The Bavarian Danube is a natural jewel with a variety of different natural areas and landscapes of great beauty, significant biodiversity, which must be preserved and further developed for future generations. The nowadays children have the right to enjoy the beauty of these territories with a wide variety of species, good water quality, interconnected habitats and banks protected from flooding events.
Aiming for a better protection of these assets, the EUSDR PA 6 – Biodiversity and landscapes, quality of air and soil, jointly coordinated by Bavaria (Germany) and Croatia, engaged itself into the development of effective nature conservation measures.
As a result, after 5 years from the first idea to its publication and a wide consultation process with public and private stakeholders, the Masterplan for securing and development of biodiversity at Bavarian stretch of the Danube River was published in 2017. This is a legally non-binding nature conservation concept with guidelines for the conservation of biodiversity in the Bavarian Danube region and proposals for key projects to implement the goals assumed.
Based on a thorough assessment of the current state of the individual landscape elements (river and recent floodplain, old floodplain, cultural landscape in the valley area, steep slopes and terraces, Danube corridor as a whole), the Masterplan proposes a selection of 15 key projects that cover urgent gaps or allow particularly intensive synergy effects for the implementation of other programs such as the Flood Protection Action Program or plans in terms of the Water Framework Directive or the Habitats Directive.
The dialogue and coordination among environmental NGOs and public authorities the question on how to implement the objectives of PA 6 for the conservation and protection of biodiversity along the Bavarian Danube and its floodplains provided a consistent answer.
Currently, 14 out of the 15 key projects are being implemented. One of the implemented projects is DANUBEparksCONNECTED, which has initiated the Danube Habitat Corridor campaign to counteract fragmentation. Fragmentation refers to land-use for infrastructure: building houses and shopping centres where once nature was, which supports climate change makes it very difficult for all different kinds of species to live and travel.
The Masterplan is the first overall concept for the Bavarian Danube floodplains, on the basis of which the projects follow a superordinate model supported by a large number of stakeholders. Therefore, in 2021, the first approaches to transfer the concept of the master plan also to other sub-regions in the Danube Region were discussed and received with great approval and acceptance.
Photo: Danube Parks project