WISEDRAVALIFE – Wise water management for the conservation of river and flood habitats along the Drava River LIFE17 NAT/HU/000577

WISEDRAVALIFE – Wise water management for the conservation of river and flood habitats along the Drava River LIFE17 NAT/HU/000577

Project duration:

1.7.2018. – 30.6.2023.

Total value:

€ 1.785.392,00

EU co-financing:

€ 1.057.071,00

Beneficiary coordinator:

WWF Hungary


Croatian Waters, Legal Person for Water Management; Croatia, Danube Drava National Park; Hungary, Southern Danube Water Management Directorate; Hungary, SEFAG Directorate of Forests and Wood Industry; Hungary.


Problem description:

The conditions of coastal and flood habitats have deteriorated along the Drava River, mainly due to river bed degradation. In particular, three habitat types have an unfavorable / inadequate status: black alder and ash alluvial forests, watercourses with vegetation or moss, and alluvial meadows.

The deepening of the riverbed is the most significant pressure that affects natural habitats and also has a significant impact in areas that are further away from the riverbed. Additional threats, such as drainage and water scarcity in floodplains, have also been observed on the Drava River. Improper land use can negatively affect water-related species or bird populations. Climate change is also affecting freshwater habitats along the river.


WISEDRAVALIFE aims to improve the conservation and resilience of three coastal habitats – alluvial forests, watercourses and alluvial meadows in the Croatian-Hungarian Drava River area. The project will take measures to improve the water regime and biodiversity of coastal forests, restore habitats and control invasive species. The aim is also to apply new ways of preventing the deepening of the riverbed. Through its work, WISEDRAVALIFE will contribute to the implementation of EU legislation, in particular the Birds, Habitats, Waters and Floods Directive.

Specific objectives:

  • Assessment of the causes of deepening of the Drava riverbed;
  • Provide solutions / implement specific measures in the fight against riverbed degradation and improve the conservation status of target habitats;
  • Integration of project results into national and European policy.

Expected results:

  • Redesign of existing river regulation structures (at at least three project area locations);
  • Revitalization of the tributary in the selected area of the Drava River;
  • Construction of five embankments to improve water retention capacity in the Lankoc forest and construction of three dams in the Dombo canal; improving water retention in the forest;
  • Purchase of land (almost 45 ha) in the Lankoc forest to overcome a conflict of interest between landowners and a natural value management body;
  • Improving the ecological condition of habitats in the Lakoc forest (on over 500 ha);
  • Removal of common acacia (Robinia pseudoacacia), a non-native tree species that covers more than half of the forest area in Gyékényes, and planting of young forest;
  • Installation of nests for black storks and boxes for bats;
  • Development of recommendations for harmonization of river basin, flood risk and Natura 2000 management plans.