The objective of our Living Rivers project is to hinder the destruction of Hungarian rivers and their ecosystems, alluvial forests, bogs and marshes, as well as to protect their diversity and to improve their condition. Primarily, we put emphasis on the Danube, the Tisza, the Rába and the Drava rivers.
We restore wetlands in our model areas, and we support the spread of traditional, environmentally friendly economy. This way, we would like to show how reliable land use can ameliorate the condition of lakes, oxbows, rivers’ foreshores and floodplains.
WWF works in countries all over the catchment of the Danube: we are working for preserving unique values, which are characteristic to the river. For example, our Romanian co-workers are committed to preserve the exceptional bird population and water wonderland at the most iconic area, the Danube delta. This is the area where WWF Hungary takes part in an international cooperation project, in order to help local people adapt to climate change.
From Belgrade to Szigetköz, the river is accompanied by vast branches and oxbows, many of which were separated artificially from the river. The reunification of these branches could trigger exceptional opportunities, and this is not an easy task. We already have a success in this process: the restoration of the Liberty Island and its branch next to Mohács, thanks to the support of LIFE+ Nature project.
Living Danube Tour
WWF Hungary has been working for the sustainable development of the Tisza river area for almost 20 years. Our objective is to connect more and more floodplains with the river, and this way creating new ecosystems and nature-friendly economy alternatives. The Tisza could be the solution for the thirsty Great Plain, and this would be a dream come true.
The Danube Floodplain project was launched in 2018, along the cooperation of countries nearby the river’s catchment area: WWF Hungary participates also in this project. The objective of our work is to harmonize and develop transnational water treatment practices by combining flood risk management and integrated ecological water management practices. Floodplains are of vital importance in the functioning of ecosystems.
The Drava is also at the forefront of our wetland protection projects. The mouth of the Drava and the Danube is one of Europe’s bird wonderlands. Stretches along the Drava, the largest initiative in our region has been launched for the creation of a transboundary nature reserve. The Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve UNESCO project, currently adopted in Hungary and in Croatia, is planned to be expanded across five further countries in the future, so we are working with our Serbian, Slovenian and Austrian partners to fulfil this plan. This protected area of almost 800,000 hectares is commonly called as the Amazon of Europe due to its unique conditions, gravel and sand bars, river islands, eroded banks and unregulated reaches.
We also participate in elaborating and delivering opinion on legislation related to wetlands, as well as informing and convincing policymakers about the protection of the European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD). The campaign launched by WWF and its partners aims to maintain the existence of the WFD after the European Committee’s review. Instead of weakening this project, the governments of EU members should support and enforce it.
We organise diverse events (e.g. Environmental Education project and Big Jumps) for local people and communities to promote our activities. We draw attention to the importance of drinking waters by awareness-raising and we also give some ideas about the reduction of individual water consumption.
We are also ready to mobilise responsible citizens in an intention to protect our waters by presenting petitions: more than 375,000 individuals joined our campaign for protecting the WFD.