UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme today added 20 new sites, in 21 countries to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which now numbers 727 biosphere reserves in 131 countries, including 22 transboundary sites, and there is only one in the world connecting five countries.
Designated on 15. Septembre 2021. by the UNESCO MAB Programme Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube encompasses the largest and best-preserved river system in Central Europe and aims to create a model of international cooperation for river basin management, while building bridges between people and nature. It brings together the Lower Mura Valley Biosphere Reserve (Austria), the Mura-Drava-Danube Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Croatia and Hungary), the Bačko Podunavlje Biosphere Reserve (Serbia) and the Mura River Biosphere Reserve (Slovenia).
It is home to about 900,000 people and covers an area of 931,820 ha centred around the Danube and the Mura and Drava tributaries, stretching from the Alps through the Carpathian Basin to the foothills of the Balkan Mountains and linking a network of 13 major protected areas.
This unique river system provides essential ecosystem services and is essential for the survival of characteristic habitats and species. Harmonizing its sustainable management and biodiversity conservation across borders marks a major step forward in international cooperation and the sharing of responsibility, demonstrating State Parties willingness to think globally and act locally together.
UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme was created in 1971 with a vision: promote a sustainable connection between people and nature.
In 2021, the World Network of Biosphere Reserves will unite in its diversity pay a tribute to those who have shaped the programme into this quest for a more harmonious living in each of the world's ecosystems.
UNESCO biosphere reserves are central to education, research, and awareness-raising work to foster innovative sustainable development practices and combat the loss of biodiversity. The network supports local and indigenous communities and Member States’ understanding, and the protection of the natural environment.