Protection needed for Amazon of Europe

On the gravel islands of the Drava birds like the rare Little Ringed Plover find an ideal habitat.

© Martin Schneider-Jacoby

Jumping for river protection: Participants of the BIG JUMP at Mura river

© Thomas Hasler

EuroNatur raises awareness of the value of the original river landscapes of the Mura, Drava and Danube


Press release, 14 July 2014

Radolfzell. On the occasion of the second international Amazon of Europe Day last Sunday, the EuronNatur foundation for nature conservation, the Austrian WWF and a number of other partner organisations took the opportunity to raise awareness about the ecological value of the Mura, Drava and Danube rivers and the threats they face. These three rivers and their floodplains connect Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia over their 700km length. “Although the countries along their banks have partly spoken out for strict protection for the Mura, Drava and Danube, the valuable habitats and rare species of these rivers and the adjoining floodplains have not yet been secured for the long term,” warns the head of EuroNatur Gabriel Schwaderer.

It is now two years since the valuable river landscapes between Hungary and Croatia, which make up the lion’s share of the planned Mura Drava Danube Five-Country Biosphere Reserve, were recognised by UNESCO. This success was the result of many years campaigning by EuroNatur and its partners, who have been working for cross-border protection of the rivers since the early 1990s. However, the danger has not yet passed; massive interventions such as gravel extraction, river regulation and plans to build hydropower plants threaten the ecological balance, biodiversity and flood safety along the Mura, Drava and Danube.

“We are resolutely opposed to these destructive plans and we will continue to make every effort to preserve the extraordinary diversity of these river habitats,“ says Schwaderer. EuroNatur and its partners would like to get the local population on board too. As part of the Amazon of Europe Day, there were a number of activities along the banks of the three rivers, which were designed to bring the value of the original river and floodplain landscapes home to the people of the planned Five-Country Biosphere Reserve. For example the campaign group Genuss im Fluss (Revel in the River), the International Committee for the Protection of the River Mura and the WWF organised the BIG JUMP into the river Mura in Halbenrain (Austria)/Apace (Slovenia). Hundreds of water lovers, big and small, jumped into the river at the very same moment.


Background information:

  • EuroNatur and the WWF have been campaigning since the early 1990s to have the Danube Drava Mura cross-border river system protected and preserved by a UNESCO biosphere reserve across five state boundaries. More about the planned Mura Drava Danube UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

  • The Amazon of Europe Day is held every year in memory of EuroNatur project leader Dr Martin Schneider-Jacoby, who campaigned with exceptional commitment for the cross-border protection of the Mura, Drava and Danube until his untimely death in August 2012. More about Dr Martin Schneider-Jacoby 

For further information: EuroNatur, Konstanzer Str. 22, 78315 Radolfzell, Tel.: 07732 - 92 72 24, Fax: 07732 - 92 72 22, E-Mail:, Internet:, Interviews: Romy Durst, Press contact: Angie Rother

How you can help


Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to a more livable environment.

Sustaining membership

EuroNatur focuses on long-term nature conservation projects instead of quick fixes. With your regular donations, you give us the planning security we need.


Skavica mega dam: Albanian court to scrutinise special law for U.S. contractor Bechtel

++ Constitutional complaint filed by NGOs accepted for trial ++ First milestone in fight against one of Europe’s largest reservoirs ++ Thousands of…

Growing opposition to Albanian airport

++ Bern Convention calls on Albania to stop airport construction near Narta Lagoon ++ Project in Vjosa Delta endangers thousands of migratory birds ++…

EU Commission targets the wolf

Ursula von der Leyen warns of allegedly "dangerous wolves" - nature conservation organisations criticise misleading statements and dubious data…

Romanian forests: EuroNatur calls for a logging moratorium

+++ Open letter to Commissioner Sinkevičius calls for a logging moratorium in protected areas to end destruction of Romanian forests +++ Fourth…

Controversial airport construction in Albanian protected area casts shadow as far as Munich

++ Operating company Munich Airport International (MAI) is linked to illegal Vlora airport ++ Construction to take place in protected area of special…

Swimming for the monk seal

The Croatian free water swimmer Dina Levačić has been swimming in potential monk seal territories. Her campaign is aimed at drawing attention to the…

Wolf Offspring confirmed in the Black Forest

++ Photo trap image from the community of Schluchsee provides evidence of offspring ++ First wolf pack in over 150 years in Baden-Württemberg ++

Stork Village meeting in Tykocin, Poland

It was an anniversary celebrated in style: For the 20th annual meeting, representatives of the European Stork Villages met for the first time in the…

A slight sigh of relief for the Dalmatian pelicans

The Dalmatian pelicans at Lake Skadar are breeding successfully. This is all the more gratifying because last year's breeding season was disastrous.