The World Wildlife Federation is urging Croatia to reconsider its new river regulation projects, which according to the environmental group pose a serious threat to endangered species and oppose European Union laws.
WWF Austria expert Arno Mohl warned in a statement Thursday that the Central European country’s planned projects for the Danube, Drava, Mura, Sava and Neretva rivers could negatively impact the continent’s largest wetland areas and floodplain forests.
“We are very much concerned that new planned river regulation projects along all major rivers in Croatia are threatening unique natural areas and counteracting efforts of the EU to bring water management in line with EU policy and law,” said Mohl.
The extensive regulation programs, which were proposed by the Croatian water management authority, consist of sediment extraction and irrigation projects, AFP reports.
WWF said the plans to destroy some 273 miles of the Danube and Sava rivers are at odds with the EU Water Framework Directive.
Although Croatia is not currently a part of the EU, the country is a candidate for 2012 membership.