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.

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.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Tender for Energy Renewal of Croatian Family Homes Coming Soon

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 4th of September, 2020, the conditions for co-financing of the energy renewal of Croatian family homes will be the same as this year, and citizens will be able to receive up to 60 percent of the incentives for thermal insulation, roof repairs, new carpentry, and the installation of systems for the use of renewable energy sources.

After receiving 7,386 applications from citizens for co-financing the energy renovation of Croatian family homes, the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency recently announced the continuation of the programme in 2021. "Given the expressed interest in this programme, the Fund will announce a new Public Invitation worth around 200 million kuna in the first quarter of next year," announced the Fund's director Sinisa Kukic.

As previously stated, the conditions for co-financing will be the same as this year, and citizens will be able to receive up to 60 percent of the incentives for thermal insulation, roof repairs, new carpentry, and the installation of systems for the use of renewable energy sources. Given that documentation such as the energy certificate and the energy audit report is valid for several years, the Fund says that it will continue to be acceptable during the next call.

Almost 70 percent of the 7,386 requests received by the Fund in this year's public call are for the renovation of Croatian family homes that are energy class E and worse. Such houses consume up to four times more energy than today's construction standard. Most of them were built back in the 70s and 80s, when technical regulations didn't require the installation of thermal protection. The oldest house registered for renovation was built in 1850, and is one of about 20 houses built in the 19th century for which co-financing was requested. Over time, such Croatian family homes have become even more dilapidated, so energy renovation measures will improve their energy performance and their visual impression, and will also provide them with comfort and a healthier situation when within the premises.

The Fund will soon publish a public call for co-financing the use of renewable energy sources for the production of heat and/or cooling energy in households. Citizens will thus not have at their disposal 30 million kuna for the installation of biomass boilers, heat pumps and thermal solar collectors, and they can, depending on the area where the facility is located, count on 40 to 80 percent of the co-financing, or a maximum of 75,000 kuna.

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Saturday, 23 May 2020

Divers and Volunteers Remove 2 Tonnes of Rubbish from Murter Seabed

The discarding of waste, particularly harmful plastic, is an enormous problem across the world that various governments and indeed the EU has been trying to address and deal with. In Croatia, the improper disposal of waste has gradually become a problem bordering a total loss of control. On beautiful Murter alone, a massive two tonnes of rubbish was collected from the seabed.

As Morski writes on the 22nd of May, 2020, May the 22nd marked the the Day of Biological Diversity and the Day of Nature Protection in the Republic of Croatia. Organised by the municipality of Murter-Kornati, the local tourist board and the Šibenik powerlifting club, a team of about ten volunteers and divers from the Najada diving centre managed to remove a concerning two tonnes of garbage from Murter's seabed to the surface.

''We undertook a diving-coastal action with about two tonnes of garbage… with 10 or so divers and volunteers… I don't know what this action is by number, but I know that there will be more being done this year than there were last year, and last year there were more than 30 of them. They were coastal, forest, natural and underwater diving actions. I can freely say without modesty that when it comes to environmental protection, we work mostly at the local level, and globally, in terms of Croatia [as a whole], I'm sure that we're at the top. It's amazing how much garbage we collected, tonnes and tonnes of it,'' stated Goran Simic, president of the Šibenik powerlifting club, who also went on to explain why the action was takrn.

''There was no money to be had from doing this. We did it because that's the normal thing to do! Everything will come back. Because a couple of people, municipalities and others have already asked us for advice because they do their own eco actions, we had enough of just talking and people taking money from the budget for fairy tales… Because now that you go through Grebastica, Brodarica, Zablace, Murter, Sibenik, Tribunj, Kaprije, Raslina and other places, the land and the sea will both be clean… That's why… We don't care who leans to the left, to the right, who is a centrist, who is a partisan or who is an Ustasha. See you on Sunday in Zablace, Soline from 17:00 to continue this,'' announced Simic.

Make sure to follow Total Eco Croatia if you're interested in both official and unofficial ways in which Croatia works to protect its environment.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Croatian Brothers Create Biodegradable Tennis Shoes

As Novac/Mario Pusic writes on the 26th of May, 2019, the story of two Croatian brothers Domagoj (34) and Hrvoje (33) Boljar from Duga Resa is an excellent one for many reasons, and one of them is that they don't need a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile phone for the presentation of their products. They wear them - on their feet.

Through their company Miret, they developed an eco-tennis brand that is almost completely biodegradable and was started with the EIT Climate-KIC accelerator, the largest European launcher acceleration program that develops solutions which have a positive impact on the climate. These new Croatian tennis shoes are one of the six innovative Croatian projects which will be developed under the leadership of the Zagreb Innovation Center (ZICER) in this program.

The Boljar brothers can thus expect symbolic financial support of 15,000 euros, mentoring and educational support from recognised Croatian and foreign experts, as well as a good opportunity for international networking.

It's no exaggeration when Domagoj and Hrvoje say that they're creating the most fashionable shoes on the planet. They are made of hemp, cotton and various other healthy materials.

Everyone who knew their late father, Josip Joža Boljar, knows of the source from which these two innovative Croatian brothers draw their passion, and the stubbornness of their father is not lacking, either, they say themselves.

In the second half of the nineties, when the textile, leather and footwear industry came together seamlessly, Joža decided to produce shoes. This decision was the right one and worked out fine, and ten years later, under his brand Mr. Joseph, he had a plant with 100 employees who produced 100,000 pairs of shoes per year, sold them in 22 stores all over Croatia and exported them all the way to Scandinavia. As excellent as this story is, sometimes things are happen in life that nobody can influence; the market was flooded with cheap Chinese products, there was a crisis, and long-established entrepreneur Josip Boljar entured a hard time and eventually died in 2015. These two brothers grew up with their father's factory, so there was no way they were going to leave it even during the worst of times.

"There was no family pressure for us to take over one day. And before we graduated from university, with me doing economy of entrepreneurship, and Hrvoje doing industrial design, I knew I would one day run the company and my brother would create new products. We inherited that from our parents, so there's this need to create something new, something useful and tangible.

My father was an electrical engineer who went into making shoes after having made machines. Working in his company wasn't something that was ''pre-programmed'' for us, but we both ended up there. However, the company's stability was sluggish, we were trying to save it by turning to the production of luxury tennis shoes, which was, back then, not something on the Croatian market or abroad.

We've created our own brand, Jots, we developed products for top European brands for buyers Croatia, Italy, Holland and France, all with the knowledge and the machines we had and the great people who kept following us. But then it just happened to take off,'' the Croatian brothers state.

You don't surrender in life when things get hard, but only when something makes no sense anymore. And these two brothers think that their eco-tennis shoes do make a lot of sense, and it's never really been easy for them anyway.

Behind the proverbial storm which pushed their core business ever forward, five years ago, they began to develop their eco-tennis shoes, and they knew they were doing the right thing.

The first 100 pairs were quickly grabbed by tourists in Split without any advertising as long as four years ago, and they continued to develop and offer their products through their webshop at Miret.co.

"I'm just persistent, Hrvoje is crazy and persistent. He had dreamed about this shoe before he even had the opportunity to get the materials he needed. They'd say we're producing garbage and that they don't want to participate in it. But we had to live on something. I stepped forward and fought with the problems and let him go and develop things in peace. He went to the extreme, wanted to make a shoe for which there's no mold.''

Nobody had ever done so, so this inventive Croatian duo couldn't even get their hands on any materials to make ecological footwear. Someone had to prepare it especially for them. They have a dozen major suppliers who helped them out, but not one of them is from Croatia.

''People were asking us whether or not the shoes will just fall to bits on their feet. Yes, the composition of the material is like that of a shepherd's pie, but no, they won't fall apart. We use certified suppliers, for example, a New Zealand wool processed in eco-colours with the most rigorous ecological certifications.''

Much later on, the EIT Climate-KIC competition was announced by their acquaintance Marko Capek, probably the most prominent and most controversial Croatian anti-plastic fighter, who worked in the UN after completing his energy studies during which he studied renewable energy sources.

"Our innovation is in the concept, ideas and materials and we no longer think about manufacturing, even though we've dreamed of that, but we'll use service production, what we used to do for others. We have great producers in Croatia and we hope that production will continue to take place in Croatia. What we need is stability,'' they state, adding that they do need a serious investor, and that they don't want for their project to simply remain a small and somewhat ''romantic'' one.

They will look for such an investor abroad, but they aren't even thinking of leaving Croatia, because, as they rightly say, no honey and milk is flowing through the rivers anywhere.

"A colleague told me after presenting the product to go to Sweden. If anyone knows how hard it is to work in Croatia, then I know, but I won't move because I like living here. Will we open an office in Berlin or America? I don't know, but we want to stay here. You're lying in bed tonight and you wonder how you'll pay for your electricity tomorrow and you think it would be best to move to New Zealand. You wake up in the morning and keep making shoes. Wherever you go, you are still here, wherever you go, nothing will change if you don't change it,'' concluded Domagoj Boljar.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for more on Croatian products and services, Croatian companies, Croatian businesses and Croatian innovation, and much more.

 

Click here for the original/full article by Mario Pusic for Novac/Jutarnji

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Hotel Adriatic is First Hotel in Croatia to Stop Using Disposable Plastic

All too often we hear about the dangerous levels of disposable plastic causing harm to the world's seas and oceans. With the EU and the EC finally taking a stronger stance against this wanton destruction of the environment by passing various laws on the use and disposal of plastic, as well as putting its foot down in regard to member states and their respective recycling policies, including Croatia, it seems we are (albeit slowly) finally getting somewhere.

Of course, Croatia is a lot slower than others, but some are making an excellent example of themselves through their own practices.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of April, 2019, the implementation of this initiative has actively involved the hotel's employees, suppliers, partners, as well as its guests and local residents who enjoy the hotel's numerous services on a daily basis.

Hotel Adriatic, which is part of the Maistra family, has decided to replace all disposable plastic items with alternatives, leading it to become the very first hotel in the Republic of Croatia to actively advocate for a cleaner working environment and a holiday without the use of disposable plastic waste, as was announced on Monday by this respected Rovinj hotel company.

"As the first hotel in Croatia with no disposable plastic, Hotel Adriatic aims to be the leader in innovation and sustainability and invites all of its employees to work responsibly in a way that will enable our guests to actively participate in this ecological action and a unique experience of the Adriatic sea," said Maistra's Tomislav Popović.

Last year, Hotel Adriatic started using substitute paper straws instead of the classic plastic ones, and by June this year, the hotel will cease using as much as eighty percent of disposable plastic products. By the end of the year, it aims to have completely removed it from use in all of its accommodation units, including its bars and restaurants.

By the end of 2019, Hotel Adriatic will only use biological cleansing agents and support cooperation with suppliers whose products are produced from natural, biological, ecologically acceptable and/or recycled materials.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If you're interested in how Croatia takes care of its beautiful environment, give Total Eco Croatia a follow, or see what initiatives, laws and movements there are in place in Croatia here.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

JYSK Holds Action to Plant 10,000 Seeds on Medvednica

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of April, 2019, this past weekend, as part of a socially responsible project, the popular JYSK retail chain held a voluntary action to plant 10,000 European beech seedlings in two zones in the Medvednica Nature Park in Sljeme, above Zagreb, which have been most adversely affected by the weather's elements over last few years.

"We got together on Sljeme so that JYSK's volunteers, together with citizens, planted 10,000 beech seedlings donated by JYSK as part of our action. We're renewing the area in two zones of the Medvednica Nature Park, which died a couple of years ago after stormy weather.

''In addition to helping financially as a company through such projects, we want to help and in a different way to keep track of nature for the next generation,'' said Vesna Kukić Lončarić for JYSK Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

The project was realised in cooperation with Croatian forests (Hrvatske šume), and the afforestation was carried out in the area around PD Risnjak within the Medvednica Nature Park. Despite the unfavourable weather conditions and even some snow, the afforestation action was supported by numerous citizens interested in the conservation of the environment who planted as many as 10,000 seedlings in the aforementioned locations. Among them was the famous Croatian singer Mirela Priselac Remi.

"We welcome JYSK's initiative and we'd like to thank them for their activities as part of their socially responsible business towards the forests. Such actions contribute to raising awareness among all citizens of the need for forest conservation and they are endangered by climate change and the irresponsible behaviour of individuals,'' she stated.

''Without the forests, there's no clean air nor is there any clean water, and such young and healthy forests as are sprouting here are our best allies in alleviating the consequences of climate change. There are multiple uses of forests, and only with responsible management can we manage to preserve them,'' said Damir Miškulin from Croatian forests.

For this project, JYSK collected funds from the sale of 50 percent of recycled plastic bags during the first three months of this year, which were donated for the purchase of seedlings for the purpose of afforestation. JYSK's objective is to raise public awareness of the importance of our forests and their development with a positive example, and continue to implement such projects throughout the year and throughout the whole of the Republic of Croatia.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just the Croatian capital you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow, or check out Zagreb in a Page. Care about the environment? Follow Total Eco Croatia.

Want to see how Croatia works to protect its environment? Click here.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

NP Krka Providing Books to Local Schools Through Praiseworthy Project

NP Krka is another one of those ''must visit'' places when in Croatia, and yes, there are many such destinations to be found here. The whole ''must see'' thing has become a little saturated over recent years, especially with the rise of self-proclaimed travel bloggers and social media influencers, however, there is much more to this stunning national park than just the ability to take artistic Instagram pictures.

NP Krka is involving itself in the education of school children in the Dalmatian county in which the park is situated through a praiseworthy project aimed at increasing kids' overall awareness of both protected areas and nature and the environment.

As Morski writes on the 3rd of April, 2019, the highly visited NP Krka actually launched the project "Let's fill up the school libraries" (Popunimo školske knjižnice), for primary and secondary schools of the Šibenik-Knin County back in 2007.

The aim of the project is to make the books published within the framework of this educational scope available to school-age children and other young people, so that they can contribute to their own respective awareness of the country's numerous protected areas and the need to take care of their surroundings, including the importance of the proper preservation of the environment.

Since back in 2007, VHS tapes and later on, DVDs covering a wide array of topics related to NP Krka and its environment and native wildlife and birds have been shared around numerous local schools within the aforementioned county in Dalmatia. In February this year, a total of 49 books were distributed to thirty-six primary and thirteen high schools in the county.

NP Krka's administration and staff believe that this year's gift to local schools will be used by students and their mentors and teachers not only as an additional teaching aid for the classroom but that it will also encourage children to go out and get to know and further explore the rich natural beauty and the cultural heritage of the beautiful NP Krka.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Tomislav Ćorić Discusses Croatia's Aims in Renewable Energy in Bilbao

As Jasmina Trstenjak/Novac writes on the 2nd of April, 2019, the Republic of Croatia must, and is, turning more and more strongly towards using its own renewable energy sources, this was the main message of the Minister of Environmental Protection and Energy of Tomislav Ćorić at the Wind Europe 2019 Conference & Exhibition, held April from the 2nd to the 4th of this month in Bilbao, Spain.

It's been three and a half years since the historic COP 21 in Paris, which was one of the most important first steps towards a global low-carbon transition. The goal is to limit global warming below 2 degrees celsius, up to a maximum of 1.5 degrees celsius.

"Although we've done a lot since then, there are still many challenges ahead of us," Ćorić stated at the beginning of his speech on the subject, held at the largest and the most significant European event in the area of ​​wind energy use, in which the Republic of Croatia participated for the very first time.

The conference is focused on clean energy for Europe and brings together key European institutions and the European economy in the wind industry, 8000 participants, 300 exhibitors from various countries and as many as 155 speakers, including Croatia's Tomislav Ćorić, who presented those present with Croatian experiences and further plans.

He recalled the fact that Croatia realised that, for security reasons, it has to turn much more towards its own sources of energy, primarily relying on hydropower, the sun and the wind.

''We will intensively support the development of geothermal, biomass and biogas projects, addressing the needs of the industry, agriculture, and all those sectors that need the synergistic effect of electricity and heat production in a highly efficient manner,'' he continued by briefly outlining Croatia's energy plans, adding that a very important segment of energy transition is the increased share of electricity in transport, such as in heating and cooling systems.

Additional space can be seen in Croatian tourism, which accounts for almost 20 percent of the country's GDP, and has a disadvantageous relationship between the supply and demand of electricity in summer tourist months, so we can see the need for, and the opportunity to introduce a micro solar system. Tourism will profit even more, Tomislav Ćorić believes, with the electrification of transport, he therefore believes that it would be good to open the story of corporate contracts on the purchase of electricity in tourism.

Adding to the issue of tourism, he pointed out that Croatia is known for its more than 1,000 islands and that the island's dependence on energy imports could be reduced by the greater use of renewable sources and innovative energy systems, which could also lead to welcome cost reductions. Accordingly, the European Commission has started its initiative on the energy transition of European islands with a view to seeing them eventually become sustainable, and Croatia is aiming to continue this work during the Croatian Presidency of the Council of Europe, so as to continue to ensure the development of the energy transition strategy on Croatia's many islands.

''Among the 26 European islands are the Cres-Lošinj archipelago and Korčula, Brač and Hvar. In the first phase, Cres will make its energy transition plan this summer, and next year, Hvar, Brač and Korčula will do the same,'' the minister stated.

He also took the opportunity to announce Croatia's new energy strategy which is being brought in as early as this year, in which one of the key goals will be to increase the production of both wind and sun-sourced electricity.

''In line with this, we expect more renewable energy sources than in the past ten years. The goal is to have three times more wind and twenty times more solar energy in the next ten years. With the wind and other choices of renewable energy, we will achieve 32 percent of our total energy needs by 2030 and at least 56 percent by 2050, and the transition to renewable energy will reduce harmful emissions. We believe that further growth in green energy investment will also affect the country's development itself, as well as [provide] new employment and industry growth,'' concluded Minister Tomislav Ćorić at the Bilbao conference.

Maja Pokrovac, the director of the Croatia Renewable Energy Association, added that with the aim of achieving 32 percent of renewable sources, Croatia will contribute 36.4 percent according to the National Climate Action Plan and Action Plan sent to Brussels in late 2018, while the director of WindEurope, Giles Dickson, expressed his pleasant surprise with the fact that Croatia is the most optimistic country in JI Europe when it comes to the share of renewables in consumption.

Make sure to follow our dedicated politics and lifestyle pages for much more. If it's the environment and ecology in Croatia you're interested in, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

 

Click here for the original article by Jasmina Trstenjak for Novac/Jutarnji

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