Recently, the UNESCO designated Mura-Drava-Danube (MDD) as the world’s first ‘five-country biosphere reserve’, according to a statement by the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature.
- The biosphere reserve covers 700 kilometres of the Mura, Drava and Danube rivers and stretches across Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia.
- The total area of the reserve a million hectares in the so-called ‘Amazon of Europe’, makes it the largest riverine protected area on the continent.
- The new reserve “represented an important contribution to the European Green Deal and contributes to the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy in the Mura-Drava-Danube region.
- The strategy’s aim is to revitalise 25,000 km of rivers and protect 30 per cent of the European Union’s land area by 2030.
- MDD’s recognition “was a mandate to all five countries to jointly advance the protection and revitalisation of the Mura-Drava-Danube area and boost sustainable business practices”.
- The reserve is home to floodplain forests, gravel and sand banks, river islands, oxbows and meadows.
- It is home to continental Europe’s highest density of breeding white-tailed eagle (more than 150 pairs), as well as endangered species such as the little tern, black stork, otters, beavers and sturgeons.
- It is also an important annual resting and feeding place for more than 250,000 migratory birds, according to WWF. Almost 900,000 people live in the biosphere reserve.
- One such project is the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme-funded Amazon of Europe Bike Trail, a long-distance cycling trail following the Mura, Drava and Danube river landscapes for over 1,250 km.
- The so-called “European Amazon” is now the largest protected river area in Europe. The Mura, Drava and Danube rivers form a highly valuable and free-flowing river corridor spanning 700 kilometres and connecting almost 1.000.000 hectares across Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia.
- The initiative for the protection of the Mura, Drava and Danube rivers in Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia was launched more than 20 years ago by environmental activists and civil society organisations.
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UNESCO recognized BRs in India
|2000||Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve||Tamil Nadu|
|2001||Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve||Tamil Nadu|
|2001||Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve||West Bengal|
|2004||Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve||Uttarakhand|
|2009||Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve||Madhya Pradesh|
|2009||Nokrek Biosphere Reserve||Meghalaya|
|2009||Simlipal Biosphere Reserve||Odisha|
|2012||Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve||Chhattisgarh|
|2013||Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve||Great Nicobar|
|2016||Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve||Kerala and Tamil Nadu|
|2018||Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve||Part of North and West Sikkim districts|
|2020||Panna Biosphere Reserve||Madhya Pradesh|
Protected Areas in news UPSC 2021 : Click Here