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  5. What is so special about this region?
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What is so special about this region?

The Tisza river is one of the most important and most sensitive water arteries in Central Eastern Europe. The area used to be a beautiful mosaic of sparsely forested floodplain grasslands, wetlands and softwood forests. A large part of the area is nationally protected as a park, and internationally protected as a Ramsar* wetland site. Key species, some with a global significance, such as black stork, white-tailed eagle, saker falcon, Eurasian beaver and countless water birds migrate to the area in the spring. 

However, due to the rapid expansion of invasive plants such as Amorphy fructicosa, the original vegetation has been forced back along the river. The consequences are extremely damaging: a loss of biodiversity, reduced flooding capacity, and birds are prevented from nesting and animals from finding shelter. 

*Ramsar is the Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention; an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. 

What’s changed? 

Thanks to our partnership with WWF, these invasive plants have been eradicated to restore the floodplain to its former glory. Water buffalo have been reintroduced in wetland areas and Hungarian long-horned grey cattle in woody grassland areas to help restore the grasslands to their former species-rich splendour. 
 
Semi-managed grazing also attracts new biodiversity to the wetlands, such as water birds. Beavers have been reintroduced to diversify the wetland’s landscape and restructure floodplain habitats. 

Why is this so important? 

The combination of grazing and invasive plant eradication is an ideal conservation effort to create ecological corridors and improve biodiversity quality on wetlands and grasslands. These changes provide an attractive landscape for eco-tourism, which can bring in additional revenues to economically diversify and better sustain this rural community. 
 
With Toyota’s help it’s been possible to develop a community-based floodplain conservation project that could be expanded throughout the Carpathian region and in other regions where local communities rely heavily on floodplains. 

Semi-managed grazing that attracts new biodiversity to the wetland.

Helping people return to work. These workers are bundling invasive plants that are then used as an energy source. 

Why are we doing this? 

Toyota Motor Corporation annually selects a number of projects that are funded  through the Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Programme. This programme was  launched in 2000 to celebrate Toyota’s receipt of the Global 500 Award from the  United Nations Environment Programme the previous year.