Milestone: designation of the world’s first 5-country biosphere reserve

E.C.O. joins the celebration

A historic day. With the designation of the world’s first UNESCO 5-country biosphere reserve emerged Europe’s largest river conservation area also known as “Amazon of Europe”. The UNESCO biosphere reserve extends over 700 kms along the rivers Mur, Drava, and Danube. It connects Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia.

We could not be happier since we have accompanied the rise of the 5-country biosphere reserve Mur-Drava-Danube for several years with our expertise. On behalf of the MAB Austrian national committee, the Ministry for Sustainability, and the WWF we supported the five country delegations in the process design and in the preparation of the needed UNESCO submission documents.

We coordinated and accompanied the countries involved and shared their excitement from minute one. The nomination was eventually followed by the official recognition by UNESCO.  

Biodiversity along the river landscapes
The whole area stretches over 930.000 hectares, 280.000 ha of which are protected wetlands along the rivers. They make up the centrepiece of the new biosphere reserve and are habitat for, among others, Cormorants, Black Storks, White-tighed Swallow, Europe’s largest white-tailed Sea Eagles’ population, different fish species and other species. Also, for the 900.000 people living in the regions the new UNESCO biosphere reserve serves as a living space and their livelihood.

Biosphere reserves as model regions for sustainable development
Key objectives of the UNESCO biosphere reserve Mura-Drava-Danube according to the MAB programme are the conservation of its ecosystems, an ecological sustainable regional development and the promotion of environmental education and research. Thus, the brand „biosphere reserve“ shall contribute to a sustainable regional development of the Mur-Drava-Danube region.

For the Austrian part of the new 5-country biosphere reserve, the Unteres Murtal UNESCO biosphere reserve we are currently working on the management plan and mission statement. In this way we are happily still part of this great project.

Further information on the project:

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