WWF reveals Croatia's Seven River Wonders to the public

Copyright Mario Romulic

In the eve of Croatia's accession to the European Union, WWF prepares a welcome gift to the public: The hidden treasure of Croatia's stunning river landscapes for all to see.

A four-weeks campaign highlighting the rivers’ unique and endangered habitats and species is being launched. Various activities like exhibitions, concerts, camps, lectures and workshops will take place on the Danube, Drava, Mura, Sava, Zrmanja, Neretva and Ombla – the “Seven river wonders of Croatia”.

WWF and its partner NGOs like Green Osijek, the Croatian Society for Bird and Nature Protection, and the Drava League chose them as representatives of Croatia’s stunning river network.

On a boat floating on the Sava and in cooperation with the Lonjsko polje Nature Park, WWF also launched a manifesto to Mihael Zmajlovic, Croatian minister for environment and nature protection.

“Croatia’s natural rivers are severely harmed by channelling, gravel and sand extraction and hydro dam projects – although such measures are contradicting EU law”, said Arno Mohl, international freshwater expert of WWF. “Since the rivers are being given as a gift to the European Union now, they should receive a strong protection status and should be included into the Natura 2000 network of the EU.” The manifesto launched today can soon be signed on www.amazon-of-europe.com.

As a closing act of the river’s weeks, the first “Amazon of Europe day” will be celebrated at the confluence of the Mura and Drava rivers on 14 July. Being the birthday of sadly deceased Martin Schneider Jacoby of EuroNatur, “prime father” of the trans-boundary Biosphere Reserve “Mura-Drava-Danube”, from this year on such a celebration shall be held annually on that day.

The current campaign is part of an international project by WWF and EuroNatur whose main objective is to establish protection and a sustainable management of the trans-boundary river system of the Danube, Drava and Mura.

Although so far only the Croatian and Hungarian part was declared UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, WWF works for the declaration as reserve in all five countries.

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