Croatia, Hungary to establish transboundary biosphere reserve

Croatia and Hungary have pledged to establish a Transboundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that will protect their shared biodiversity hotspot along the Mura, Drava and Danube Rivers - one of the world's biologically richest and most threatened ecosystems.

The declaration setting the area aside for conservation and sustainable use was signed Thursday by Croatian Minister of Culture Bozo Biskupic and Hungarian Minister for Environment and Water Imre Szabo at a ceremony in the border city of Barcs, Hungary.

The Prime Minister of Croatia Jadranka Kosor, and the Prime Minister of Hungary Gordon Bajnai, traveled to Barcs to witness the signing of the declaration.

The protected area, which was declared with help of the global conservation organization WWF and partner organizations the Drava League, Green Action and Euronatur, is awaiting UNESCO approval to become a Biosphere Reserve in 2010.

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