Guidelines for Protecting Rural Landscapes, Sustainable Tourism Development of Neretva Valley Presented

Daniela Rogulj

November 3, 2019 – The CO-EVOLVE project is looking to revitalize the Neretva Valley.

Guidelines for the integral protection of rural landscapes and sustainable tourism development of the Neretva River Delta were presented this week at the Valamar Lacroma Hotel in Dubrovnik, at the final conference of the CO-EVOLVE project organized by the DUNEA Regional Agency.

HRTurizam writes that the guidelines have created conservation, urban, landscape, and architectural bases that identify and valorize neglected, or abandoned, villages and hamlets in the hinterland of the Neretva, and planning guidelines that can be implemented in the spatial planning documentation of local self-government units in the Neretva valley.

Prefect Nikola Dobroslavic discussed the importance of the CO-EVOLVE project for Dubrovnik-Neretva County. “These Guidelines provide answers on how to revitalize the Neretva and give it new value through tourism development. We must work to raise awareness of the importance of the quality of the space we have and at the same time protect them to create the preconditions for the development of sustainable tourism,”  said Dobroslavic, adding that the Neretva is an example for the development of other rural parts of the county.

The importance of this project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund was also addressed by the director of the DUNEA Regional Agency, Melania Milic. “With a budget of €215,000, the DUNEA Regional Agency, together with the Institute for Physical Planning of Dubrovnik-Neretva County and external experts, created integrated management plans and activities for the Neretva River Delta – one of seven pilot areas. This was also the aim of the project – raising awareness, analyzing the situation and promoting the cooperation of man and nature in coastal areas with high tourism rates and high tourism potential. Through joint efforts, exchanging experiences, and searching for the best solutions, we have come to the end of this project and we can really be proud of the Guidelines that have emerged from the project,” said Milic, expressing her desire to provide funds for other clusters in order to continue developed rural areas.

Director of the Institute for Physical Planning of Dubrovnik-Neretva County Marina Oreb warned that most of the villages in Neretva, but also in other parts of the County, are not protected as cultural property by law. “Dubrovnik-Neretva County will ask the Ministry of Tourism to consider and recommend this pilot project to be implemented in all of Croatia, and to introduce a special measure, namely the program ‘Revitalizing rural landscapes’, from which funds would be allocated for projects that are aimed at the tourist valorization of abandoned villages,” Oreb explained.

The Guidelines for Integral Protection of Rural Landscapes and Sustainable Tourism Development of the Neretva River Delta consist of three documents: “Recognizing the Values of the Rural Landscapes of the Neretva Valley”, “Guidelines for the Integral Protection and Revitalization of Rural Landscapes of the Neretva Valley” and “Guidelines for the Sustainable Development of Rural Tourism in the Neretva Valley” .

They rely on the previously prepared Neretva Cluster Tourism Development Plan 2015-2025 and serve as a recommendation and example of good rural development practice for other Dubrovnik-Neretva County tourism clusters.

The budget of the project is EUR 3 million, while the budget of the DUNEA Regional Agency is EUR 215,000, and 85% or EUR 2,559,000 is co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg MED Program.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment