Hiking has never been so beautiful at the Central European Green Belt

On this year’s World Wetlands Day, February 2nd, many conservationists and the interested public joined the 21st International Hike along the Mura River. The newly established Mura-Drava-Danube UNESCO Biosphere Reserve shines in its best light and let many people experience such significant river landscape in the heart of Europe.

Hiking along the Mura river © Stanislava Dešnik, Goričko Nature Park

“Luckily, the weather was great and we are surprised that so many have joined us”, says Stanislava Dešnik from Goričko Nature Park Public Institute in Slovenia, who co-organised the hiking event along the border between Slovenia and Croatia. In fact, with more than 700 people (registered were 400) from all four neighbouring countries, it has been the highest number of participants since the beginning of the hike event in 2000. 

Since then, it has been the goal of the organisers to make the public aware of the Mura river and its ecological value not only within a large transboundary river catchment area with the Drava and Danube rivers, but also for the European Green Belt. Participants learned about the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the importance of cross border collaboration as well as conservation activities on Mura wetlands. 

In 2019, this region received the status of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in all related countries, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary, which means big responsibilities for all of them. The event was organised by the Međimurska priroda and Podturen Municipalities in Croatia, the NGO Tabrih and Goričko Nature park Public Institute in Slovenia and the NGO LEiV in Austria.

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