Photo 1. Opening the exhibition and launching the brochure Scenic Overlooks in the Kupa River Basin (Photo by Patrik Krstinić)
Celebrating International Mountain Day in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County
In 2003, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 11 December to be International Mountain Day. This was after the close of International Mountain Year 2002 that indicated the need of constantly raising awareness of the huge importance that mountains and the sustainable development of mountain environments have for quality-of-life of people. Every year International Mountain Day is celebrated under a different theme, this year’s being “Mountain cultures: celebrating diversity and strengthening identity”. The theme aims to highlight the importance of local mountain peoples and communities in mountain regions who have developed strategies of “co-existence” with mountains and mountain ecosystems based on local cultures and traditional knowledge. Indeed, these cultures and knowledge are essential to the conservation and development of sustainable life in mountain areas. Because mountains worldwide are the most important sources of clean, potable water (including the Kupa River basin with its strategic karst springs), the conservation of the traditions of mountain cultures in the future will be vital to maintaining sustainable life on planet Earth.
In the relatively well-preserved mountains of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, mountain forest ecosystems are highlighted for their importance in ensuring a sustainable future (remember, in addition to storing and purifying water, these ecosystems also help to purify and improve the quality of air; provide a variety of wood-based products and secondary forest products; are vital to health, recreation and tourism; are crucial to supporting rich biodiversity; etc.). This year continues the tradition of presenting photography exhibitions featuring the mountain regions of Gorski Kotar. The theme of this year’s exhibition is the scenic overlooks found in the basin of Kupa River, the best preserved mountain river of Croatia.
Such exhibitions have been organized annually in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County since Public Institution Priroda was founded in 2006. In a way, they are the continuation of the much earlier traditions of celebrating International Mountain Day in the County, as well as other important dates linked to environmental and nature protection (World Wetlands Day, World Water Day, Earth Day, International Day for Biological Diversity, World Environment Day…).
For the first time, this year’s exhibition was set up in collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Rijeka https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1261546787254175.1073741899.272283439513853&type=3 ). Several photographers were involved in searching for and shooting intriguing motifs: Marko Matešić (external associate of PI Priroda), Patrik Krstinić (PI Priroda), Ivana Rogić (PI Priroda) and Marko Randić (PI Priroda). Presented are photographs of the flora, fauna and fungi associated with the scenic overlooks and especially interesting are the panoramic shots of 13 most important overlooks in attractive locations along Kupa River and its basin.
In addition to the exhibition and brochure, a poster on the theme of International Mountain Day was printed and a (also traditional) supplement about International Mountain Day was prepared and published in the local daily newspaper Novi List.