Wednesday, 14 April 2021

International Conference On Climate Change Held in Kaštela

ZAGREB, 13 April, 2021 - An online international conference on climate change was held in Kaštela, outside Split, on Tuesday to raise public awareness of the need to strengthen Croatia's capacity to deal with this matter.

The conference was organised by RERA, the public institution for coordination and development of Split-Dalmatia County as one of 11 partners in the EU project "Change We Care" between Croatia and Italy.

Croatia and Italy are to prepare joint projects to alleviate the consequences of climate change and include them in the new EU programming period 2021-2027.

Branka Pivčević Novak of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development stressed the importance of developing the first national action plan on climate change, saying that the modernisation of the national meteorological network in Croatia was very important.

Speaking online from Italy, the "Change We Care" project leader Davide Bonaldo said the project envisaged evaluating the current situation and newer trends in physical and ecological processes along the Adriatic coast, making projections of scenarios in climate change conditions, and identifying measures to adapt to climate change in five pilot areas.

Those are Vransko Jezero lake, the Neretva river delta, the Jadro river and the Kaštela Bay in Croatia, and Mula di Muggia and the Po river delta in Italy.

The end goal of the project is to establish adaptation measures to deal with climate change, Bonaldo said, adding that local communities would benefit the most.

Climate change affects the low-lying coastal area, which is urbanised, as well as the cultural heritage and tourism, so the goal of this plan is the implementation of an integral approach to the management of the Kaštela coastal area in the context of climate change, said Professor Martina Baučić of the Split Faculty of Civil Engineering.

For more about ecology in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Grant Agreement Signed For Composting Plant in Metković

ZAGREB, 26 March, 2021 - A HRK 12.5 million EU grant agreement for the construction of a composting plant in the southern town of Metković was signed on Friday by Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Ćorić and the director of the local Čistoća waste management company, Tomislav Jakić.

The project, which will be implemented as part of the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020, is worth more than HRK 24 million, of which 50% is co-financed by the EU.

Ćorić said that the composting plant would serve Metković as well as Opuzen and neighbouring communities.

The plant's annual capacity is 5,000 tonnes and it guarantees that biodegradable waste in the River Neretva valley will be managed in the best way possible, said the minister.

Dubrovnik-Neretva County head Nikola Dobroslavić said that Metković was the most advanced local government unit in terms of waste management.

For more about ecology in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Minister Tomislav Ćorić Visits Recycling Yard Worth HRK 3 Million in Novi Marof

ZAGREB, 17 March, 2021 - A recycling yard worth HRK 3 million and co-financed by EU funds has been constructed in Novi Marof, and during his visit on Wednesday, Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said that the northwestern part of Croatia has progressed more than other parts of the country in terms of waste management.

The recycling yard in Novi Marof was co-financed from the Cohesion Fund in the amount of more than HRK 2.5 million, while the entire project is worth over HRK 3 million.

Novi Marof Mayor Siniša Jenkač underscored that the recycling yard was a continuation of the policy of efficient and responsible waste management in that northern Croatian city.

"In addition, the remediation of our landfill Čret is currently in its final phase, and it cost a total of HRK 17.5 million, including 30 years of monitoring," he said, adding that they had also procured waste sorting containers.

The remediation of the Čret landfill was co-financed with HRK 13.3 million of EU funds.

According to Jenkač, when it comes to total financing with European money, about HRK 40 million has been invested in waste management in the area of Novi Marof.

(€1 = HRK 7.6)

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Ivan Anusic: Slavonia's Future Lies in Ecological Production

March the 17th, 2021 - Ivan Anusic has stated that the future of the Croatian east, the former bread basket of the entire region, lies in ecological production. Could moving more towards that lead to the revival of overlooked Slavonia?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, in cooperation with the Croatian Association of Counties, Poslovni dnevnik to see how various Croatian counties stand after the pandemic year, and the first interlocutor among many was Ivan Anusic, the prefect of Osijek-Baranja County.

"The situation isn't ideal, the large projects for which we've provided funds have been slowed down and the realisation has not started at the pace we'd initially planned. However, we found secondary ways of financing and started out with them, but the pandemic left its mark on us, as it has on the whole world,” said Ivan Anusic.

According to Ivan Anusic, this eastern Croatian county was looking for a balance between the economy and the situation with public health, and they wanted at least a part of the economy to function in the given conditions, despite the difficulties involved. Although the large economic systems that can hold up their own weight haven't really been deprived, the catering and hospitality sectors were certainly deprived.

"Slavonia is important for food production and we saw that back in early March (2020) when we were greeted by the first lockdown. Then, we came to the conclusion that food production must be self-sufficient for us who live in Croatia, and later that we must place these products on foreign markets. That must be the priority of our government," believes Anusic.

When they heard that Meggle was leaving, says Anusic, they had to act urgently. Too much politics infecting everything in this part of Croatia let it go down the drain, maybe Osijek isn't our biggest city, but it did have the biggest industry. By shutting down Meggle, we not only lost our jobs but also our tradition and we're glad that we managed to arrange everything with Belje. Unfortunately, there wasn't so much luck for the sugar factory," explained Ivan Anusic, noting that the future of Slavonia should be agriculture.

As he claims, Slavonia cannot build a future on tourism, although intensive work is being done on continental tourism, this area was created for agricultural production, and Anusic sees the future of Slavonia in ecological production. The construction of the Distribution Centre for Fruits and Vegetables has started, and it is a project worth a massive 101 million kuna that will include small farmers and they will be able to store, dry, pack, sort and create added products from their hard work.

"The defeat of every government happens when young people have to leave to get their bread. Slavonia has been communicating this sort of negative story out to the world for many years now, and it was also communicated by those who made it so. We don't need any special help, we just need to be allowed to develop our resources and have those resources in our own hands. Perceptions are slowly changing, European Union (EU) funds are there for us and we have a chance to rise like other Croatian cities and build a story of our own,'' concluded Osijek-Baranja Prefect Ivan Anusic.

For more on Slavonia, follow our lifestyle page.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Green Phone Network Receives 2,500 Croatian Calls About Environmental Problems in 2020

ZAGREB, 6 March, 2021 - In the last year, the Green Phone Network received about 2,500 calls from Croatian citizens about environmental issues in the country, and most of those reports referred to waste.

Every citizen of the Republic of Croatia may report an environmental problem or request information on the number 072 123 456, the network which includes nine environmentalist associations, says on its web site.

One in four calls about inappropriate waste disposal 

In 2020, most of the calls were warnings about the inappropriate waste disposal (every one in four calls), while class about construction detrimental to the environment made up 10.89% of those 2,500 calls. 

Citizens complained about a poor air quality (10.41%) and about damage done to the greenery (9.61%).

Also some of the calls were about noise, traffic, environmental issues concerning forests, soil and animals.

After the establishment of the first Green Phone in 1992, other associations decided to launch the same service.

Thus in September 1999, with the financial support of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), Green Phone networks were established by seven associations for environmental protection: Zelena Akcija from Zagreb, Eko Pan from Karlovac, Environmental Society Žmergo from Opatija, Zelena Istra from Pula, Sunce from Split, Kap Života from Gospić, and the Society for the Protection of Nature og Slavonija i Baranja from Osijek.

In 2003, within the project "Strengthening the Green Phone Network", financed by the European Commission, five other environmental organisations joined the Network, and one in 2007. One member left the Network in 2010, so it now comprises nine associations: Zelena Akcija from Zagreb, Eko Pan from Karlovac, Environmental Society Žmergo from Opatija, Zelena Istra from Pula, Sunce from Split, ZEO Nobilis from Čakovec, Zeleni Osijek from Osijek, Eko Zadar from Zadar, and Krka from Knin.

The aim of the Green Phone is to encourage citizens to actively participate in environmental protection and to encourage the competent institutions to solve environmental problems more efficiently.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Greenpeace Activists Plant Trees in Downtown Zagreb

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - Greenpeace activists planted ten trees in Zagreb's Martićeva Street on Friday in cooperation with the 1POSTOZAGRAD initiative to encourage local government to plant more trees and to point to the importance of green areas.

The activists brought a three-metre tree prop with the message "Three, four, now!" whereby Greenpeace joined a collective tree-planting week.

They also presented a new Greenpeace initiative called #ZazeleniGrad (For a green city), which focuses on green areas and supports civic initiatives fighting for the preservation of existing and creation of new ones, just as 1POSTOZAGRAD (1 percent for the city) is doing.

"Our cities, including Zagreb, lack greenery. This has become especially evident in the current circumstances, when we feel a stronger need to stay outdoors and in nature. We wish to encourage a stronger development of the so-called green infrastructure, which contributes to biodiversity, reduces the effect of urban heat islands, ensures shade, reduces stress and generally improves people's psychophysical condition," said Ivan Gregov, leader of the #ZazeleniGrad campaign.

The local elections in May will be an opportunity to prioritise green areas in cities, he added.

Friday, 5 March 2021

President Zoran Milanović: Energy Efficiency Can Help Adjust to Climate Change

ZAGREB, 5 March, 2021 - Economic losses in the EU due to climate change extremes amount to €12 billion annually and energy efficiency can help adjust to climate change and create jobs, not lose them, President Zoran Milanović said on Friday after meeting with representatives of Croatia's regional energy agencies.

The meeting was held at the Bračak Energy Centre in Zabok on the occasion of World Energy Efficiency Day, observed on 5 March to raise awareness of the need to reduce energy consumption and sustainable energy use, the president's office said in a press release.

In the past 13 years, together with counties, towns and municipalities, Croatia's regional energy agencies have been implementing sustainable energy use projects. Investment in clean energy exceeds HRK 1 billion.

They successfully participate in many EU projects for the energy-efficient renovation of public infrastructure, developing new business models and financial instruments, which makes them Croatia's energy transition pioneers, it was said at the meeting.

President Milanović said there was no successful adjustment to climate change without energy efficiency and that the climate crisis was potentially the biggest global crisis of the future.

"The experience in achieving renewable and efficient energy and climate protection in Croatia, which regional energy agencies already have, is a good example to all in Croatia at local as well as national level that we can and must do even better when it comes to energy efficiency. Our children must go to better schools, the buildings we live in should be both safe and energy-efficient, our cities deserve to become smart in terms of energy," he said after the meeting.

"The economic losses in the EU due to weather and climate extremes already amount to €12 billion annually. Energy efficiency is what can help us to adjust to climate change, not to lose jobs but create them, raising the standard of living of us all," he added.

Croatia has five regional energy agencies which employ 70 experts while the EU has 350, some of which have been active more than 40 years.

There are four million green jobs in the EU today, including 1.4 million in the production of energy from renewables and over 900,000 in energy efficiency activities, said Julije Domac, the president's energy and climate advisor.

"That's what we should focus on. Croatia has the know-how, as evidenced by the fact that Croatian energy agencies regularly coordinate European development projects, provide services to the European Commission and are active across the European Union. Today it's important that each of us know that energy efficiency means better for them, for Croatia, and then for Earth," he added.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Istria: Diving Tourism Resulted in 200,000 Overnight Stays

Diving tourism in Istria resulted in 200,000 overnight stays and has become a strong motivator for visiting the peninsula.

According to Barbara Ban/Novac/JutarnjiList on November 14, 2019; as many as 200,000 overnight stays were recorded this year in Istria by tourists who came for one reason: diving. This number was reported at a meeting of the Diving Tourism Professionals Group at Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Pula on Wednesday. However, this figure does not include the number of day visits, which is very high during diving season, which lasts about six months.

- There are numerous diving centers operating throughout the year. Diving is a strong motivator for tourists who prefer a more unique vacation, so diving centers are also recognized as an important factor in the development of tourism in the County of Istria. Therefore, as the group pointed out at the Chamber of Commerce in Pula; it is important to cooperate with the local community, and network with other providers of tourism. By working together, they can create the highest quality destination service which meet the needs of guests in every segments of their stay.

This year, permits have also been granted for performing underwater activities in inland waters and territorial seas in areas where cultural assets are located, based on a public report issued by the Ministry of Culture.

- Diving centers are pleased with the cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and they have a mutual interest preserving the underwater cultural heritage of the Adriatic. Diving centers play an important role in the conservation of the undersea and ecology. After diving, divers often return with the waste they have collected offshore, says Marko Srečec, president of the Diving Tourism Professionals Group.

For this purpose, the group has launched an initiative with municipalities and cities for cooperation in the field of ecology and marine conservation.

- During the coming year, the group plans, among other things, to organize guest lectures at colleges and high schools in order to promote diving tourism as a profession and present activities to as many potentially interested young people who could find employment in diving centers, concluded Srečec.

For more information on tourism in Croatia, follow our travel section. More information about diving in Istria can be found here.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Pula ECO LAB Gathers Younger Environmentally Aware Generation

As Morski/Sabina Damiani writes on the 26th of October, 2019, back in July this year, the Association for the Improvement of the Quality of Life began the implementation of the Pula ECO LAB project in partnership with three high schools in Pula.

To mark the beginning of the activities, a KICK OFF event and press conference were held on Thursday, October the 24th, in which the project and the activities being implemented until September 2020 within the scope of it were presented.

''EKO LAB, which will get its space at Pula High School, wants to become a place of exchange of knowledge, experience, experimentation in order to develop critical thinking, creativity and innovation among high school students. Protecting the environment, or protecting our planet, should become a priority at all levels. In order to create the conditions for the joint creation of a more sustainable and responsible future, we cannot and should not think about that future without you young people,'' said students Sabina Damiani and Sunčica Damjanović.

The activities will be implemented by September 2020, and the problem of plastic waste is the first topic to be considered within the EKO LAB. Plastic waste is becoming a growing problem, both for nature, for the economy and for human health. An EU directive, which enters into force in 2021, which will ban certain disposable plastic products, is an important initiative but will solve only part of the problem. We need to continue thinking very actively and systematically about solving the problem of plastic waste.

Young people, with the guidance of their professors and mentors, and visiting experts, innovators, artists, designers who, through their work, contribute to creating a better future, will think of plastic waste as a resource. With plastic recycling machines, they will produce filament for 3D printers and create their products from locally collected waste.

''We will get acquainted with the problem, work as a team and in an interdisciplinary way, design new products, create and test prototypes and present the whole process as part of EKO WEEK in September 2020. This is one big experiment for everyone, we will make a lot of mistakes, but we'll also be able to learn a lot,'' said Petra Počanić.

Finally, the film "Take a break from plastic" was shown, which was realised by the "For Zlarin without plastic" initiative, as an example of the strength of a small group of very motivated people who care about making the world better, more beautiful and greener.

The EKO LAB project is co-financed by the Office for Associations of the Government of the Republic of Croatia as part of the Swiss-Croatian Cooperation Program.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If you're interested in both official and unofficial ways Croatia works to protect its environment, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

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