The Agreement was based on the mutual obligation of the Danube countries to preserve and improve the state of its rare species and habitats through Danube-wide cooperation and aims at synchronizing our efforts to preserve the unique ecological, scenic, scientific, and cultural significance of the Danube River, its WILDislands and protected areas.
This is a milestone for replicating the efforts of the LIFE WILDisland project, which will allow us to exchange experience and transfer the best practices in wetland and island restoration to respond to terrestrial and aquatic habitats loss, improve climate resilience and support the survival of rare species.
The document was signed between the President of DANUBEPARKS and Mr. Vasilica Gheorghe, Lower Prut Natural Reserve Director.
The signing was done within the CEI Conference "DANUBEPARKS Newt Conservation Partnership & Climate Change" was held in Văleni, Republic of Moldova, on the 30th and 31st of May 2023, and it was concluded with a great success.
The conference was organized by Nature Park Kopački rit, Agency Moldsilva, and DANUBEPARKS and supported by the Central European Initiative (CEI). It brought together experts, scientists, and conservationists from the Danube River Network of Protected Areas (DANUBEPARKS) to address the critical issues of newt conservation and climate change, discussing possible ways to further advance cooperation and prepare joint projects. A Memorandum of Cooperation „DANUBEPARKS Newt Conservation Partnership“ was signed between DANUBEPARKS - Danube River Network of Protected Areas represented by Mr. Vlatko Rožac and Societas Europaea Herpetologica (European Herpetological Society) represented by Mr. Andreas Maletzy.
The event was attended by several other LIFE WILDisland partner organizations onsite and online – BROZ, Slovakia; Fertő-Hanság National Park, Hungary; Duna Ipoly National Park, Hungary; Duna-Drava National Park, Hungary; Vojvodinasume, Serbia; Persina Nature Park, Bulgaria; Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, Romania. Attendees had the opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and innovative approaches to conserving newts and amphibians, as well as restoring wetlands and WILDislands.
At the end, one of the highlights of the conference was the field trip to the nearby Lake Baleu which is part of Lower Prut Natural Reserve, where participants observed the conservation efforts and ecological significance of the region. The field trip provided a valuable opportunity to deepen the understanding of riparian habitats and their ecological interactions within the broader context of the Danube River Basin.
During the event we had the opportunity for networking with several other LIFE-funded projects: the LIFE18 NAT/HU/000799 project for improvement of the Hungarian meadow viper populations and habitats in the Pannonian region and the LIFE Microtus II - Restoration of habitats for root vole *Microtus oeconomus mehelyi.
It is a testament to the strong commitment of the LIFE WILDisland Project, the DANUBEPARKS Network, all their partners to foster regional cooperation and share expertise also outside EU, underlining the importance of collective efforts in safeguarding our natural heritage.