“Lastovo Nature Park has a bright future in sustainable tourism, with the strengthened knowledge and skills needed to preserve its environment, culture, and tradition to protect it from mass tourism while ensuring that most of its income stays within the local community.”
This was the message of the second Conference of Marine Protected Areas which was held last Wednesday in the “green” hotel Split in Podstrana. At the conference, the results of the SEA-Med project were presented – which is a project that develops sustainable economic activities in the marine protected areas that relate to PP Lastovo and PP Telašćica, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on January 26, 2017.
In order to make nature parks a more recognizable tourist destination that encourage the conservation of natural values and the traditions of the islands, Association “Sunce” – in cooperation with WWF Adria and other partners – spent the last three years in a series of activities that will be of significant benefit to Lastovo and Telašćica.
“On Lastovo, outside of the tourist season there are between 500 and 600 inhabitants that this project provides the support for to help them stay on the island. With a variety of viable economic models for managing natural parks, and the adoption of five strategic documents, we have worked to strengthen the capacity of people to manage the protected marine areas.
We have made an illustrated map of Lastovo, a promotional video for PP Lastovo islands, a postcard from Telašćica with the theme of sustainable tourism, a map and guide to Dugi Otok, cookbooks for Lastovo and Telašćica, we have constructed two educational tracks, a submarine for Telašćica, and then there is the Lastovo star chart because there is no light pollution there, while private renters have completed their training on saving water, electricity and composting. There are mounted photovoltaics and LED lighting in camps hidden in Lastovo and Barbaroža on Dugi Otok… We have worked out the plans for sustainable tourism in detail, and one of the goals is that the bulk of the income will remain within the local community because without their involvement none of this would be possible,” said head of the project Milena Sijan from Association “Sunce”.
The SEA-Med project addresses sustainable fishing while bringing awareness to impoverished Adriatic fish due to excessive and unreasonable harvest. Thus, there is the planned establishment of a free fishing zone, adoptions for regulations for sustainable fishing, and the general control and monitoring of fisheries in nature parks in order to preserve fish stocks which will be monitored with seagrass called Posidonia.
The value of the SEA-Med project is worth 324,000 euros, and it was implemented with financial support from the Swiss MAVA Foundation, the FFEM, EU, UNEP / MAP and CEPF.