lifelineMDD - Restoring river connectivity in future world's first 5-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube | WWF

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lifelineMDD - Restoring river connectivity in future world's first 5-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube

lifelineMDD, a project co-funded through the Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) of the European Union, aims to improve ecological connectivity in the future world's first 5-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube stretching across Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatian and Serbia, through a cross-sectoral partnership and implementation of restoration measures

Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia- With an online kick-off event on the 7th of July the lifelineMDD project was officially launched. For the next 2.5 years, 12 project partners with the support of 18 associated partners from different sectors will work on the improvement of connectivity and biodiversity within the future world's first 5-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube, the lifeline of the Danube Basin, by restoration of natural river dynamics.

“While the DTP-project coopMDD established a living cooperation between Protected Area managers and produced a Transboundary Management Programme for the planned 5-country biosphere reserve Mura-Drava-Danube, the knowledge base and transboundary cross-sectoral cooperation can still be further improved. There are some unused opportunities for synergies between multiple aims of sectoral players in river management - lifelineMDD aims to address those through a cross-sectoral partnership”, says project manager Kerstin Böck.

The development of a strategic integrated approach to river restoration within planned 5-country biosphere reserve is based on planned scientific studies of fish and river birds population as well as on scientific studies of sediment transport and climate change. A cross-sectoral learning process between nature protection and water management authorities based on three pilot restoration actions aims to raise institutional competences and cooperation between key stakeholders.
Moreover, pilot restoration actions will have a direct and visible positive effect on connectivity and river dynamics, as well as on different type of habitats, within the future 5-country biosphere reserve Mura-Drava-Danube. At the same time the involvement of local communities in the volunteering restoration actions will strengthen their tie to nature and help them to understand benefits and opportunities restored riverine landscapes offer for nature and people.
“Involvement of NGOs, on local and national policy levels will ensure the sustainability of results by awareness-raising in the local population and development of lasting stakeholder platforms.  By providing an integrated transboundary river restoration strategy based on research, pilot restoration and joint learning, lifelineMDD will strongly contribute to the DTP objective of protecting and restoring ecological corridors and raise cooperation between main actors”, concluded Böck.

lifelineMDD project is co-funded through the Danube Transnational Programme of the European Union (ERDF and IPA funds). The project started on 1st July 2020 and lasts until the 31st December 2022. The total budget of the project is 2,987,789.19 €, divided between 12 full partners. You can follow it on Facebook (#lifelineMDD) or Instagram.

Project partners
  • World Wide Fund for Nature Austria - WWF Austria, Austria
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
  • Regional Management SO, Austria
  • Office of the Styrian Government – Department 14 Water Management, Resources and Sustainability, Austria
  • Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation, Slovenia
  • Municipality of Velika Polana, Slovenia
  • WWF Adria – Association for the protection of nature and conservation of biological diversity, Croatia
  • Public institution for management of protected parts of nature in Varaždin County, Croatia
  • World Wide Fund for Nature Hungary, Hungary
  • World Wide Fund for Nature Adria – Serbia, Serbia
  • Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province, Serbia
  • Pomgrad - water management company, Slovenia
Associated Partners
  • International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, Austria
  • Austrian National Committee for UNESCO´s “Man and the Biosphere” Programme, Austria
  • Federal Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, Directorate I/10 Flood Control Management, Austria
  • Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Environment Directorate, Slovenia
  • Slovenian Water Agency, Slovenia
  • Croatian Waters, Water Management Department for the Mura and Upper Drava Rivers, Croatia
  • Public Institution for Management of Protected Natural Areas in the Koprivnica Križevci County, Croatia
  • Public institution agency for management of protected natural values in Osijek-Baranja County, Croatia
  • Ministry of Environment and Energy, Croatia
  • Public Institution Nature Park Kopački Rit, Croatia
  • West-Transdanubian Water Directorate, Hungary
  • South-Transdanubian Water Management Directorate, Hungary
  • Balaton-felvidéki National Park Directorate, Hungary
  • Deputy State Secretariat for Nature Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture, Hungary
  • Public Enterprise "Vojvodinašume" Petrovaradin, Serbia
  • Provincial secretariat for urban Planning and Environmental protection, Serbia
  • Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia, Serbia
  • Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection, Germany

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