Fish census in Croatia © Nika Staglicic
© © Nika Staglicic

Strengthening the Marine Protected Areas network

The pilot project in Croatia aims to assist the managers of five MPAs in developing their management and business plans. The MPAs involved are:
  • Brijuni National Park
  • Kornati National Park
  • Mljet National Park
  • Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park
  • Telašçica Nature Park

Creating standards for better managed areas

Despite the relatively high number of MPAs in Croatia, their protection status and quality of management is rather low. Although some of them were established in the early 1960’s, they still lack clear conservation objectives, management plans and procedures for monitoring their effectiveness. Much of this is caused by insufficient investment in nature conservation and insufficient capacity of management institutions. It is also due to the fact that Croatia is a relatively young country that is still building its nature conservation strategies. All Croatian MPAs share similar ecological features, problems, needs and capacity gaps. They also share most key stakeholders. A common planning approach has been developed, which will ultimately contribute to the networking of the MPAs in Croatia.

The project facilitates the consultation process at site level, provides technical assistance and builds the capacity of MPA managers and officers of relevant authorities on specific issues such as management planning, stakeholders’ involvement, monitoring and business planning. The involvement of key stakeholders in the project will contribute to clarifying the complex legislation and competencies of institutions by creating a standardised approach to MPA management planning, implementation, and monitoring.


This is one of our best protected areas management projects at the Ministry of Culture. Only few projects feature such planned outputs, and such intensive and productive intersectoral cooperation.

Loris Elez, Protected Areas Department, Head Nature Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Culture