Plitvice Lakes National Park to Create Action Plan for Visitor Management

Daniela Rogulj

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy and Plitvice Lakes National Park, with the support of the US Embassy and the Embassy of Canada in Croatia, have presented a project for developing a new participatory development plan for visitor management at Plitvice Lakes.

The protected area management plan is a strategic document that defines the purpose and status of protected areas and defines management objectives, the activities necessary to achieve the objectives, and indicators of the effectiveness of management, which will be valid for a period of 10 years. In addition, it is also a response to the current requirements set by the international and local communities to effectively manage a national park, with an emphasis on managing visitors, reports HRTurizam on February 1, 2017. 

A committed team, which includes two leading world and three national experts for the management of protected areas and visitors, is set with the task to create a management plan titled “NP Plitvice Lakes Action Plan for Visitor Management” which will define the best solutions for the management of the park over the next 10 years. 

“The unique natural value of Plitvice Lakes National Park – recognized at the world level with its inclusion on the World Heritage List under UNESCO protection – makes management of the park complex, and responsibility for its conservation even more so. The new management plan should therefore provide an answer to the challenges of managing the number of visitors, but also the preservation of the nature and the environment, as well as to define a balance between preserving the area as it is today and its further development,” said Minister of Environmental Protection and Energy Slaven Dobrović.

Areas where improvements are needed, which will be included in the plan, inlcude: managing visiting / visitors, systematic research and monitoring of protected nature, the design and establishment of a program of interpretation for protected nature and its adjustment of visitors, defining the basic tasks of the National Park, inclusion and cooperation of key stakeholders in the process of governance, and the role of the NP in the rural development of the surrounding areas.

An important role in the organization of the project was the UNDP through its project PARCS, a project actively supporting and participating in the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy and the Croatian Agency for the Environment and Nature. 

“The emphasis of the management plan for Plitvice Lakes will be for the period from 2017 to 2027, and the main strategic management document will be the public institution and the Action Plan for the Management of visitors. As an operational document, there will be the successful involvement of all key stakeholders who have guided the process of extensive negotiations, mutual learning, and building approvals. They will ensure that Plitvice Lakes National Park remains a natural heritage by UNESCO, and respectively the Croatian leader in the preservation and promotion of natural values, as the basis for sustainable development of the local community,” said Andjelko Novosel from Plitvice Lakes National Park.


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