We participated the workshop ”Marine Parnership” which was hold in Komiža. Marine partnership is a project conducted by the Blue World Institute and its partners: Blue World Vis, Argonauta, Public Institution Priroda and Public Institution National Park Kornati. Full name of the project is „Partnership fir sustainable use of common marine resources“.
The Adriatic Sea is one of the most valued resources in Croatia. Fisheries and tourism are economies that mostly depend on the health of marine environment. While providing significant income, these also carry potential to negatively influence marine environment and biodiversity. Today, there are various means to protect the marine environment, including national parks and nature parks, but also networks of protected areas, Natura 2000 network being one of best known. However, management of protected areas in Croatia is mostly based on “top-down” approach, meaning decisions that can influence local communities that are closely dependent on protected areas are made by governing bodies, with little input from the locals. This way, local communities are often left out of the process of making decisions that ultimately influence their everyday life. This problem has been recognized by civil society organizations (CSOs) which provide one mechanism for public involvement in decision making. Croatian membership in EU further enhances potential mechanisms to include local communities in decision making in issues concerning well-being of common resources. Although these mechanisms exist, they are not yet sufficiently recognized by the general public. Additional problems are insufficient awareness of the socio-economic potentials that MPAs carry and poor cooperation between CSOs, public institution for managing protected areas and local stakeholders. The poor cooperation is even more pronounced when dealing with issues to marine environment, which does not recognize man made administrative borders.
The general aim of the action is protection of biodiversity of the Adriatic Sea, particularly in Natura 2000 areas of Primorsko-goranska, Šibensko-kninska and Splitsko-dalmatinska counties, through partnership between stakeholders. To achieve this, we identified these objectives.
1. Strengthened capacity of project partner organizations for further networking and involvement in conservation of marine environment
2. Increased motivation and capacity of local stakeholders for application of sustainability principles in everyday conduct and participation in decision making
3. Creation of partnership between CSOs, public institutions for managing protected areas and local stakeholders