Freshwater program


Photo: WWF Hungary

Freshwater habitats and rivers are unique natural assets of Hungary with their special species and biodiversity. Freshwater habitats are particularly important, because they provide not only living space for protected and non-protected aquatic and riparian species, but also deliver ecosystem services to human beings and their communities (e.g. drinking water supply).

The goal of our freshwater program is to stop degradation and to improve the diversity and quality of rivers, riparian habitats, marshes, side branches, oxbows and floodplain forests; especially along Hungary’s priority rivers, Danube, Drava and Tisza.

We develop and implement projects which restore freshwater ecosystem and river morphology and which support traditional and extensive land use. These projects with the involvement of the responsible authorities and stakeholders are model studies representing how local communities can receive benefit from nature conservation and how green economy can support the maintenance of freshwater habitats.

We participate in policy work to facilitate the appropriate implementations of EU Directives, especially the Water Framework Directive, and put our focus on informing and influencing decision makers about the multiple benefits of changing the traditional management of rivers from regulation to restoration. With the restoration of our natural resources we can create a new vision for our unique rivers within the Danube river basin.


Freshwater is the source of life. It’s what makes Earth unique in the known universe. It’s also a resource under threat. Just 3 per cent of water on the planet is freshwater, and only about 1 per cent is readily available for human use. 
The one-two punch of global population growth and climate change means we must be innovative and committed when it comes to water management and conservation.
WWF is working to protect freshwater ecosystems and improve water access, efficiency, and allocation for people and the environment – an essential component of saving most of WWF's priority places and species and reducing the impact of humanity's water footprint. 



The river Danube

Our largest river, the Danube is invaluable to all of us. The side-branches, floodplain forests and meadows give home to a rich wildlife, while the gravel beds beneath the islands hide cheap extractable drinking water.


Waterway developments on the Danube

Our longest river and its environs are of inestimable value for all of us. The river's subfamilies, floodplain forests and peat meadows host rich wildlife, and there is a huge layer of drinking-water deep under the river's gravel bed, available for inexpensive extraction.


Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube

Spanning Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Slovenia, the lower courses of the Drava and Mura Rivers and related sections of the Danube are among Europe's most ecologically important riverine areas: sometimes called the "Amazon of Europe".


Old-Drava project, LIFE for Natura 2000

River Drava is one of Europe’s treasure troves of biological diversity. It is a hot spot of natural habitats, which are now rare in Europe, such as large and very well preserved floodplain forests, river islands, gravel and sand banks, side branches and oxbows. The river and its riparian habitats are home to species, like white-tailed eagle, black stork, little tern or sand martin.

The river Tisza

Our Tisza program embodies perfectly how to link nature conservation and social objectives.


Liberty Island

The restoration of Liberty-island and its side-branch


Partnership for a living Danube

Wetlands are hotspots of biodiversity and provide a myriad of benefits and services, including flood protection, drinking water, nutrient removal, wood/fiber, biomass, tourism and recreation, food, fish and fowl.


Photos Environmental education in the MecsekWorld Water Day 2015Earth Hour 2015


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