From: WWF
Published September 17, 2009 10:49 AM

Croatia and Hungary to establish Europe´s largest river protected area - 20 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain

Barcs, Hungary 17 September 2009 — Croatia and Hungary signed today a declaration to establish a Trans-Boundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that will protect their shared biodiversity hotspot along the Mura, Drava and Danube Rivers. This paves the way to create Europe’s largest river protection area.

The ceremony in the presence of the Prime Ministers of Croatia and Hungary, Mrs Jadranka Kosor and Mr Gordon Bajnai, took place in the border city of Barcs, Hungary.

Given the global significance of this agreement, WWF has highlighted the leading role of the Governments of Croatia and Hungary with a "Leaders for a Living Planet" award, handed over by Lifeng Li, Director of WWF Global Freshwater Programme.

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"This cross border agreement to protect an area of great natural importance will foster regional cooperation, international understanding and peace keeping — 20 years after the fall of the 'Iron Curtain'", said James P. Leape, Director General of WWF International. "It is not only a significant advance for the region but can serve as an example of how nature conservation visions can bring countries together".

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