Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Over 700 Kilos of Waste Removed From Beaches and Seabed Around Šolta

ZAGREB, 12 April 2022 - Participants in a "green" regatta on Monday removed abandoned waste from beaches and the seabed around the island of Šolta.

During the cleanup, over 700 kilos of waste was collected and most of it was plastic, which poses the biggest threat to marine life.

The "Cleaning Sailing Race Regatta", held on that Adriatic island off Split, included 12 divers who removed the waste from the seabed.

The partners in this campaign are the Split-based Sunce association and the Biotherm cosmetics and healthcare items brand.

Gabrijela Medunić Orlić, the executive director of the Sunce association, said that nowadays, public beaches are kept in good shape by local utility companies, however, other beaches are often full of litter and the utilities do not have enough workers to clean them up.

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Tegeltija: Why Would Trebinje Airport Be a Problem to Dubrovnik?

ZAGREB, 2 April 2022 - The Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Council of Ministers, Zoran Tegeltija, said on Saturday it was not clear to him why anyone in Dubrovnik and Croatia would be against the construction of an airport at Trebinje, noting that everyone would benefit from the project.

Tegeltija confirmed to the local media that he had received a letter from Dubrovnik Mayor Mate Franković requesting that all preparations for the construction of the Trebinje airport be suspended until the possible impact of the project on the environment, including the River Ombla, was assessed.

In his letter, Franković reminded Tegeltija that Bosnia and Herzegovina, just like Croatia and Serbia as a potential investor, was a signatory to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context and that the airport construction should be suspended until it was confirmed that there would be no risk to the source of the River Ombla, which is situated only eight kilometres from the planned construction site.

The airport would be built in highly porous karst terrain.

Tegeltija said he was ready to discuss all unresolved issues with the Croatian government, including its plan to build a nuclear waste facility on Mount Trgovska Gora at Dvor na Uni, near the Bosnian border.

"I do not understand why the mayor of Dubrovnik is not happy about the construction of the airport at Trebinje, given its economic importance not just for Trebinje, but for the whole of Republika Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina," Tegeltija said, avoiding a comment on Dubrovnik's concern about the possible pollution of the Ombla.

Trebinje Mayor Mirko Ćuk said that Franković should not be interfering in this project. "I am in favour of all conditions being met, but without political interference. It is superfluous to comment on the claim that the construction of the Trebinje airport will affect the source of the river."

Earlier this week, the Council of Ministers formulated a proposal to open talks with Serbia on a memorandum of understanding for the construction of an airport at Trebinje. The opening of talks requires the approval of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The idea to build the Trebine airport was first floated two years ago by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, who said that the project was important for connecting Eastern Herzegovina to Serbia and the region and that it would be fully financed by Belgrade.

The airport would serve a town of barely 30,000 inhabitants and would be situated in a sparsely populated region. There are already three airports within a 50-km radius of Trebinje -- at Mostar, Dubrovnik and Tivat.   

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Dubrovnik Mayor Asks Bosnia Government to Halt Construction of Trebinje Airport

ZAGREB, 2 April 2022 - Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Franković has sent a request to Bosnia and Herzegovina's Council of Ministers to halt the construction of the airport in the town of Trebinje, southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, until the impact of the project on the source of the River Ombla is assessed.

The road distance between Dubrovnik and Trebinje is roughly 30 kilometres.

The mayor sent the request to the chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina's ministerial council, Zoran Tegeltija, on Friday following the adoption of a memorandum by Bosnia's Council of Ministers and the government of Serbia on the future cooperation with the aim of implementing the project of Trebinje Airport.

Franković recalls that apart from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia are also signatories to the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (informally called the Espoo Convention).

The document is a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) convention signed in Espoo, Finland, in 1991 that entered into force in 1997.

The Convention sets out the obligations of Parties—that is States that have agreed to be bound by the Convention—to carry out an environmental impact assessment of certain activities at an early stage of planning. It also lays down the general obligation of States to notify and consult each other on all major projects under consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across boundaries.

Franković says that the construction of airports is covered by the convention whereby the signatories are obliged to apply the principles and provisions of ESPO as well as of the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

"Therefore we express dissatisfaction with the current course of action and with the absence of initiative for dialogue...concerning this environmentally important issue," writes the mayor of the southernmost Croatian city.

Dubrovnik insists on the immediate suspension of the project until all the fulfillment of the requirements under the ESPO convention and SEA protocol.

According to the available information, the future airport should be situated in a Karst area and on soil permeable to water in the Talež settlement in the Serb entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, just eight kilometres of the source of the River Ombla.

For more, check out our business section.

 

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

World Water Day: Balls With Effective Microorganisms Thrown Into Sea in Opatija

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - Primary school pupils in the northern Adriatic town of Opatija marked World Water Day on Tuesday by throwing 13,800 biodegradable balls with effective microorganisms into the sea, thus also marking 138 years of the existence of the regional water supply and drainage system.

Effective microorganisms consist of a mixture of about 80 different microbial groups, mainly photosynthetic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria and other naturally occurring microorganisms that help maintain the natural balance in a habitat.

The campaign was organised by the municipal water management company Liburnijske Vode, while the material for the balls was provided by the Rijeka-based company "Efektivni mikroorganizam originalna tehnologija".

This was the fourth such campaign organised in the Liburnia region to mark World Water Day.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

1,500 Agreements Signed on Co-Financing Energy Upgrade of Family Homes

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - The Environment Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund has sent 1,500 agreements on the co-funding of energy upgrade of family homes, valued at HRK 102 million (€13.6 million), the fund reported on Tuesday.

The fund's director Siniša Kukić underscored that more than 3,000 applications have been processed for energy efficiency cofinancing, and contracts for a part of these requests are being prepared.

"An analysis of the applications processed so far shows that a high percentage are being approved, as many as 87%," said Kukić. 

He underscored that the average amount approved for cofinancing is about HRK 68,000 per project.

"If we continue at this rate we expect that about 5,700 projects will be approved within this scheme," said Kukić and added that the programme is important with regard to achieving climate objectives but also in light of the increased energy prices. 

The majority of projects refer to insulating exterior walls, reconstructing roofs and replacing windows and doors while some intend to install systems powered by renewables.

The fund added that cofinancing projects will continue again this year through another public call for applications.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

This Year's World Water Day Dedicated to Groundwater

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - This year, World Water Day, which is observed on 22 March, is dedicated groundwater, which Croatia treats as its special asset.

Over 90% of water used for water supply systems in Croatia comes from groundwater, according to a press release issued by the Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry on Tuesday when World Water Day was celebrated under the slogan "Making the Invisible Visible".

Croatia's renewable underground resources are estimated at some 22.43 billion cubic metres per year. Also, the quality of groundwater in the country is high.

The ministry also notes that under the 2014-2020 Competitiveness and Cohesion Programme, a greenlight has been given to a total of 60 projects concerning the improvement of wastewater and water management system in Croatia.

Their total value is HRK 25.8 billion, and admissible costs are put at HRK 20.5 billion, of which HRK 14.4 billion is covered by grants from the EU funds.

The completion of those 60 projects will enable 575,000 Croatians to get access to safe drinking water from the public water supply system, and approximately 2.5 million inhabitants will be provided with the improved wastewater and water purification systems.

As many as 1,700 kilometres of water supply networks and also 4,100 kilometres of public drainage systems will be constructed or upgraded.

Croatia has 25 billion cubic metres of surface water supply. Of that 23 percent refers to sources, streams and rivers springing and pouring into on Croatian territory.

All natural and artificial streams in Croatia are some 32,000 kilometres long on the aggregate.

(€1 = HRK 7.564472)

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Croatia Marks World Wildlife Day

ZAGREB, 3 March 2022 - Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration is the theme of this year's World Wildlife Day, marked on 3 March to raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.

World Wildlife Day 2022 will draw attention to the need to reverse the fate of the most critically endangered species, to support the restoration of their habitats and ecosystems, and to promote their sustainable use, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said in a press release on Thursday.

Citing data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, it said that over a million different species of wild fauna and flora are facing extinction.

The last EU State of Nature report also expressed concern about the rapid rate of reduction of biodiversity in the European Union. Nature in the EU, including Croatia, is mostly threatened by human activity, in particular by alterations of natural ecosystems, unsustainable use of natural resources, and pollution, which has resulted in continued destruction and loss of species, habitats, and ecosystems. In addition to human influence, nature is also facing challenges related to climate change.

Like other EU countries, Croatia also has recognized the need to take appropriate action to conserve wildlife species and habitats.

"We cannot do without nature, and the loss of biodiversity, species, habitats, and ecosystems indeed poses an existential threat to life on Earth," the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said.

World Wildlife Day will be marked at Zagreb Zoo on Saturday when educators will inform visitors about endangered animal species and their habitats.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Green Action: Finally a Proposal for Fairer Bills and Waste Collection Services

ZAGREB, 15 Feb 2022 - The Green Action NGO on Tuesday welcomed the decision by Zagreb City authorities regarding waste collection, saying this was a big step in the right direction enabling fairer bills, more recycling and less waste delivered to the city's Jakuševac landfill.

"Finally fairer bills and a better waste collection service in Zagreb," the environmental protection NGO, which was once led by the incumbent Mayor Tomislav Tomašević, said in a press release.

The proposed decision brings a new model of waste collection under which bins will have locks so they cannot be accessed by third persons.

"We consider this to be a good move which we have advocated for years because better supervision will enable fairer waste separation so the percentage of recycling will be greater. This has been proved successful in many cities across the EU such as Ljubljana, which has been dubbed the European capital of cleanliness," the NGO said.

As far as billing is concerned, the proposal introduces partial payment based on the quantity of waste and the more citizens separate waste the lower their bills will be.

That is certainly a much fairer way to charge for waste collection than the current system of charging per square metre and the number of household members.

One of the challenges of the proposed model is supervising the use of official bin bags and identifying and penalising irresponsible citizens.

"That will require stepping up municipal inspections and introducing additional reward models...We also expect our proposal for bags for mixed waste to be replaced with appropriate smaller containers and waste meters, to be adopted soon," the NGO said.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

World Environment Day Dedicated to Ecosystem Restoration

ZAGREB, 5 June 2021 - World Environment Day is observed on 5 June and this year it is dedicated to the restoration of ecosystems, whose resources are the foundation of the social and economic progress of humankind as well as people's health and wellbeing, Croatia's Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry has said.

Ecosystems play a significant role in the prevention of health crises such as COVID-19 because by destroying natural ecosystems, people have significantly increased the risk of illnesses passing from animals to people.

The ministry says the necessity to protect nature and the environment is also reflected in the fact that, according to the World Economic Forum, half the global GDP ($40 trillion), depends moderately or strongly on nature.

Given that many ecosystems have been irreversibly destroyed and others considerably degraded, our survival depends on the speed of action and clear international community coordination for their preservation and renewal, the ministry says.  

Therefore the United Nations Environment Programme, first with a resolution on 1 May and then with the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration movement, which symbolically kicks off with this year's World Environment Day, has called on all governments, the business sector, the expert and scientific community, and the wider public to prevent further degradation of ecosystems and to ensure a future for the generations to come, the ministry says.

That's why it's necessary to raise public awareness of the fact that humankind spends by the middle of the year the Earth's capacities that should suffice all year, it adds.

Ecosystem restoration, together with transition to a circular economy and a climate-neutral society, can simultaneously prevent poverty, hunger, loss of biodiversity, climate change, and uncertain access to drinking water, the ministry says.

The director of Greenpeace Croatia, Zoran Tomić, has told Hina that it's important to make cities greener and enable them to really recover.

City and local authorities now have the opportunity and duty to launch ecological transition to alleviate the effects of climate change and health crises, he says.

WWF Adria has called on citizens to demand of the authorities to implement concrete nature protection measures and support, through various campaigns, all those who contribute to nature preservation and protection.

Animal Friends Croatia has announced that on the occasion of World Environment Day, it will send all Croatian MPs a brochure on food and the ecology to explain the link between breeding animals for food and world hunger, global warming, water consumption and deforestation.

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

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Miroslav Škoro Vows to Close Down Jakuševec Landfill if Elected Mayor

ZAGREB, 8 April, 2021 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Škoro said on Thursday that if elected Mayor of Zagreb, he would deal with the problem of the city's Jakuševec landfill and close it down.

"We should do all we can to ensure that the residents in this part of Zagreb no longer have to live near a landfill with an unpleasant smell in the air," Škoro said in Jakuševec.

He said that about 110,000 tonnes of biodegradable waste is disposed of in Jakuševec annually, including 60,000 tonnes of household waste that produces an unpleasant smell in the air. "There is no need for that," he added.

Škoro said that Zagreb had such potential for compost production that it could earn HRK 35 million from it annually. He also warned that Zagreb spent HRK 25 million on disposal of plastic waste, while with proper management it could earn HRK 100 million from it.

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

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