Take action online to save the “Amazon of Europeâ€
Zagreb, Croatia – A petition to save the Danubeâ€™s most valuable and best preserved natural river stretch is being launched today in an effort to stop a major project that would ignore both EU law and international environmental standards in Croatia. The Croatian Water Management Authorities are planning to channel the river in KopaÄki Rit, a unique nature spot on the Croatian-Serbian border.
http://mediterranean.panda.org/?203671/ ... -of-Europe
The project would pose a severe threat to unique wetlands and to Europeâ€™s largest and best preserved floodplain forests. KopaÄki Rit hosts 300 different bird species and would comprise the core zone of the future UNESCO Transboundary Biosphere Reserve “Mura-Drava-Danubeâ€, the so called “Amazon of Europeâ€.
According to Croatian authorities the purpose of the river regulation is to improve navigation in the area. However, modern and sustainable navigation on the Danube does not require a regulated river bed.
“If we want to preserve the unique nature of the Danube, we must adapt the ships to the river, and not the river to the shipsâ€, said Arno Mohl, WWF International Freshwater Expert.
The Environmental Impact Assessment for the channeling project is currently awaiting approval. If approved, the free-flowing Danube in Croatia will be transformed into little more than a regulated canal. Thus, the dynamic exchange of water between the river and its floodplain will stop and the unique wetlands will dry out. This will put under threat Europeâ€™s White-tailed eagle and endangered species such as the Little tern, Black stork and Ship sturgeon.
“It was Croatia's Ministry of Environment that nominated KopaÄki Rit as the core zone of the future UNESCO Transboundary Biosphere Reserve “Mura-Drava-Danubeâ€, Mohl said. “We will not accept the destruction of the very heartland of this designated protected area!â€
Mirela Holy, the Croatian Minister for Environment and Nature Protection, is the only person able to stop these destructive plans. WWF is therefore calling all concerned people to take action by signing a petition to the minister, asking her to immediately halt this project and save the unique nature of the Danube River.
To sign the petition please visit http://www.amazon-of-europe.com
Â© Mario Romulic
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