Project Title: LIFE WILDisland - Danube Wild Island Habitat Corridor
Project budget: € 14,222,637
Co-financing source: LIFE programme
Project duration: September 2021 – August 2027
The Danube is an ecological corridor of outstanding relevance for Europe, connecting more bio-geographic regions than any other European river, and hosting extremely rich biodiversity. The Danube islands represent unique sites in the river ecosystems, stand for intact river dynamics and sediment regime, and demonstrate the original beauty and natural rivers, valuable habitats with characteristic fauna and flora.
Within the DANUBEparksCONNECTED project (funded by the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme) the first inventory of Danube islands was realized: over 900 islands form the Danube Wild Island Habitat Corridor, with some 380 “jewels” (very natural, natural), 147 WILDislands representing wilderness. A commitment has been signed by the DANUBEPARKS Directors to carry out pilot restoration actions, get involved with relevant stakeholders to ensure non-intervention management on a long term, develop good practice for Green Infrastructure and stress its contribution to a greater coherence of Natura 2000 network.
As a follow-up, DANUBEPARKS and partners representing the waterway, hydropower and forestry sector launched the LIFE WILDisland project to protect and revitalize the last near-natural "wild" islands on the Danube. The project represents an amazing example of cross-sector trans-border cooperation, involving 15 partners from 8 countries united to restore and conserve a total of 34 islands all the way from Germany to Romania. The project provides for restoration of islands in hydropower reservoirs (Upper Danube); optimization of Grey (navigation) Infrastructure to initiate and restore islands (Middle Danube); sediment management (Lower Danube); restoration actions aiming at softwood riparian forests (EU priority habitat type 91E0*: Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior), as well as a Danube-wide awareness and conservation campaign for the Danube Wild Island Habitat Corridor.
LIFE WILDisland aims to establish a best-practice example for an EU ecological corridor, supported by the EU Commission and strategic partners such as the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and the Ramsar Convention.
1. To strengthen ecological connectivity and preserve the natural wilderness in the heart of Europe, improving the coherence of the NATURA 2000 network;
the waterway, hydropower and forestry sector launched the LIFE WILDisland project to protect and revitalize the last near-natural "wild" islands on the Danube.
2. To strengthen ecological connectivity and preserve
the natural wilderness in the heart of Europe, improving the coherence of the
NATURA 2000 network;
3. To restore natural processes, promote river dynamics and intact sediment regime;
4. To demonstrate good practice for cross-sector and cross-border cooperation;
5. To locate WILDislands and identify commitments with relevant policy drivers, sectors and land managers to preserve their natural heritage;
6. To improve the conservation status of 1,267 ha of softwood riparian forests (EU priority habitat type 91E0*: Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior), restoring and maintaining a total of 34 islands and 39 SCIs along the Danube;