The project “Together for Nature Conservation – Civil Society Organizations for effective European Natura 2000 Network in Croatia“ started on the 2nd of January 2013 and ends on the 31st of December 2013, it involves five Croatian nature and environmental protection CSOs. The Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce is project coordinator and partners are the Association BIOM, Association for Nature and Environment Conservation and Sustainable Development “Argonauta”, “Divina Natura” – Society for the Protection and Promotion of Natural and Cultural Heritage, Baobab – Society for Research and Promotion of Science and CEEweb- network of non-governmental organizations for biodiversity conservation in the Central and Eastern European region.

Nature conservation is necessary and socially recognized so many legislative mechanisms for the nature protection at the national, European and international level have been established. Natura 2000 is the most powerful tool of nature conservation in the European Union and represents a network of nature conservation areas, established in each Member State under the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive. The success of the network establishment and the implementation of its protection are based on various nature protection policy measures, but also on active involvement of civil society organizations (CSO), which actually represent a kind of “watchdog” organizations.

Goal of the project “Together for Nature Conservation – Civil Society Organizations for Effective European Natura 2000 Network in Croatia” is improving nature protection effectiveness in the Republic of Croatia using the Croatian legislation mechanisms but also those available after Croatia accession to the European Union.

To contribute to the project goal achievement, the following project specific objectives were set:

  • Strengthening capacity, collaboration and influence of CSOs in the establishment and implementation of the Natura 2000 network and monitoring of the nature protection legislative framework in Croatia.
  • Exchange of national and European experiences on the role of CSOs in the implementation of nature protection within the Natura 2000 network.
  • Increase awareness of the public and stakeholders on the importance of establishing an effective Natura 2000 network.

Nature conservation CSOs actively contribute to the process of Croatian involvement in the Natura 2000 network through the sharing of information on species and habitats, monitoring, participation in the consultation process of legal documents drafting, environmental and nature impact studies development, management plans, encouraging inter-institutional and inter-sectoral cooperation, informing and raising awareness of stakeholders, interested and the general public.

The project “Together for Nature Conservation – Civil Society Organizations for Effective European Natura 2000 Network in Croatia,” is the next step of CSOs in supporting establishment of efficient system of nature protection and Natura 2000 network in Croatia.

Planned project activities are:

• monitoring and influencing development and implementation of laws and regulations related to nature protection,

• monitoring of environmental impact studies for projects with potential impact on future Natura 2000 sites,

• revision of the national Natura 2000 sites proposal for the Republic of Croatia and development of sites “shadow list” for biogeographical seminars negotiations,

• national seminar on “Challenges and Opportunities for the Management of Natura 2000 Network in Croatia” for representatives of relevant government institutions and CSOs.

• training for CSOs representatives:

  • training workshop “Biogeographical Seminars for the Establishment of Natura 2000 – participation, the role and experience of CSO”
  • training workshop “Implementation of Natura 2000 in Practice – participation, role and experience of CSOs”
  • seminar “Management Plans in Nature Conservation and Public Participation – experiences of CSOs.”

• involvement of stakeholders and interested public in the process of development of management plan for protected areas managed by the Public Institution Protected Natural Values of Šibenik – Knin County (financed by EU through IPA IIIc Business Related Infrastructure grant scheme, project Tourist Valorization of Saint Ante Channel in Šibenik),

• preparation of official views and recommendations to public institutions and decision makers how to involve CSOs in the development of management plans,

• exhibition on Natura 2000 values ​​and threats and its promotion in 5 cities in Croatia,

• video clip on Natura 2000 values ​​and threats and is promotion in the media and among stakeholders