$7 million COAST project concludes by sharing guidelines for "green jobs"
Nature and people together– the final presentation of the results and experiences of the COAST project was held today in Zagreb. Project with the total value of $ 7,000,000 was implemented since 2007 in Dalmatia by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection, with financial support of the Global Environment Fund (GEF). COAST was initiated with the aim of preserving the exceptionally rich biodiversity and natural and cultural heritage and encourage them to green-based economic development in rural parts of Dalmatia. His actions proved that conservation of nature can be a great opportunity for the economic development of local communities, with special emphasis on rural areas threatened by depopulation and aging of the population as a result of abandonment of traditional economic activities.
"The doubts that the global economic crisis and climate change have raised about traditional models of economic growth have spurred a lot of talk about an alternative 'green' approach that would generate livelihoods while preserving the natural environment," said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. "We are proud that the COAST project has provided a persuasive vision of what a 'green economy' might actually look like in practice."
To provide direct support to the green entrepreneurs from Dalmatia, COAST project launched in 2008 the Program for encouraging green business (PPZP) in collaboration with the development agencies of four Dalmatian counties, and Split and Adriatic Bank. Potentials and the importance of green business for rural development of Dalmatia showed 97 entrepreneurial projects with a total value of 169 million HRK. Within the PPZP have been encouraged business initiatives in the field of organic farming, cultivation of indigenous varieties and breeds, sustainable fishing and shellfish farming, rural, adventure and nature-based tourism as industries with great development opportunities. The pioneers of green business in Dalmatia are the example of how to preserve valuable nature and environment and bring innovative green products and services that result with new investments and working places.
"Of course, the most important result of the project is the Green Business Program as a practical form of sustainable rural development promotion," said Deputy Minister of Nature and Environmental Protection, and the COAST national project director Hrvoje Dokoza. "The program has showed that the green business can have a positive and reduce the negative impact on the state of biodiversity, and that it is a development opportunity for investment in a competitive economy in Dalmatian rural areas and other parts of Croatia."
Analysis of green development options for rural Dalmatia demonstrates the potential for creating up to 10,000 new working places in the real sector. Expected contribution to the growth of BDP of Dalmatia is 3-4%, and if we look just the rural areas, nearly twice as much. Experiences of the rural areas of the European Union (EU) show us that the revival of rural areas is possible, and for this purpose the EU devotes significant resources of which will be available to Croatia in the period 2014 - 2020. The model for promoting the green rural development in Dalmatia established by the COAST project meets all the criteria defined in the strategic documents and programs of EU rural development. Within the events the Guidelines for the promotion of sustainable rural development of Dalmatia are represented to share positive experiences and good practices with other development agencies in Croatia, institutions and organizations involved in regional development, and everybody who is applying for EU funds. Guidelines for the promotion of sustainable rural development can be seen here. Brochure "Best green entrepreneurs of Dalmatia" can be seen here.