Photo: DOPPS

Duration: November 01, 2023 - April 30, 2025

Project presentation:

The rivers attract visitors who are looking for adventure in a safe environment where children can have fun while experiencing the wilderness and unspoiled nature. In the area of the Mura and Drava rivers, visitation is not regulated and there is no system for monitoring the number and behavior of visitors. In the Međimurje district, the river areas border the Varaždin and Koprivnica-Križevci districts and the countries of Slovenia and Hungary. In Croatia, the project area covers the entire course of the Mura River and the old riverbed of the Drava River downstream of the Dubrava reservoir in the Međimurje district.

The project is being implemented in Croatia in three NATURA 2000 areas: SAC HR2000364, SPA/SAC HR5000014 and SPA/SAC HR2001307. In Slovenia, the activities are carried out in the 60 km long part of the Mura River between Gornja Radgona and the border with Croatia near Dekanovec. The area is an N2000 site - SPA (SI5000011) and SAC (SI3000215). The area can only be navigated by boat, and the tours are organized by untrained personnel, often with inadequate equipment and without professional guidance by licensed skippers. Now that Croatia is part of the Schengen area, the pressure on the river is expected to increase.

In order to mitigate or avoid it, information boards should be placed at the entry and exit points for boats with rules of conduct for the entire route, rules for landing on the shore areas where fires may be lit, notices to avoid disturbing breeding species and wildlife sighting opportunities. Raising awareness among tour operators on the river is of great importance.

Project Map

Project objectives:

Goal 1: Transboundary protected area administrations adapted to sport-based activities

Protected areas develop guidelines for licenses and concessions for sport tourism operators and designate areas for landing, recreation and other uses subject to seasonal restrictions. Protected areas implement a monitoring system to assess the impact of the systems put in place.

Goal 2: The tourism industry commits to sustainable standards in canoeing and kayaking

Tour operators and guides integrate the German standards into their operations based on the licenses or concessions granted by the protected area administrations. This includes reporting systems where operators submit an annual report to the authorities.

Goal 3: Improve the local population's knowledge of sustainable standards and products

Local workshops with stakeholders ensure that their capacity to develop sustainable tourism products is strengthened and that they are able to communicate with tour operators and visitors about the sustainable use of valuable river habitats.

Project partners:


BirdLife Slovenia


Logo Priroda

Nature Conservation Administration Međimurje (Croatia)


Logos ETE and LT and C

Ecological Tourism in Europe and Linking Tourism & Conservation



European Green Belt Initiative with funds from the European Union


Logos Donors