Croatia - Investments in Nature
July 23, 2014
Krka National Park in Croatia is famous for its waterfalls, considered some of the most beautiful in the world, attracting tens of thousands of visitors a year.
A new 6 kilometer-long foot path now winding through Krka is part of the multifaceted EU Natura 2000 Integration Project.
The World Bank-supported project aims at helping Croatia comply with nature protection directives of the EU, which the country joined in 2013.
The trail was constructed to reduce the pressure from visitors and to redistribute them. That’s why we needed to build such an attraction to pull the visitors 50 km into the park.
At Krka, the trail helps keep tourists from straying and damaging wildlife and plants, while directing them towards some of the other valuable sites within the 100-square kilometer park, such as a prehistoric cave.
The trail also winds by the homes of local residents living within the national park’s bounds, giving residents like Ante Galic better access to cities and towns beyond Krka, and making it easier for tourists to access Galic’s property, which he’s since turned into a restaurant and boutique hotel, creating jobs for himself and other local residents.
The trail significantly increased the number of guests sightseeing on this trail. And as time goes by we hope that foreign guests will visit, guided by the natural beauty of this trail, and that they will stay with us for longer periods of time since we offer bed and breakfast facilities.
In addition to the trail at Krka, the Natura project has led to at least 14 other investments in protected areas and national ecological sites around Croatia.
Those have included educational panels, monitoring equipment, and information centers.
At Croatia’s Mura-Drava regional park, the project restored a historic mansion and turned part of it into an educational center for the promotion of nature preservation.
And a new elementary school on the premises puts an emphasis on teaching about the region’s wild flora and fauna, preparing Croatia’s new generation to preserve their country’s vast nature reserves!
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