Mura-Drava-Danube Designated a Biosphere Reserve

Now it is official: along the three rivers Danube, Drava and Mura there is now Europe‘s largest river reserve. Spanning a length of 700 kilometres, it stretches from Austria through Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary to Serbia.

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In many places, alluvial forests, still intact, characterise the banks of the rivers Danube, Drava and Mura.

© Goran Safarek
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The European pond turtle is one of the zoological pecularities in the catchment of rivers.

© M. Romulic

At their annual meeting on 15 September 2021, UNESCO has officially declared the Mura-Drava-Danube region as biosphere reserve. It is the world’s first 5-country biosphere reserve and delivers a strong message - nature conservation can work across national boundaries. For 30 years, EuroNatur and its many partners, among others the WWF Austria, have fought for this goal.

The heart of the region, also called the “European Amazon”, consists of 280,000 hectares of protected floodplain landscapes on the banks of the three rivers. They are home to rare species such as sea eagles and otters. However, intact alluvial forests are also of vital importance for humans: a CO2 sink, natural flood protection and a valuable recreational area.

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