The Upper Daugava valley with nine unique meanders is a depositary of outstanding values of nature, biodiversity and landscapes reflecting also historical and cultural significance. This object represents a mixed - natural and cultural - world heritage value.
The river valley with its characteristic arches and typical upper flood terraces has formed before 13 - 15 thousand years, after the glacial period. During that time the river stream was so strong that it carried great masses of sand, gravel, large stones and even cliffs, creating picturesque hills, deep ravines with springs, rivers and large river Daugava riffles. In the 45.4 km stretch from the Daugavpils and Krāslava towns the river is composed of nine outstanding meanders that represent unique and nowadays exceptionally rare features. These unchanged geomorphologic formations belong to the context of large rivers of the world's Northern hemisphere.
The Upper Daugava and its surroundings are characterised by rare plant and animal species because of the favorable conditions of the specific valley meanders, adjacent landscapes microclimate and soil composition. The ecosystem of the upper part of Daugava serves as an ecological corridor for the migration of species.
The nationally protected nature area - Protected Landscape Area "Augšdaugava" (the Upper Daugava), including Nature Park "Daugavas loki" (Meanders of Daugava), was established in 1990. In 2004 this region was included in the European Union NATURA 2000 list, covering 52 325 ha of high biodiversity values and luxurious boreal type landscapes. This nomination is elaborated in 2010 - the year declared by the United Nations the International Year of Biodiversity.
Visual material: Evija Maļkeviča