lifelineMDD Protecting and restoring ecological connectivity in the Mura-Drava-Danube river corridor through cross-sectoral cooperation

5-country Biosphere Reserve Conference

Under the honorary patronage of

President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor

and Austrian Federal President Dr. Alexander Van der Bellen

the Mura-Drava-Danube river system, which was designated by UNESCO in September 2021 as the world’s first ‘5-country biosphere reserve’, represents an international model for transboundary cooperation in conservation and sustainable regional development. The first anniversary of this historic milestone was marked by a 5-country biosphere reserve conference including the final conference of the lifelineMDD project.
From 5th to 8th September 2022 representatives from all five countries and different sectors met on the Mura River, in the Austrian-Slovenian border area in Bad Radkersburg and Gornja Radgona, for a varied programme with high-level speakers, workshops, excursions to the TBR MDD area and opportunities for informal exchange. Of course, there was plenty of opportunity to celebrate with local food, drinks and music.

During the conference, the opportunities and possibilities for proper management and development of the biosphere reserve Mura-Drava-Danube (TBR MDD) were highlighted and ways of how to achieve them outlined. Compelling and successful examples from other river areas and TBRs in Europe served as source of inspiration, gave courage, stimulated ideas and increased the motivation to commit to the implementation of the TBR MDD. The TBR MDD itself, including promising results of the lifelineMDD project, was already a good source of inspiration. Past and ongoing initiatives and achievements served as a starting point and were honoured and put in the spotlight. Future potentials were identified and how to realise them discussed was discussed insensively in different sessions and panel discussions, resulting in the call for action for the TBR MDD.


You can find all presentations linked down below. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us via


Conference Report

Call for Action


lifelineMDD - Protecting and restoring ecological connectivity in the Mura-Drava-Danube river corridor through cross-sectoral cooperation (Kerstin Böck)

Five countries, three rivers, one vision & mission - presentation of Common Workplan TBR MDD (András Schmidt)

Biosphere Region - Chance for sustainable future (Hannes Knapp)

Process oriented restoration of river and riparian ecosystems (Gregory Egger)

Cross-sectoral restoration of connectivity in the TBR MDD (Kerstin Böck)

Traditional land use in Lonjsko Polje Nature Park - The living landscape and floodplain ecosystem of the Central Sava river basin (Goran Gugić)

Grassland management within Danube-Drava National Park (Tibor Parrag)

Geopark Karavanke: Nature's classroom (Lenka Stermecki)

Local awareness for living rivers in the TBR MDD (Tijana Pavlovic, Alice Thinschmidt, Kerstin Böck)

Presentation of the natura MURA project (Aleksander Koren)

How to raise stakeholder engangement in a biosphere reserve - experiences from Elbe River UNESCO biosphere reserve (Johannes Prüter)

Roadmap for proactive cooperation of stakeholders in the TBR MDD (Lisa Wolf)

Joining forces: How responsible tourism and nature conservation can team up for a sustainable future (Rudi Trinko)

Amazon of Europe Bike Trail and destination for tourism development of the TBR MDD (Urška Dolinar)

Establishing the scientific knowledge base in the TBR MDD (Mario Klösch)


You can view the full Agenda here: Conference Programme





Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)