For a Living Danube
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.
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.