Zagreb, February 15, 2010 – The Ministry of Culture and the World Bank hosted a workshop to present the draft findings of a PROFOR-financed study reviewing Sustainable Financing Options for Protected Area Finance. The workshop called together key stakeholders and environmental practitioners in Croatia, and a several other donors and agencies working on protected area (PA) issues. The key objective was to share results and gain broad consensus on needs, uses, and policy implications of this work going forward.
The study provided a broader review of best international practices for financing nature protection and the applicability to Croatia with some ideas for implementation and support through future activities. It also examined the value of tourism benefits for Croatian PAs, where surveys were performed at 6 national and nature parks and 2 county public institutions. The results place an economic value on willingness to pay for a stratified sample of visitors to PA (Croatians and foreigners).
Main Survey Findings:
Survey results indicated both Croatians and international tourists place a very high value on protected area services and are willing to pay more for both improved services and the preservation of natural site attributes. The study used internationally recognized environmental economic techniques for eliciting use and non-use values of the parks. Non-use values are the value people place on the protection of plant, animal, geological, cultural and landscape features of the site. Use values include natural products and recreational services that the site provides. The study was intended to demonstrate how the use of these techniques could be applied to better protected area management. The results will also be used in the economic evaluation for a proposed nature protection investment program.
The second presentation on sustainable financing identified several areas Croatia could focus to help increase financing for its protected areas. These included a more transparent and equitable share of revenues from large concessions operating in protected areas and reinvested into its conservation; improved introduction of better financial management systems; and training and education to park management on fundraising skills. Follow up will include specific pilots that could be implemented through the Ministry of Culture’s nature protection investment program. Resources for implementation of the program will be a combination of State Budget and contributions from the EU, bilateral governments and the World Bank.
1Program on Forests (PROFOR). PROFOR is a multi-donor partnership formed to pursue a shared goal of enhancing forests' contribution to poverty reduction, sustainable development and protection of environmental services. Through improved knowledge and approaches for sustainable forest management (SFM), PROFOR seeks to encourage the transition to a more socially and environmentally sustainable forest sector supported by sound policies and institutions that take a holistic approach to forest conservation and management.