Preservation of the ecological network is one of the fundamental goals to be achieved through implementation of measures identified in the Nature Protection Act (OG 70/05, 139/08 and 57/11). It is required to ensure the conservation of target species and habitat types in a favourable state or regeneration of habitats whose favourable state was impaired.
At the proposal of the Ministry of Culture, the Government of the Republic of Croatia has proclaimed the ecological network with a system of areas of ecological importance and ecological corridors.
With this legal provision the Republic of Croatia is harmonised with the European legislation in the field of nature protection, in particular with:
- Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive) and Council Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds (Birds Directive), under which the EU ecological network NATURA 2000 was established.
- Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention), under which the Pan-European Ecological Network (Emerald) was established.
The ecological network is a system of most valuable areas for threatened wild species and habitat types which are sufficiently contiguous and mutually interrelated by corridors, thus enabling communication and exchange of species.
The Regulation on proclamation of the ecological network (OG 109/07) prescribes the ecological network areas with conservation objectives and protection measures aiming at maintaining or establishing a favourable status of threatened and rare habitat types and/or wild taxa.
The ecological network impact assessment means a procedure used to assess whether there is a probability that the implementation of a plan, programme or project in the ecological network area, which by itself or in combination with other plans, programmes or projects, may have a significant impact on the conservation objectives and integrity of the ecological network area in respect of its structure and functionality.