The First List of Croatia’s National Treasures, Worth Billions of Dollars

Daniela Rogulj

Croatia, for the first time in a single place, has a list of all the natural resources of the country, hitherto underutilized in developing countries. This list is a comprehensive “inventory” of national treasures with proposals for the protection of Croatian natural resources and their rational use, as outlined in the book “Croatian Natural Resources – Protection and Responsible Development”, which will be presented today at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

The study was prepared by the Committee for the Protection of Goods of National Interest HAZU, established in March 2013. In the preparation of the study “Croatian Natural Resources”, Vice President Academician Mirko Zelić lead the project with 46 top scientists and experts in participation.


“For the first time in one place, we have listed all of the natural resources of Croatia, unused in developing countries,” says academician Zelić.


According to the Vecernji List, just the value of agricultural and forest resources in Croatia is about 17 billion USD. The study covers energy, drinking and surface waters, metal and non-metal raw materials, forests and forest land, agriculture and agricultural land, transport, digital and energy infrastructure, as well as proposals for the rational management of natural resources.


Here are the most important Croatian natural resources:

1. Forests and forest land worth 6.9 billion USD: Forests and forest land occupy about 2.6 million acres with wood stocks around 552 mil. cubic meters and 11 mil. cubic meters of new wood stocks each year. Forest resources are worth 6.9 billion USD


2. The value of agricultural land worth 10 billion USD: Agricultural land covers an area of ​​approximately 2.96 million hectares and 90% of this area is cultivable. Unfortunately, the process is less than 50% of the area. The value of the agricultural land in Croatia about 10.13 billion USD


3. The 1246 islands, but their share in the economy is only 5-7%: Croatia has 1246 islands, where only 6% of the surface of the soil is fertile, and their share in the Croatian economy is only 5-7%. The islands are geographically divided into 79 islands, 525 islets, and 642 rocks and reefs.


4. For water wealth we are fifth in Europe: The drinking and surface water wealth of the country and the quality and quantity, with respect to the population, are among the European and world’s top. For richness of water we are in 5th place in Europe and 42nd place in the world.


5. Valuable infrastructure and data analysis: Traffic, digital and energy infrastructure includes an analysis of data on highways (1273 km), railways (2100 km), waterways (804 km), the electric power network (18,500 km), and fiber optic (13,000 km)


6. We have significant reserves of hydrocarbons: Croatia spends twice as much in primary energy than it produces. It has significant hydrocarbon reserves. Promising areas for the discovery of new stocks are the Pannonian Basin, Dinarides, and the northern, central and southern Adriatic.


7. 12 wind farms – worth 315 million euros: In operation in 2013 there were 12 wind farms, and their value amounted to 315 million EUR


8. We could have 30,000 jobs that use the sun: The sun as an energy source is of national interest. If we, in the next five years, installed at 1 m? photovoltaic modules and 1 m? solar thermal collectors per capita, we could open 30,000 jobs


9. 450 species of fish in the Adriatic Sea: The Adriatic Sea has 450 species of fish. Consumption of fish is around 10 kg per capita per year. The value of purchased and sold fish in 2012 was 302 million. Catches and fishermen in the sea annually varies around 70,000 tons.


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