By signing the Memorandum of Understanding today, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Public Institution Natura Viva agree to work together on the establishment of new protected areas along the Mrežnica River in Croatia. Apart from jointly contributing to the protection of the river, both organizations recognize the need for new scientific research in the area, joint action toward national-level decision makers, and encouraging local community engagement.
Flowing for 64 kilometers and cascading over numerous tufa barriers, the Mrežnica River is a vital natural resource for Karlovac County. It is home to diverse flora and fauna, and a popular destination for visitors who frequent the area. For the locals, the river is a source of pride and a place where the community gathers, supports sustainable tourism, and offers opportunities for recreation and other leisure activities.
“This MOU marks a significant milestone in our efforts to protect the Mrežnica River and promote sustainable development in the county,” said Irma Popović Dujmović, Freshwater Program Director for Croatia at The Nature Conservancy. “By combining our resources and expertise, we can ensure the long-term protection and good management of this vital ecosystem, while supporting the local communities that depend on it.”
The establishment of new protected areas will help preserve the river’s unique character and rich biodiversity. For that reason, Public Institution Natura Viva started the process of designating two new protected areas on the Mrežnica River, strongly supported by the Karlovac County government.
The initiative for the protection of the Mrežnica River is part of the campaign for the protection of rivers in Southeast Europe, launched by TNC in partnership with organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. The campaign aims to highlight and protect unique river treasures of the region, whose importance exceeds the borders of individual countries. By protecting our rivers, we can create new development opportunities and ensure long-term benefits for people and nature.
United for Rivers, a regional initiative dedicated to protecting 13 rivers across Southeast Europe, was launched today. By prioritizing the engagement of local communities, The Nature Conservancy and six partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia aim to safeguard the ecological, social, and cultural values of freshwater ecosystems in the region by establishing new river protected areas.More
In addition to widely-known natural features, southwest Serbia also hides many river pearls, among which the most valuable is the Veliki Rzav River. This is supported by the results of scientific research conducted by the Institute for Nature Protection of Serbia in cooperation with the Ecological Association Rzav over the past four years. Results of the study were published recently on the official website of the Ministry of the Environment, initiating the process of establishing the Veliki Rzav River Special Nature Reserve.More