We’re About to Have the Largest River Protected Area in Europe!

During their yearly conference on 25th of July in Indonesia UNESCO has declared 29 000 hectares of floodplain area along the Slovenian part of Mura River a Biosphere Reserve. This means WWF is one step closer to establishing the 5-country Biosphere Reserve “Mura- Drava- Danube”, the so-called Amazon of Europe.

Currently, 850 000 hectares of natural and cultural landscape along the rivers Mura, Drava and Danube are protected by UNESCO across 4 countries- Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. Soon, this Biosphere Reserve will cross the fifth national border, as the Austrian part of Mura will complete protected area.

“We are extremely happy that we’re now even closer to proclaiming the first world 5-country Biosphere Reserve. It is important to prevent further planning of the construction of a series of hydro power plants in order to save Mura. This nomination has confirmed that the river Mura should be managed in a sustainable way, because of the people and because of the nature” said Ivana Korn Varga from WWF Adria.

Together with partners in these 5 countries WWF has been working for several years towards the establishment of a 5-country Biosphere Reserve which reaches from Spielfeld in Austria to Bačka Palanka in Serbia. 700 kilometers of river corridor and about 1 million hectares of floodplains should be protected with this project.