Posted on 01 October 2013
Another major step to establish a protected area in five countries
Belgrade – Serbian government has nominated its part of the territory for the UNESCO Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube.
The joint initiative of WWF and EuroNatur for the conservation of the so-called Amazon of Europe, establishing a UNESCO transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube, represents the first protected area in the world which borders and is jointly managed by five countries – Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria.
This joint effort will be achieved by establishing Europe's largest protected area. Including parts from Serbia to Austria it will cover more than 800,000 hectares. Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danubewill represent a symbol of regional cooperation and sustainable development, and it is an excellent example of an initiative which connects the protection of both biodiversity and cultural heritage.
In collaboration with WWF, the Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province has been working on the preparation of the nomination for two years. All relevant stakeholders were included in the process, including protected areas’ managers and local governments.
„I am very pleased that this great floodplain area in Northwest Vojvodina, which represents one of the most preserved bog and marsh habitats along the whole Danube, will become a part of the transboundary biosphere reserve Mura-Drava-Danube. This amazing riverine area is rich with biodiversity and it is a center of rare natural habitats such as high floodplain forests, river islands, sand and gravel riversides, river distributaries and oxbow lakes. In addition, its other characteristic is cultural heritage which is a proof of the lively past of many peoples and cultures,“ said Duška Dimović, Director of WWF Programme in Serbia.
Within the „Amazon of Europe“ in Serbia there are four protected areas including Special Nature Reserves Gornje Podunavlje and Karadjordjevo. Among the most important rare fauna species of this area, the most characteristic are the white-tailed eagle, black stork, ferruginous duck, wildcat, otter, European badger, as well as the biggest population of red deer in Serbia.
"Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube is of the exceptional importance to Serbia and outh East Europe. We believe that it represents an excellent incouragement for further regional cooperation in nature protection. We hope that the nomination of Serbia will be evaluated positively during the next assembly of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme International Co-ordinating Council and that this area will become a part of the biosphere reserve network which consists of 621 areas in 117 countries. Except regional importance, the nomination is also a good example how nature conservation can bring countries together," said Jasna Zrnović, Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO of Serbia.