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In November 1999, the Government of the Republic of Croatia signed a grant agreement with the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) for the preparation of a Karst Ecosystem Conservation (KEC) project. The project is being prepared on the basis of the National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity Protection (NSAP) as adopted by the Croatian Parliament. The Ministry of Environment Protection and Physical Planning is in charge of the implementation of the grant agreement in the part relevant to the project preparation. Following the prescribed legal procedure, among all the applicants, the Ministry selected PAP/RAC for the: preparation of studies (Phase I); formulation of the project (Phase II); and preparation of project documentation for GEF (Phase III). The Study on social and rural development (within the Phase I) will be prepared by the Blackstone Corporation, Canada.

The objective of the project is the conservation of the biodiversity of the karst ecosystems of Croatia, in a way as to involve as many participants as possible, to be economically sustainable and harmonised with the socio-economic objectives and plans of Croatia. The objective of the on-going preparatory phase is the preparation of project documents according to GEF standards, to serve as the basis for asking financial support for the project from the GEF.

The project includes four protected areas, i.e. the National Parks Risnjak, Northern Velebit, Paklenica and Plitvice Lakes, and Park of nature Velebit, including the adjacent areas. The definitive geographic scope of the project was defined during the project preparation. For that purpose, field research was performed during the preparatory phase in the karst area of Velebit, Lika and Gorski Kotar. After the project preparation, which was completed by the end of the year 2000 and envisaged all the activities and funds necessary for the KEC project, the project implementation will be launched. The envisaged duration of the project implementation is 5 years.

The project preparation is divided in three phases:

# Preparation of basic studies for the evaluation of the state (June-September 2000)

  1. Study on social and rural development 2. Study on biodiversity
  2. Study on legal and institutional framework for the protection of biodiversity
  3. Study on land-use plans and natural resources management plans
  4. Study on the public opinion, education and public participation

# The concept and formulation of the project to be performed through a number of workshops organised at local and national levels (September – October 2000).

# Preparation of project documentation for GEF (November – December 2000)



PAP/RAC. 2000. Croatia Karst Ecosystem Conservation: Social assessment and rural development study. Blackstone Corporation Resource Management & Tourism Consultants. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. 105. ENG, CRO

(Download blackstone.zip / 169kb) 


BIONDIC, B., BONACCI, O., KUSAN, V., NIKOLIC, T., and TVRTKOVIC, N. 2000. Croatia Karst Ecosystem Conservation: Comprehensive biodiversity survey. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. 102. ENG, CRO

(Download Sub-Task 2.zip / 168kb)

(Download Podz2-Biondic-Bon-Nikolic.zip / 325kb)


BRALIC, I. 2000. Croatia Karst Ecosystem Conservation: Legal and institutional framework for the protection of biodiversity. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. 27. ENG, CRO

(Download Sub-Task 3 - Bralic.zip / 43kb)

(Download Podzadaca 3 - Bralic.zip / 55kb) 


BERLENGI, G., CONSTANTINIDES, G., DEBEVEC, A., KLARIC, Z., TASSI, F., and TRUTA, S. 2000. Croatia Karst Ecosystem Conservation: Land and Natural Resource Management Plans Review and Development. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. 44. ENG, CRO

(Download Sub-Task 4 - Truta.zip / 73kb)

(Download Podzadaca 4 - Truta.zip / 83kb)


BERLENGI, G., and MAROEVIC, M. 2000. Croatia Karst Ecosystem Conservation: Public awareness, education and participation study. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. 29.

(Download Sub-Task 5 - Maroevic.zip)

(Download Podzadaca 5 - Maroevic.zip)

In the project area under study, the main advantage of development is the qualitative and preserved natural environment, while the main obstacle is the state of human resources. The improvement of the demographic and economic conditions in the project area is an indispensable prerequisite for the realisation of public participation requested by GEF. The first step taken towards the development of local communities participation is the continuous and timely informing of the participants about the tasks, goals and development of the project. The next step should be the regular consultations with the participants and their inclusion the process of formulation, implementation and evaluation of the project. In the project area, particular stress should be put on the education for the active encouragement of entrepreneurship which should be based on a sustainable use of natural resources. In the process of participation and education aimed at the development of active protection and sustainable use of the karst biodiversity, particular attention should be paid to the encouragement of work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other organisations, as well as of citizens’ associations aimed at finding solutions for environmental and other survival-related issues in the area. At the moment, NGOs dispose of the largest potentials for the development of the public participation in the process of decision making on the protection and sustainable development of biodiversity.


CONSTANTINIDES, G. 2000. Croatia Karst Ecosystem Conservation: Economic Assessment Report. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. 30.

(Download Glafkos Economic.zip)

PAP/RAC 2000. Croatia Karst Ecosystem Conservation: Brochure on the Project preparation. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. 12. ENG, CRO

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