Clean air, fresh water, food, pollination, fibers, medicine and so much more that nature gives us every day... for free.

Nature Park Lastovo islands


The number of visitors

All protected areas make a profit from tourism, and in two thirds of protected areas tourism has been the main source of profit for nearby communities. Areas of protected nature are connected to local development of tourism.

Do tourism strategies recognize protected areas and their preserved natural values as drivers of development?


Number of sold tickets in national and nature parks in 2016



Income from usage of water

The annual profit of two hydropower plants using water from protected areas on Velebit is EUR 60 million. Their annual investment in the protection of 200.000 hectares of forest ecosystem is only 0,0265% of hydropower plant’s income. These revenues go to Croatian forests that should spend that money on conservation measures for the forest ecosystem, because without quality forest cover there wouldn’t be available water to produce electricity in hydropower plants.

What strategies should be used for recognising and valuing ecosystem services that nature provides and ensure that part of profits are used to compensate protected areas?


Only 2.76% of the rivers in Croatia flows freely and has no barriers from the source to embouchere.



Jobs in Nature Protection

Eight national parks and 11 nature parks employ more than 1,300 people, of whom only 15 percent works on nature conservation while others work mostly in the accompanying activities (hospitality, maintenance ...). From the total number of employees in these protected areas two thirds work in only one protected area. Do decision makers understand the opportunities that nature protection provides for keeping a highly educated young people in rural areas and their contribution to the local development?

Do decision makers understand the opportunities that nature protection provides for keeping a highly educated young people in rural areas and their contribution to the local development?


In 39% of protected areas employment in protected area management is the main source of income for local people.



Distribution of income

In 2015 the forestry sector had a profit of 2 billion HRK, or 1.4 percent of GDP. However local populations profited from forestry in one out of 10 protected areas (nature parks) only through forest/fire food sale.

Are local communities and advisory services well informed about opportunities and sustainable business practices, which are not only based on its cutting? Do they have sufficient support to develop those sustainable business practices?


The business sector has a significant gain in three protected areas, while local people together with the business sector in only one.



Fastest growing food sector in the world

Aquaculture today represents almost 50% of the fishery products that are on the market. Only responsible aquaculture can guarantee a stabile production that wouldn’t have a negative impact on the environment. Europe is the largest importer of fishery products in the world. By choosing fishery products which are sustainable, we can provide the future for our seas and people.

Does fishery sector monitor trends of sustainable aquaculture and do they include them in national legislation? Do you buy certified fish products - MSC certification for fishery products from catch or ASC for fishery products from breeding?


12 to 17 kilos of small blue fish is necessary for breeding one kilogram of tuna in the Adriatic



Sustainable fishery in Adriatic sea

It is estimated that 93% of fish stock in Mediterranean Sea, and thus in Adriatic, are in poor condition, and one of the main causes for this is unsustainable fishing. If we continue with this pace soon we wouldn’t have any fish in the sea.

Do decision makers and fishermen understand that sustainable fishing is the only way towards long-term survival and healthy fish stocks in Adriatic Sea?


In 2015 more than 7000 boats shorter than 12 meters were fishing in the Croatian part of Adriatic Sea



Natural Flow

Analysis of rivers under threat of unsustainable hydropower development has shown that 73 percent of Croatia’s rivers are intact (3.301 km), and are rich in biodiversity. At the same time, there is an increasing demand for using the rivers for electric energy production, which very often have extremely negative consequences for the natural values of the river as well as usual way of using space and natural resources.

How to ensure that investors build and manage hydropower plants in accordance with globally recognized guidelines for the sustainable development of hydropower? How to ensure that the government declare the areas in which the construction of hydropower plants is not allowed.


One family of sand martins eats more than 10 000 mosquitos daily.