If you love something, you defend it, you sing about it and you’re breathing that way. The mountains we speak of in our hymn “Our beautiful”, the official Croatian anthem, we leave them burning in flames for days. We are singing about them and we do not recognize their true value. Throughout the media, the phrase “There is nothing worthwhile” is repeated. Reactions from governmental and non-governmental institutions working in nature protection are left out. We in Sunce also feel accountable because we have not reacted earlier and pointed to the true values of forests and mountains.
Perhaps today it is harder to recognize the value of something that does not bring us direct profit but that does not mean that it is less valuable. Natural ecosystems that currently provide a number of benefits to man. We need a little more knowledge, feelings and empathy to see and understand the benefit that man has of forest ecosystems.
Creating clean and fresh air, providing natural recreation, relaxation and educational activities to a healthy and sensible man are by no means unimpressive. Not to mention the habitat of animals and birds, their source of food, a source of raw materials …
Although profits from the above-mentioned mountains are not direct, its value can be calculated, so this year, for that reason, Association Sunce, in cooperation with the Faculty of Forestry in Zagreb, carried out an assessment of the services of forest ecosystems and general functions of the Marjan Forest Park in Split. As we have said, we have estimated how much Marjan is worth the money.
A total of 28 ecosystem services were defined in the Forest Park and the total value of only 5 of the most important ecosystems was 122,000.00 HRK per hectare per year, or 24.4 million per year for a total of 200 hectares of Marjan. If the value of Marjan can anyhow be financially presented, it is worth that much. The fire that jeopardized Split burned 4500 hectares. If we draw a comparison with Marjan’s simple math, we get huge numbers! And that’s just one fire in a row that is not even close to the biggest this season … We’ve tried to add the burned hectares, but this summer they were so much that their sum was hard to pinpoint and it would take a couple of days to sit on a computer and add hectares.
Below the text we bring the appeal of our former employees, dear colleagues and prominent members of Sunce and HGSS, Milena Šijan, who, unlike us who clicked and scribbled, already defended Mosor and other forests in flames the very first day. We hope that there will be so much more of that kind of people tomorrow and that after this emotional exhortation, the person who really loves, often resides and sees the true value of the mentioned mountains, is able to look at things with other eyes and wonder if there is “somewhere behind the hills and forests” !
Fires and other consequences of climate change are OUR PRESENT AND THERE IS NO more time to think and debate about them. WE ALL HAVE TO WORK AND REACT EFFECTIVELY!
Fires do not only destroy human lives and property, fires seriously threaten many natural processes.
Dust, high temperatures and fires have taken their toll – Mosor, Dinara, Promina, Svilaj, Velebit, Biokovo – our pearls which were christened with hymn.
The forests grew for decades and disappeared in a few hours, numerous animals disappeared because they had no chance of being saved from the fire and those “happier” remained without a home that nobody would rebuild.
But forests and mountains are also our home. These are the places that make “Our beautiful” so special and different. We depend on them, we are proud of them, we offer them as the main tourist attraction.
Due to Biokovo, people boast of the Makarska coast, because of Mosor, Split feels safe, because of Dinara we are proud of Dinaric people and because of Velebit we are the world’s “dika” (proud).
To be able to not only talk through emotions, we recall the services that nature gives us daily and completely free of charge, and most importantly:
- nature knows the secret of photosynthesis and production of OXYGEN without which we can not live for more than a few minutes
- nature creates WATER without which we can not live for more than a few days
- nature is the source of our FOOD without which we can not live for more than a month or two
- nature is the source of many raw materials that are transformed into us useful products
Our mountains are complex ecosystems and fires lead to great loss of biodiversity and in some cases a persistent disappearance of the species and habitats.
Losing consequently the highest price is paid by MAN.
Therefore, every time we see it burning a mountain, a forest or a meadow, let’s know that it is “burning under our feet”!