Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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The Republic of Croatia

One person from Croatia participated in the meeting on ‘Urban Development in the Coastal Environment’ held in Essaouira, Morocco in November 1997. A report of the meeting was published as CSI Info 5Urban development and freshwater resources: small coastal cities; Développement urbain et ressources en eau : petites villes côtières’.

The intersectoral project on ‘Urban Development and Freshwater Resources in Small Historic Coastal Cities’ was extended, through the UNESCO Venice Office, to the Adriatic Region to include a site on Krk Island (Omisalj Town, Croatia) in 1997. Representatives of the municipalities of six Italian coastal cities visited Omisalj in view of establishing a partnership. Since then Omisalj has been an active partner in the project. The Omisalj goal is to analyse local environmental conditions using an assessment model to apply the principles of sustainable development to land-use planning.

A planning meeting to organize a voluntary summer archaeological campaign in Fulfinium (Omisalj), involving representatives of the municipality, took place in Venice in May 1998. The resulting excavation of Fulfinium and recovery of the early Christian Basilica by Italian and Croatian archaeologists took place in August 1998. A second summer excavation was organized the following August; 35 researchers from Croatia and Italy participated. Excavations recommenced in August 2000.

A meeting between the local authorities and international and national experts to prepare an international residential seminar in Omisalj was held in Omisalj in June 1998. The seminar on the ‘Sustainable Development of Omisalj’ hosted by Croatia in October 1998, was attended by 10 Croatian nationals and 80 international participants from Belgium, Italy and Poland. A report on the seminar and a poster exhibition on the Omisalj project were presented at a Public Forum organized by the Local Agenda 21 Working Group, in Omisalj, in May 1999.

A meeting with members of the Omisalj Local Authorities was held in March 1999 to plan ‘Urban Development and Freshwater Resources’ project activities for the year. Also in March, a meeting was held in Zagreb with the Croatian National Commission for UNESCO and various Croatian Ministries to promote the project at national level. The project was also presented to the Rijeka County Council to canvass their support. 

The Omisalj pilot project was presented at an International Seminar on ‘Sustainable Development in the Coastal Zones’ held in Mahdia, Tunisia, in June 1999. In this way the Adriatic experience and that of the southern Mediterranean were shared and compared.

An International Workshop on ‘Integrated Water Management of Small Islands and Coastal Cities’ was held in Omisalj in, October 1999. The workshop was organized by the Croatian National Commission for UNESCO and was attended by 24 delegates from Albania, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, Poland and Slovenia. The workshop produced recommendations for water management in Omisalj.

A young researcher from Italy was awarded a grant to undertake five months of anthropological research in Omisalj, to analyse the local environmental culture and identify potentially sustainable projects. A report is available.

A short video was made illustrating the Omisalj component of the Urban Development and Freshwater Resourcesproject. It was produced in collaboration with an Italian video company and is now available in three languages: French, Italian and Croatian.

The theme of ‘A Sustainable Approach to Small Island Development / Krk Island - Croatia’ was introduced as a discussion topic on the web-based ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum’ in June 1999.

A report on a workshop held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris at the beginning of December 1998 was published in English and French as CSI info 10 (2000): ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development. Results of an Intersectoral Workshop and Preliminary Findings of a Follow-up Virtual Forum’. It contains a paper on Omisalj.

A meeting was held in February 2000 between the Croatian National Commission for UNESCO and members of the Small Historic Coastal Cities project to plan the next phase of the project – the implementation of wise practices according to the master plan devised in collaboration with local authorities and an Agenda 21 working group. Experience gained in the Adriatic part of the project, including input from Omisalj, was evaluated in collaboration with the UNESCO Venice Office and the University of Venice at an international meeting in Venice, Italy in November 2000.

Experience gained in Omisalj is being transferred to other locations in Croatia with the support of the Rijeka County Government (2001).

In 2001 a ‘Master Plan’ for the sustainable development of Omisalj was prepared.

A video, a series of fourteen posters and a CD-ROM on Omisalj’s involvement in the Small Historic Coastal Cities Project were produced in 2001 in Croatian, French and Italian. A book reporting on project activities undertaken in Rijeka County, Guidelines and Projects for Sustainable Development in the Rijeka County, Croatia’, was published in Croatian and English in late 2001. It was edited by UVO-ROSTE and published with financial support from the Rijeka County Government.

A workshop for CSI field project leaders on ‘Wise Practices for Conflict Prevention and Resolution’, which was held in Mozambique in November 2001. A report of the workshop was published as CSI papers 12: ‘Managing Conflicts Over Resources and Values: Continental Coasts’, a paper describing  Omisalj’s involvement in the Small Historic Coastal Cities Project was presented: Two Examples of Conflict Related Initiatives in the Adriatic-Balkan Area’.  

A summary of the historic coastal cities project was compiled in May 2002 in French and English.

One person from Croatia is involved in the ‘Small Islands Voice’ project, which started in 2002. The project aims to ensure that the general public in small islands have an opportunity to voice their opinions on environmental and development issues by building capacity and strengthening internal, regional and inter-regional communications. 


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