Trilateral Ramsar Platform set for Morava-Dyje floodplains

Trilateral Ramsar Platform set for Morava-Dyje floodplains

6 September 2001
Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia

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On 30 August 2001, the Ramsar authorities of Austria, the Czech and Slovak Republics met at Zidlochovice Castle in the Czech part of the Dyje floodplain to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Europe's third trilateral Ramsar Site (in addition to the Waddensea with a common secretariat run jointly by the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark; and the Prespa Park declared by Albania, Greece and the FYR of Macedonia). Vice-Minister Josef Bele, of the Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic, welcomed Dr Jan Kadlecik, member of the Ramsar Standing Committee and Director at the Slovak Ministry of Environment, Dr Guenter Liebel, of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, their respective expert delegations, NGO representatives, and Ramsar's Regional Coordinator for Europe, Dr Tobias Salathé.

In the Memorandum, the three countries agreed to hold annual meetings to coordinate their efforts to achieve trilateral status for the existing Ramsar Sites along the border area of the Morava (March) and Dyje (Thaya) floodplains and to develop its management according to the "Guidelines for management planning for Ramsar Sites and other wetlands". They consider that a trilateral platform, composed of up to 15 experts, representing these ministries, water management institutions, the national Ramsar committees and non-governmental organizations, would form the most convenient way to further trilateral cooperation. To this end, the three partners will make available and exchange all relevant information and enhance their communication efforts.

The Morava-Dyie floodplains harbour aquatic ecosystems that are typical for European slow-flowing rivers with important fluctuations of water level discharges, including game-abounding alluvial forests and wet meadows. The existing, adjacent Ramsar Sites include the Danube-Morava floodplains on the Austrian side, the floodplain of the lower Dyje on the Czech side, and the Morava floodplains on the Slovak site, covering together 55,000 ha. The floodplain benefits from European Union-funded projects for conservation management, education and increase of public awareness. The ministerial delegations underlined the important role played by non-governmental organisations, notably Daphne (Slovakia), Distelverein (Austria) and Veronica (Czechia), as well as the Danube-Carpathian Programme of WWF International, promoting the concept and working together to conserve a "nature without borders".