Protected areas

Cornerstones of biodiversity conservation
Country Profile: Croatia
Disclaimer: The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps, graphics and publications do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations. For more information please see:
pp www.protectedplanet.net

Focal point contact information

Mr. Daniel Springer
Head of Section for Protected Areas Management
Nature Protection Directorate
Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection
Zagreb, Croatia
E-Mail: daniel.springer [ at ] mzoip.hr
Ms. Mila Lončar
Expert Associate, Section for Protected Areas Management
Nature Protection Directorate
Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection
Zagreb, Croatia
E-Mail: mila.loncar [ at ] mzoip.hr
Country Statistics
56594 km² 4.84% 4.36%
total country area
terestrial area protected
(4267.96 km²)
territorial waters protected
(1378.66 km²)
Source: WDPA

Information on the reporting framework

Person completing the survey: Daniel Springer
Survey completed on 1/12/2001
Multi-stakeholder advisory committee Yes No
Strategic action plan for implementing PoWPA Yes No
Lead agency responsible for implementing the action plan: Ministry of Culture (MoC)

Progress in Implementation

Element 1

Strengthening protected areas systems and sites

1.1 Progress in assessing ecological gaps and representativeness

1.2 Progress in assessing integration and connectivity

View assessment results

Progress: 3 - Significant progress, nearly complete

View actions to improve integration
Changed the legal status and/or governance in key connectivity areas

Establishment of all regional (county) institutions for PA management (in addition to public institutions for national and nature parks)

Created new protected areas in key connectivity areas

Establishment of National Ecological Network (NEN) (future Natura 2000)

Improved natural ressource management to improve connectivity

As part of MPs for PAs

Designated connectivity corridors and/or buffers

As part of NEN

Created market incentives for promoting connectivity and PA

Market incentives exist for promotion of local/traditional products and brands.

Changed awareness and behavior of key stakeholders in key connectivity

Stakeholder participation is stipulated in Nature Protection Act

Improved laws and policies within or around key connectivity areas

Envisaged by NBSAP (Action Plan 7.1.1.2.)

Restored degraded areas in key connectivity areas

Project proposal: river restoration Nature Park Lonjsko polje; Peat bog restoration (Special Reserve Dubravica and NEN Site Sunger)

Changed land use planning, zoning and/or buffers in key connectivity areas

Nature protection conditions and measures integrated in all spatial plans and natural resource use management plans (forestry, hunting, freshwater fishery)

Removed barriers to connectivity and ecological functioning

Establishment of National Ecological Network (NEN) (future Natura 2000)

1.3 Progress in assessing transboundary opportunities

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

View actions to improve transboundary protected areas
Created enabling policies for the creation of transboundary protected

Big Win commitments (COP 9 in Bonn, Germany, May 2008)

Established a multi-country coordination mechanism

Establishment of Council for Environment, Croatian and Hungarian subcommittee for nature conservation

Created market incentives for promoting connectivity and PA

Revision of implementation of existing MPs due in 2012

1.4 Progress in developing management plans

View assessment results

Percentage of protected areas with a management plan: 36-40%

National and Nature parks: 37% adopted, other MPs in process (envisaged by the end of 2011)

View actions to improve management planning
Developed guidelines and tools for developing management plans

Karst Ecosystem Conservation (KEC) project guidelines and Review of KEC MP gudelines through PHARE project for Nature park Vransko lake

Provided training and/or technical support in management planning

MedPANSouth project for MPAs (Marine Protected Areas);KEC priject (5 PAs), PHARE (Nature park Vransko lake)

Developed management plans for protected areas

MP's for National Park Plitvice Lakes, Risnjak, Northern Velebit, Paklenica and Nature park Velebit, Lonjsko polje, Ucka are adopted. MP's for National park Krka and Nature park Kopacki rit are developed.

Changed legislation and/or policy to allow for improved management planning

Nature Protection Act (2005) with amendments (2008)

Conducted protected area resource

Through the development of MPs

Other actions to improve management planning

Stakeholders involvement in developing process of MPs

1.5 Progress in assessing protected area threats

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

View actions to mitigate and prevent threats
Changed the status and/or governance type of a protected area

Answer is actually "No" and "Not applicable"

Improved staffing numbers and/or skills to prevent and mitigate

Improved, but still unsufficient

Included measures to address threats in a management plan

All MPs contain measures to address threats

Improved management practices to prevent or mitigate threats

Through implementation of MP action plans

Increased threat mitigation funding

Existing legal posibility for compensatory conditions

Changed market incentives to reduce or prevent threats

Incentives for grasssland restoration and maintenance; Agrienvironment programme within Natura 2000 (Pilot program)

Improved monitoring and detection of threats

Key threats identified but related strategies not developed

Evaluated the efficacy of threat-related actions

Implementation of RAPPAM in national and nature parks; threats also identified through MPs; http://www.cbddinaricarc.com/

Improved public awareness and behavior regarding threats

Provided legal posibility to overriding public interest. Climate change research will be incentive by government.

Changed laws and policies related to threats

Envisaged by NBSAP (Action Plan 7.1.1.2.)

Restored degrated areas

Measures established through management plans and Nature Protection Act

Developed and/or implemented strategies to mitigate and prevent threats

Through implementation of MPs

Element 2

Governance, equity, participation and benefits sharing

2.1 Equity, Benefits and Governance

View assessment results

Progress: 1 - Just started, limited progress

View actions to improve equitable sharing
Developed compensation mechanisms

Nature Protection Act

Developed and/or applied policies for access and benefit sharing

Nature Park Medvednica economic assessment ongoing as the first economic PA analysis (ABS not included); Dinaric Arc pilot BP MATRA proposal submitted

Diverted PA benefits towards poverty alleviation

PAs contribute to local economies (traditional products, tourist facilities and services)

View progress made in assessing protected area governance

Progress made in assessing protected area governance: 4 - Activity completed

Percentage of protected areas assigned an IUCN category: 86-90%

View actions to improve and diversify governance types
Changed laws or policies to enable new governance types

Nature Protection Act

2.2 Indigenous and Local Communities

View assessment results

Progress: 3 - Significant progress, nearly complete

View actions to improve indigenous and local community particiapation
Improved laws and/or policies to promote participation

Public hearing in the proces of PA designation and adoption of MPs

Improved mechanisms for participation of indigenous and local communities

Public hearing in the proces of PA designation and adoption of MPs; enhanced through MedPAN South project

Increased participation of indigenous and local communities in key decisions

Local communities involved in PA management planning; representatives of local communities appointed in some PA Management Boards

Other actions to strengthen equitable benefits sharing

Some PAs have MP action plans for communication/cooperation with local communities

Element 3

Protected area enabling environment

3.1 Policy, Institutional and Socio-Economic Environment

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

View actions to improve the protected area policy environment
Harmonized sectoral policies laws to suppport effective management planning and policies

Ongoing but further improvement needed

Integrated PA values and ecological services into the national economy

Envisaged through Big Win commitments

Improved accountability and/or participation in decision-making

Nature Protection Act, public hearings and Management Boards

Developed incentive mechanisms for private protected areas

There are no privated protected areas, but PAs can be managed privately through concessions (Nature Protection Act)

Developed positive market incentives to support protected areas

Nature Protection Act (article 61)

Strengthened legal systems for establishing and managing protected areas

Nature protection conditions and measures integrated in all spatial plans and natural resource use management plans

Cooperated with neighboring countries on transboundary areas

Regional Park Mura - Drava, plannedTB with Hungary; Big Win commitments TB cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia

Other actions to improve the policy environment

EU accession process

View progress made in assessing the contribution of protected areas to national economy

Progress: 1 - Just started, limited progress

View actions to value the contribution of protected areas
Created finance mechanisms linked to protected area values

Study on PA Financing System developed

3.2, 3.3 & 3.5 Protected Area Capacity, Technology and Education

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

View actions to improve capacity, the use of appropriate technology and/or strengthen education programs
Trained protected area staff

Ongoing through Ranger Service training and projects

Increased the number of protected area staff

Increasing, but improvement still needed

Produced public outreach materials

Publications and promotional materials, websites, portals, etc.

Conducted public outreach programs

Activities concerning Earth Day, Biodiversity Day, Wetlands Day, etc.

Developed effective mechanisms to exchange lessons within and beyond the protected area system

WebGis Database for PAs (PAMS project) www.zastita-prirode.hr ; yearly meeting of PA Expert Divisions; PAs mailing list

3.4 Sustainable Finance

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

Actions to improve the sustainable finance of protected areas
Developed new protected area funding mechanisms

Trough education of Public institutions on possibilities of usage of Structural Funds and preparation of projects potentially financed from ERDF

Developed protected area business plans

Planned through DAE project (pilot park - Northern Velebit) and MedPAN South project (marine parks)

Improved resource allocation

Planned through Dutch Bilateral Project (in proposal phase) or WB Project NPIP (Nature Protection Investment Project)

Provided financial training and support

Envisaged by NBSAP (Action Plan 9.2.2.1)

Improved budgeting process

Planned through Dutch Bilateral Project (in proposal phase) or WB Project NPIP (Nature Protection Investment Project)

Improved accounting and monitoring

Planned through Dutch Bilateral Project (in proposal phase) or WB Project NPIP (Nature Protection Investment Project)

Improve financial planning

Planned through Dutch Bilateral Project (in proposal phase) or WB Project NPIP (Nature Protection Investment Project)

Removed legal barriers to sustainable finance

Planned through DAE project (pilot park - Northern Velebit)

Other actions to improve sustainable finance

Making specifications for the implementation of an integrated information system for billing entrance fee and other services in the national parks and nature parks - Microsoft

Element 4

Standards, assessment and monitoring

4.1 & 4.2 Management Effectiveness and Best Practices

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

Percent of protected areas assessed for management effectiveness: 81-85%

View actions to improve management processes within protected areas
Improved management system and processes

RAPPAM; http://www.cbddinaricarc.com/

Improved law enforcement

Strengthening Ranger Services

Improved stakeholder relations

Participatory aproach in MP development

Improved visitor management

Development of intergated enterance fee system in PAs ongoing; development of new visitor centres in Pas

Improved management of natural and cultural resources

Through MPs

4.3 & 4.4 Monitoring and Research

View assessment results

Progress: 2 - Activity fully underway

View actions to improve protected area research and monitoring
Assessed the status and trend of key biodiversity

Report on State of Nature 2000-2007, NBSAP, 4th CBD report

Developed or improved a biological monitoring program

Through establishment of Natura 2000 and development of Nature Protection Information System (www.zastita-prirode.hr). Also 2 monitoring projects financed from IPA preaccession programme

Improved protected area research on socio-economic issues

Sustainable Financing Review for Croatia Protected Areas prepared by ERM - Environmental Resources Management Limited

Promoted dissemination of protected area research

Planned through Dutch Bilateral Project (in proposal phase) or WB Project NPIP (Nature Protection Investment Project)

Revised management plan based on monitoring and/or research results

Revision of MPs is due 5 years after adoption (first 5 MPs adopted in 2007, revision due in 2012)

Changed management practices based on the results of monitoring and/or research

Enabled through PA annual plans

Other research and monitoring activities

Envisaged developemnt of monitoring programme for future NATURA2000