December 11, 2020 – On the occasion of International Mountain Day, which is marked worldwide today, the Croatian Mountaineering Association, WWF Adria, and Parks Dinarides called for mountain biodiversity preservation.
Biodiversity is the theme of this year’s International Mountain Day, which is being celebrated around the world today. The UN General Assembly proclaimed this day in 2002 to highlight mountains’ significance for nature and people.
Croatian mountains perfect for hiking
The Croatian Mountaineering Association, the largest Croatian association, dedicated to environmental protection, points out that we should not forget that the Croatian mountains are unique in the world precisely because of their great diversity in a small area.
“The tallest Croatian mountains belong to the Dinaric mountains, and ecologically extremely sensitive karst relief is what characterizes them. They stretch in a northwest-southeast direction, along the Adriatic coast in several parallel rows, starting with the island mountains.
Unlike the Dinarides, the Pannonian and Peripannonian mountains are mostly old geological structures, with milder slopes, relatively low, and rich in water and vegetation. Their direction of stretching is not unique, but nowhere does it coincide with the Dinaric. They are characterized by the abundance of watercourses that have cut deep valleys over the centuries and thus created a colorful relief.
Due to the low altitude compared to the world’s highlands, most of the Croatian peaks are relatively easily accessible for mountaineering, which makes the Croatian mountains very suitable, practically ideal for hiking,” wrote the Croatian Mountaineering Association.
Velebit, the biggest Croatian mountain / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić
Croatian karst richness
Every year, the Croatian Mountaineering Association celebrates International Mountain Day with various actions. Still, since larger gatherings are not possible this year, they mark this day by publishing posters with messages and slogans of mountaineers on the topic “Do not leave a trace.”
Next year will be the International Year of Caves and Karst, and the Croatian Mountaineering Association announces that it will mark it with a series of speleological, ecological, and promotional actions aimed at emphasizing the need for better protection of caves and karst.
In terms of karst richness, including numerous caves and pits, Croatia is among the most interesting and richest countries in Europe.
Biokovo mountain / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić
World Wide Fund for Nature Adria (WWF Adria) and Parks Dinarides also called on the public to preserve mountain biodiversity. At the conference about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on protected areas, they highlighted the sensitivity of protected areas in situations where tourism is impossible.
They emphasized that mountain biodiversity is threatened by climate change, unsustainable agriculture, mineral exploitation, deforestation, poaching, land conversion, and over-construction.
In addition to natural disasters, all this leads to a fragile and unstable environment for local communities. The most significant consequences are marginalized groups, such as communities in rural mountainous areas, who often leave their homes due to a lack of economic development opportunities. Therefore, they pointed out that one recommendation is to include mountain-specific policies in national sustainable development strategies.
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