WWF Launches Website to Highlight Croatia’s Natural Values

Daniela Rogulj

WWF Adria has launched a website to highlight the importance of Croatia’s natural values.

Our region is recognized all over the world by its extraordinary natural values: intact rivers, forests of high value, a unique coastline and rich wilderness. If we recognize the very value of the nature that surrounds us, we will better understand its obligation to protect each individual. WWF has therefore launched a website which highlights the natural values in a single platform, reports HRTurizam on April 22, 2017. 

The website (natureforpeople.orgis based on the information, stories, and examples of good practice of how to use our natural values in a sustainable manner and thus to contribute to the economic and social development of our region. 

“We want to show nature through this website through the values of water, forests, the sea and other ecosystems without which life on earth would not be possible. We want to encourage politicians when making decisions to take into account a wide range of natural values, and the business sector to integrate the protection and sustainable use of natural and social capital in their businesses,” says Editor-in-Chief Kasandra-Zorica Ivanić of WWF Adria.

As WWF’s programs encourage local communities to actively participate in the management of nature and its resources, this site also offers models for such collaboration and can instill each individual to actively protect our natural values.

The data published on prirodazaljude.org is based on the PA-BAT analysis conducted by WWF in 58 parks in our region, including 18 Croatian parks. The conclusion is that protected Croatian areas generate revenues from water, forests, and agriculture, and mostly from tourism. In two-thirds of the parks, tourism is the main source of income for the local community, which proves that the well-being of local development in tourism is largely linked to the protected nature. Although Croatia is reluctant to rely on tourism as the main economic branch, the purpose of the protected areas is not only for the well-being of tourists but much more about the importance of educating all visitors about protecting nature and the values of our nature and the parks themselves.

Whether the government understands the importance of jobs related to the protection of nature and the local community, and if they are sufficiently informed and educated about sustainable business practices and their rights in decision-making about the use of nature, are just some of the questions WWF strives to find answers to. 

“The annual revenue of two power plants that use water from protected areas in Velebit amounts to 60 million euros, while their investment in the protection of 200,000 hectares of forest ecosystems is only 0.0265% of revenues. This money goes into the state budget and not directly to the protected area. Should part of the income go towards the preservation of an ecosystem that provides quality water? To find the answers to these questions, we want to gather experts from across the region who will share examples of good practices on the sustainable use of natural resources in other countries,” adds Kasandra-Zorica Ivanić.

The site prirodazaljude.org is currently based on data related to the nature of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. WWF hopes to cover all the countries in the region by the end of summer. The site was made possible through WWF’s “Protected Areas for Nature and People” program.


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