The territory along the Mura River bank with an area of 29 thousand hectares received the official status of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This decision was adopted by the expert commission of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) working under the auspices of UNESCO. According to experts, it will ensure sustainable development of the Pomurje region and the preservation of its natural and cultural heritage. The territory of the reserve extends from the Austria-Slovenia border to the Croatia-Hungary border.
The catchment basin, which includes the largest floodplain in the country, is also part of the European network of special protected zones – Natura 2000.
At the next stage, the biosphere reserve will be expanded to the territory of five countries and will exceed 1 million hectares of protected area. The reserve is supported by 13 municipalities and the Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the territory of the reserve has an exceptional biodiversity being the habitat of the White Eagle, the Black Stork and many species of fish. The Mura River is also a part of the natural migration route for sterlet and Danube salmon helping the fish get through the Drava to the Danube.