Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in the Dalmatian Coast (COAST)
Dalmatia is an area of extraordinarily rich biodiversity and natural and cultural heritage. A testimony to its extraordinary natural value can be seen in the fact that almost one half of the region's territory is part of the EU ecological network NATURA 2000. The COAST Project was developed with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection and other competent ministries, four Dalmatian counties, and a number of local organizations, companies and individuals. It was conducted with the financial support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Through its activities, the COAST Project has shown that nature preservation is by no means an obstacle to growth; on the contrary, it includes excellent growth opportunities.
Objectives and Results
The aim of the project was to systematically and continuously impact upon economic activities and practical approaches in tourism, agriculture, fisheries and mariculture, and within the banking sector as well, in order to promote and support sustainable development, protecting nature and preserving the natural and cultural heritage of rural Dalmatia.
In cooperation with its partners, the COAST Project managed to develop a green vision for rural areas of Dalmatia, founded upon the extraordinary natural wealth of the region, while at the same time confronting many obstacles in rural areas that suffer from an acute shortage of development possibilities. Notable examples of cases where valuable nature and environment are preserved, while innovative green products and services result in new investment and jobs, can be found in the traditional economic sectors of Dalmatia: agriculture, tourism, fisheries and mariculture.
Having in mind the aim of supporting the kind of small business that will preserve this natural wealth and biodiversity of Dalmatia, while at the same time supporting sustainable economic development of rural areas and the creation of new jobs, UNDP COAST Project initiated the Green Business Support Programme (GBSP) in 2008. Partners in direct support to green entrepreneurs included four Dalmatian Counties (Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia, Dubrovnik-Neretva) and their development agencies, together with Splitska and Jadranska banks. The potential and importance of green business for rural development of Dalmatia was exhibited by 97 entrepreneurial projects in the total value of 169 million HRK.
GBSP partners were being selected on the basis of the Call for the proposals. Since 2008, over 300 projects from the territory of Dalmatia applied. Support within the Green Business Support Programme is targeted at:
1) Direct loans via the Loan-guarantee fund;
2) Financial and technical assistance in the implementation of green business projects; and
3) Technical and financial assistance in the preparation of project proposals to be applied for other national and international support programmes, including EU funds.
Experiences and recommendations within the COAST Project have been used to prepare essential Guidelines for Sustainable Rural Development named “Nature and People Together”, which can be applied in other areas of Croatia, but also in any part of the world that possesses a clear regional identity. We hope that Guidelines will assist the country, in particular via the preparation of the Rural Development Programme, in order for Croatia to continue developing this focus, and to continue building a greener future for the region of Dalmatia and the country as a whole.
|Global Environment Facility (GEF)||$6,988,000|
|Environment Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund of Croatia (EPEEF)||$360,000|
|Split-Dalmatia County (SDC)||$50,000|