RAISING THE NATURA 2000 FLAG
The diversity and beauty of the County of Primorje and
Gorski Kotar (CPGK) has always attracted visitors. The fact that as many
as 112 areas within the County have become part of the NATURA 2000 Ecological
Network testifies to its high level of nature conservation and biological
diversity. Especially important are those areas that belong to the ecological
network with the aim of conserving bird species, rare habitats and carnivore
populations (bear, wolf and lynx).
There are a number of sites in Gorski Kotar that have
been proclaimed valuable for conservation. One such site is the source
of Kamačnik Creek, which enjoys the protection status of significant landscape
and is part of the NATURA 2000 Ecological Network.
Public Institution “Priroda” has launched an
initiative to design a brand that is based on the fact that a given area
is part of the NATURA 2000 Ecological Network. The objective is to call
attention to the natural assets which “Priroda” manages and
to create conditions for their sustainable use through the development
of eco-tourism activities, in cooperation with the local community.
To that end, “Priroda”, responsible for managing
protected areas and the ecological network in CPGK, requested and received
from the European Commission a dozen flags with the NATURA 2000 logo for
the purpose of marking such areas and drawing the attention of domestic,
as well as foreign, visitors to these valuable natural assets.
The Kamačnik site is an example of the synergy of nature
protection and the area’s use and valorisation in tourism-related, recreational
and educational purposes. Regrettably, a severe ice storm (natural disaster)
in February 2014 caused huge damage to nature and tourism infrastructure
in the area. The workers of Hrvatske šume (Croatian Forest Enterprise)
and local municipal service companies have made great efforts to remove
toppled trees and clear the walking trail to enable visitors to enjoy
the beauty of Kamačnik this tourist season.
Minister Zmajlović visited Kamačnik on 11 July 2014 and
was informed by “Priroda” workers of the remediation of damage
caused by the ice storm. At that time, the minister officially raised
a NATURA 2000 flag for the area. In celebration of the International Day
for Biological Diversity (22 May), PI “Priroda” also raised
NATURA 2000 flags on the islands of Rab, Lošinj, Krk and Cres.