, Croatian Society for the Protection of Birds and Nature, ZEUS, Matis, Baobab, Ecological Society of Koprivnica, and Nature Society Drava – work together through series of activities in order to prevent bad practices (River Watchers) and raise awareness of local people on the benefits of natural rivers and development possibilities for the area under the UNESCO protection.