Welcome to the nature protection web portal of the Croatian Ministry of Culture. Here you can find useful information related to the functioning of the nature protection system in the Republic of Croatia, as well as information on conservation of species and habitats, ecological network of the Republic of Croatia, nature protection projects, national parks, nature parks and other protected area categories and activities which are carried out in them.
The Republic of Croatia is one of the richest European countries in terms of biodiversity, with preserved ecosystems populated by countless animal, plant and fungi species, including a significant number of endemics. This natural treasure places a great challenge before us – to harmonize activities directed at economic development and use of natural resources with activities required for conservation of species and habitats. Sustainable development was recognised as the only way to ensure the progress of human society and all benefits we receive from using natural resources in the future as well.
The Ministry of Culture, as the body competent for nature protection, invests great efforts into the development and strengthening of the nature protection system that has a long tradition. New times have brought new biodiversity conservation standards and strategies– since 2000 the Republic of Croatia is a signatory of all relevant international treaties on nature protection and, in the process of preparing for accession to the European Union, we have transposed legislation related to the protection of species and habitats in the European Union.
In 2007 the Croatian National Ecological Network was established, covering 47% of the land and 39% of the marine territory of the Republic of Croatia – a system of most valuable areas for endangered wild species and habitat types which are sufficiently contiguous and mutually interrelated by corridors, thus enabling communication and exchange of species and individual specimens. This area conservation system, based on implementation of measures which contribute to the protection of endangered species and habitats, complements the 9 categories of the area protection system established under the Nature Protection Act: strict nature reserve, national park, special nature reserve, nature park, regional park, nature monument, important landscape, forest park, park architecture monument. The total surface of these protected areas is 669,288.89 hectares or 7.64% of the total area of the Republic of Croatia, or 10.98% of the land and 1.56% of the marine area. In addition to the great national significance of protected areas, especially 8 national parks and 11 nature parks, for nature protection, research, education, local community development and preservation of traditional crafts, tourism and recreation, the great value of our protected areas is also recognised internationally by their inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List, World Network of Biosphere Reserves under the UNESCO programme “Man and Biosphere”, Global Geopark Network, List of Wetlands of International Importance under the Convention on Wetlands (RAMSAR) and the List of European Important Bird Areas (IBA).
At the time when the protection of biodiversity is becoming a question of civilisation and services provided by ecosystems become a prerequisite for human survival, the citizens’ ecological awareness is raising together with the need to provide the public with simple access to information on nature protection issues. This web portal for nature protection was established for such a purpose, wishing to include all interested public in our work and contribute to cooperation in the protection, promotion and conservation of our natural heritage for future generations.
Minister of Culture of the Republic of Croatia