For a Living Danube | WWF

For a Living Danube

Kopacki Rit in Croatia.  rel=
Kopacki Rit in Croatia.
© Mario Romulic
The Danube River, the second largest river in Europe, has lost 80% of its wetland habitats in the last 150 years due to the construction of hydropower plants, sediment extraction, intensive agriculture, urban development and technical solutions for flood control. 

This has resulted in a decrease in the populations of various animal and plant species, caused a decline in water quality and enabled the conditions for devastating floods (as wetlands carry out the function of a sponge in times of high waters, thus preventing downstream flooding).

In 2007 WWF and The Coca-Cola Company established a partnership to restore important wetlands along the Danube and its tributaries. The goal of the partnership is to restore 53km2 of wetlands and give back 12 million m3 of water to nature, the equivalent of 4800 olympic swimming pools, by 2020.

In Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, efforts are being made to create a UNESCO world heritage 5-country trans-boundary nature reserve along the Danube, Drava and Mura rivers. 

All these efforts are rewarded when we see that the Danube basin is recovering again: the beaver, otter and sturgeon, the giant fish of the Danube that survived from the times of the dinosaurs, have come back from the brink of extinction. And after disappearing 40 years ago, mayflies are back, evidence that the river is getting cleaner. 

In Croatia and Serbia, large floodplains and wetlands have been restored to secure habitats for a myriad of birds, like the ferruginous duck and the pigmy cormorant. Along the Drava in Croatia five branches of the river were reconnected with the main course to enhance the natural dynamics of the river, mitigate flood risks and create opportunities for the development of ecotourism and recreation. 
For more information about the partnership between WWF and The Coca-Cola Company click here.
Infographic of WWF/TCCC Partnership For a Living Danube 
Infographic of WWF/TCCC Partnership For a Living Danube
Water Tour in Croatia, 2015


WWF and The Coca-Cola Company are working together to create a regional movement in order to preserve the rivers and restore key wetlands in the region.

The Living Danube Tour aims to raise awareness of wetland conservation and restoration. It is part of the new, seven-year partnership of WWF and The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) to restore vital wetlands and floodplains along the Danube River.

Special traveling exhibition visited by the end of 2015 more than 25 locations in Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary.


	© WWF
Play the on-line game "Save the River" and learn more about rivers and wetlands.