The Danube has lost 80 percent of its former floodplains, and with them the most biologically productive areas and essential ecosystem services, from flood protection to water purification. This project will contribute to WWF goal to be achieved by 2020: 1.5 million ha of floodplains on 1,500 km of free-flowing river sections are protected and connected to the river system in order to sustain biodiversity, build resilience and provide ecosystem goods and services for people.
The project aim is to restore floodplains in Serbia (Štrbac) and Croatia (Podunavlje fishponds) to provide vital habitat for the Danube‘s rich flora and fauna.
Practical wetland restoration of both sites will demonstrate the benefits of integrated water management and sustainable use of water resources and provide inspiration for similar projects across the region. This project primary contribution will be that wetlands in Kopački rit and Štrbac will be restored to support biodiversity and generate ecosystem services to local communities.
During the project implementation WWF eastablished many partnerships, with responsible institutions and organizations of Croatia and Serbia.
The restoration in Kopacki Rit took place at the Podunavlje fish ponds near the village of Kopacevo in the Baranj a region of Croatia. The fish ponds have been abandoned and the extensive fish production stopped, which resulted in the alteration/loss of the main ecological functions and values of the wetland.
This has negatively impacted the biodiversity since the area serves as a feeding, resting and breeding site for rare and threatened species.
•8550 ML/year water replenished
•Nature conservation: habitats improved for flora and fauna, particularly resting and feeding places of migratory birds, fish spawning sites
•Positive Impact on Local economy: restored ponds will be used as commercial fish ponds
•Recreational benefits expected: bird watching and ecotourism