Saturday, 26 January 2019

Hydrocarbon Exploration Won't Hurt Croatian Tourism

ZAGREB, January 26, 2019 - Environmental Protection and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said in Split on Friday the planned exploration of hydrocarbons in the Dinaric Alps would not affect the development of Croatian tourism.

"Such exploration should not and there's no reason for it to harm tourism," he said responding to questions from the press.

He met with representatives of Šibenik-Knin, Zadar, Lika-Senj and Karlovac countries in Šibenik on Thursday, when it was officially announced that a public tender will be advertised soon for licences for oil and gas exploration in the Dinarides.

Ćorić said initial exploration and exploitation in the first stage, "which isn't invasive at all, lasts five to seven years" and that "the whole process will include clear communication with local communities."

He said some local communities did not want such exploration because they wanted to develop rural tourism, yet that there were others which, "after the preliminary findings, would certainly assess that exploration makes sense."

Ćorić's ministry said yesterday local government "has the biggest direct benefit from hydrocarbon exploration."

More news on the environmental protection in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

100,000 Common Quails Killed Annually by Poachers in Croatia

ZAGREB, January 13, 2019 - Poachers kill at least 40,000 common quails each year in Croatia, while activists of the Croatian society for the protection of nature and birds estimate that this number goes as high as 100,000. Therefore, the activists of that society and of the Biom nongovernmental association have declared 2019 to be the year of common quails.

Mate Zec, a Biom coordinator for prevention of poaching, has recently said that in 2014, an estimated 40,000 birds of this kind were poached, however, the real statistics may be two and a half times higher. He also warns about the use of illegal hunting means such as quail decoys.

The Croatian hunting legislation prescribes prison sentences of up to three years for the use of illegal decoys. Nevertheless, bird preservation activists detected as many as 51 common quail decoys last year.

From August to October, tens of thousands of common quails migrate over our country, and many of them do not survive the journey due to the use of hundreds of decoys, says Tibor Mikuša of the Croatian society for the protection of nature and birds.

The Biom association warns about inadequate capacities in Croatia for prevention of poaching, and a low public awareness about the harmful effects of poaching.

More news on the nature protection issues in Croatia can be found in our Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Island of Krk to be Mediterranean's First CO2-Neutral Island

ZAGREB, December 15, 2018 - The northern Adriatic island of Krk plans to become the first energy-independent and CO2-neutral island in the Mediterranean, according to one of the conclusions of the 7th Krk Energy Conference organised by the Eko Kvarner NGO in the Town of Krk on Saturday.

The conference was held as part of the "Krk - Energy-independent and CO2-neutral Island" project which Eko Kvarner will implement in cooperation with the European Asbestos Risk Association from Trieste, Italy and the Town of Krk, with the support of the German Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety Ministry's European Climate Initiative.

All seven local government units on the island are included in the project, the objective being to encourage its energy transition towards renewables.

The island already has an energy cooperative, a cadastre of roofs and several solar power plants, the biggest one being on the Treskavac landfill.

The conference heard how to design and install a small photovoltaic power station, how to conceive and optimise a management system for numerous energy sources, as well as the methodology for the smart integration of renewables. Participants also discussed the economic and health aspects of installing solar panels.

One of the goals of the "Krk - Energy-independent and CO2-neutral Island" project is the installation of 250 to 500 solar panels of up to 5 kW, totalling up to 1 MW in power, by the end of 2021.

More news on the island of Krk can be found in our Travel section.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Energy Transition Coming to Croatia

ZAGREB, November 9, 2018 - Croatia's energy development to 2030 and 2050 can continue at an accelerated or at a moderate pace and all options mean decarbonisation, switching to renewable energy sources and decreasing the emission of greenhouse gasses, notes an analysis by the Hrvoje Požar Energy Institute (EHIP) released on Thursday.

At the accelerated pace, investments from 2020 to 2050 would amount to 160.4 billion kuna or 5.4 billion kuna a year, whereas at the moderate pace they would amount to 133.7 billion kuna or 4.45 billion kuna a year.

During the presentation of the Green Book, it was heard that most of the investments relate to the electricity system - 120.8 billion kuna based on the accelerated "scenario 1" or 100 billion kuna according to the moderate "scenario 2."

Mario Tot from EIHP said that both scenarios involve decarbonising the production of electricity by switching to renewable energy sources.

Preliminary estimates indicate that the total investment in the electricity transmission network, including connections of new conventional power plants, wind farms and solar power plants in the period until 2030 would amount to 8.2 billion kuna in scenario 1, which means an investment of 686 million kuna a year, while the costs for scenario 2 would amount to 7.9 billion kuna or an average investment of 666 million kuna a year.

The accelerated pace of energy transition would decrease green house gasses by 40% by 2030 and by 75% by 2050. The consumption of electricity would be reduced by 2.6% by 2030 and by 28.6% by 2050.

The moderate pace of transition foresees a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 35% by 2030 and 65% by 2050 compared to 1990. The consumption of power would be reduced by 8.1% by 2050, while buildings would be made energy efficient at a rate of 1.6%.

For more on energy issues in Croatia, click here.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Project Launched by Croatia and Hungary

ZAGREB, November 1, 2018 - A document establishing the steering committee for the UN-protected Mura-Drava-Danube transborder biosphere reserve has been signed in the Hungarian town of Mohacs, and the signing ceremony was attended by Jelena Pavleković, head of the Varaždin County institution responsible for the management of protected natural areas, the county said earlier this week.

The Mura-Drava-Danube biosphere reserve stretches across the border between Hungary and Croatia. It was created in July 2012 following a decision by the International Coordinating Council of UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme.

The steering committee was established based on long-standing cooperation between Croatian and Hungarian institutions managing protected Natura 2000 areas. Its aim is to coordinate the management of the protected areas, raise public awareness of the need to preserve the extraordinary biological diversity of the reserve, and prepare joints projects and studies, which should contribute to the sustainable development of local communities.

The steering committee is composed of nine member institutions, including three national parks and six public institutions responsible for the management of protected natural areas.

The member institutions will rotate every six months in chairing the steering committee. The first chair will be the Croatian public institution responsible for the management of protected natural areas in Virovitica-Podravina County, whose director, Tatjana Arnold Sabo, presented the initiative and the text of the memorandum establishing the steering committee.

The project is good news, especially given the recent warning about dangers to biodiversity in Croatia, as announced by the World Wide Fund for Nature.

If you want to read more about Croatia’s environmental protection efforts, click here.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Exploitation and Industry Threatening Croatia’s Biodiversity

ZAGREB, November 1, 2018 - World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) Adria has warned that excessive exploitation and industry are the biggest causes of the loss of biodiversity, and the situation in Croatia is similar, although not as alarming as in some other parts of the world.

In our region, the state of nature is not completely alarming but public management of natural resources is disastrous, often starting with a good idea and ending with poor implementation, WWF Adria says, citing as an example Croatia's Hunting Act.

According to the WWF's Living Planet Report 2018, human activity is felt on 75% of the Earth's surface. Current trends suggest that by 2050 less than 10% of the Earth's surface will remain without human activity. Wildlife accounts for less than 5% of the living planet whereas humans and domestic animals, mainly for human consumption, account for 96%.

In recent history, the lynx and the wolf were almost extinct in Croatia and only the bear population is growing. As many as 93% of estimated fish stocks in the Mediterranean are overfished and the situation in the Adriatic is very similar. This is a major threat to biodiversity.

One in ten fish species is risking extinction due to the construction of the hydro-energy infrastructure, which WWF Adria says is mainly unnecessary as it accounts for less than 5% of the total electricity produced.

The incentive system in the energy sector is no help as it provides for spending taxpayers' money on the destruction of the basic life resource, on which citizens have no opportunity to decide, WWF Adria says. "In Croatia, we use nearly two planets-worth of resources a year, which is terrifying. We must find a better model of using natural resources and agree on how we can live in harmony with nature, on which we depend," says Andrea Stefan of WWF Adria.

If you want to read more about Croatia's nature and environment, click here.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Greenpeace’s Whales Occupy Zagreb Main Square

Plastics in the seas is a growing problem.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Environmental Regulator’s Future in Question

ZAGREB, October 13, 2018 - The Green Forum, a network of 40 environmental protection organisations in Croatia, has appealed to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković not to abolish the Croatian Environment and Nature Agency (HAOP) as an independent body because its independence gives it a stronger position in protecting the environment and natural resources in the interests of all citizens.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Refinery Explosion Brings Forward Environmental Concerns

ZAGREB, October 10, 2018 - An oil spill was spotted on the River Sava downstream of the oil refinery at Bosanski Brod, a town in the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska on the border with Croatia, where an explosion and a fire occurred on Tuesday night, and the relevant Croatian services were notified, the Croatian Rescue and Protection Directorate (DUZS) said on Wednesday.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Ecotourism Experts Test New Tourist Programme for Kornati Islands

ZAGREB, October 8, 2018 - International ecotourism specialists have tested a new tourist programme for Kornati National Park, which is based on tradition, nature and authentic experience, the national park's management said.

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