At the EURO-MAB Conference in October 2005 in Austria, the National MAB committee of Germany (MAB-NK) led a workshop for developing international partnerships with Germany for biosphere reserves. At the workshop, Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve started initial talks with Russia’s Great Volzhsko-Kamsky Biosphere Reserve and Austria’s Lobau Biosphere Reserve in order to set up a long-term partnership with each. In the past few years there have already been various activities on specialized topics organized with both reserves which represent eastern and central European river landscapes.
In August and September 2006 representatives from Middle Elbe visited Great Volzhsko-Kamsky Biosphere Reserve and Lobau Biosphere Reserve for a few days to get to know and understand each another and to set out mutual goals, structures and activities in connection with the implementation of the UNESCO guidelines and with a view to concluding cooperation agreements.
After internal review and agreement in the respective countries, cooperation agreements were concluded and signed shortly thereafter (October 2006). Further visits by both sides for the purpose of exchanging experience about their main activities have helped intensify the partnerships. For some selected areas and topics (e.g. beavers, floodplain management) close collaboration has developed and been put into practice.
Volzhsko-Kamsky Biosphere Reserve (Russia) is located in the Volga River drainage basin. Parts are also located in the Raifa and Sarali Unit drainage basins. Its administrative headquarters are located in Sadovy in the Zelendolsky district.
Lobau Biosphere Reserve (Austria) is a part of Donau-Auen National Park. Administrative headquarters are in Gross-Enzersdorf.