Civil society organizations to the Croatian MEPs:
Be the voice of reason and support the adoption of the Nature Restauration Law!
Ahead of the plenary session of the European Parliament on July 12, which will decide the fate of the Nature Restoration Law, Croatian associations dedicated to the protection of nature and the environment call on all Croatian MEPs to support the adoption of this European regulation, which is extremely important for the future of Croatia.
Although we are proud of the Croatia’s beauty, today’s reality is that we do not consume these natural resources in a way that will enable the survival of local communities in the future, especially in rural areas. Our pastures are neglected, fishing resources are on the verge of being overfished, and tourism prevails as a monoculture with an increasingly negative impact on Croatia’s nature and the sociological structure.
The Nature Restoration Law is being called out in the media as a law that will endanger Croatian fishermen, but we have to accept that we are already in a situation where the Adriatic fish and Croatian fishermen are endangered. Nature is currently in a state where it can no longer support an irrational way of using it. Nature restoration measures aim to better regulate large-scale industrial fishing, which has a significant negative impact on the environment. The protection of the Pomo Pit is an example of how nature restoration measures benefit both fishermen and nature. The European Association of Small Fishermen LIFE Platform also supported the regulation.
Like fishermen, Croatian farmers and family farms are our immense pride and a fundamental pillar of Croatia’s health and survival. Unfortunately, they too face extremely difficult and inadequate conditions in rural areas where they not only produce our food but also live and raise families –new, younger generations to whom we are obliged to ensure survival and the opportunity for a dignified life and a healthy environment.
But just like fishermen whose survival primarily depends on the amount of fish in the Adriatic, rural areas of Croatia rely on nature as a resource from which the fruit of their work grows, but also on the natural landscape as the basis of Croatian tourism, and thus of the economy itself.
An example of how the restoration of nature can help revitalize the community and develop the Croatian village is provided by the restoration of the grasslands on Dinara as part of the “Dinara Back to LIFE” project. The restoration of the biodiversity of the grasslands, freshwater ponds, and wells in this area stimulated the local community, allowed it new opportunities, and united them in the initiative. The revival proved to the inhabitants of the Dinaric highlands how valuable and important they are and worthy of attention and effort.
Given the rapidly changing conditions around us, we have to find a way to improve, adapt, and become smarter. Just as we build houses and apartments with better insulation, create a network of renewable energy sources, and encourage the use of electric vehicles, other sectors, including fishermen and farmers, must abandon harmful and unsustainable work methods and work together with experts on new approaches.
We all need to make our personal and professional contributions to achieve a better and sustainable future. The whole world, including Croatia, is faced with an ecological crisis, for the solution of which we no longer have time to make mild declarations and expressions of concern, but strong regulations that will put words into action and enable the survival of nature and people on this planet.
Civil society organizations in the field of nature protection — Biom Association, Association Sunce, and Green Action — are therefore telling the Croatian representatives in the European Parliament: be the voice of reason and support the adoption of the Nature Restoration Law!