Preserving the Adriatic Sea Ecosystems by Active Participation of CitizenS – SEAS

Project title: Preserving the Adriatic Sea Ecosystems by Active Participation of CitizenS  – SEAS

Project coordinator: Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development SUNCE

Project partners:

  • Green Istria
  • WWF Adria
  • Urbanex d.o.o.
  • University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)

Project implementation period: 1.1.2021. – 31.12.2022.

Total project value: €166,497.90 of which €149,848.11 was secured through financial support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the European Economic Area and Norwegian Grants.

Contact person for more information: Ivana Krstulović Baković, [email protected]

Links to relevant websites: https://sunce-st.org/

Project summary:

The project aims to contribute to preserving the biodiversity of the ecosystems of our Adriatic Sea, i.e., wildlife in the sea.  The sea and coast today are exposed to numerous pressures of growing economic sectors, human activities (such as: fishing, tourism, construction, etc.). Since the management of the sea and the coast is divided between several different bodies, it is necessary to coordinate their activities, with purpose to secure better and up to date protection of sea and the coast. In addition to the coordinated work of the bodies, it is necessary to improve the existing legislative framework governing this matter and to strengthen case law, i.e., to encourage administrative and judicial authorities to think and act more intensively in protecting the marine environment without which there is no life on earth. Furthermore, the project is planned to encourage the adoption of new laws and policies and to carry out additional research and analysis, with the aim of strengthening the knowledge that will be used for better protection of marine environment. This will be achieved through implementation of participation activities in the adoption of relevant national and local policies, acts and procedures that have an impact on the marine environment and the preparation of analyses on the use and effects of legal tools in the protection of marine environment, as well as thematic research on this topic. Better implementation of environmental legislation will be enabled by strengthening case law and educating all process stakeholders.

An important role in the project is played by partner associations and other associations and citizens’ initiatives for environmental protection in the Republic of Croatia who want their voices to be heard and attitudes taken into respect. Project will enable them to perfect knowledge in the thematic areas of the project related to the protection of marine environment and the use of legal tools, institutes of public participation and access to justice. In addition to improving and further strengthening these capacities, the project will enable them to educate and acquire advocacy skills to advocate good practices and solutions among decision makers and the general public. Also, authorities responsible for decision-making and adoption of laws and policies at national and local level play a significant role in the project; as well as experts in certain areas of marine environmental protection; academia, especially students and young people who will help, with their energy and motivation, to initiate change and strengthen civic awareness of the importance of protecting the marine environment and active civic engagement in its protection among its population. Namely, students will engage, with the help of mentors and volunteers in the Association, in the design, organization and implementation of public educational events strengthening civic awareness and civic engagement of other students and citizens. Finally, the media, general public and citizens who already show great interest in participating in environmental protection and those who are yet to acquire this interest, will contribute to the implementation of the project by raising awareness and acquiring knowledge about the marine environment and its protection and active civic engagement in their local communities; through information and active participation in decision-making on interventions and their potential, harmful impacts on the marine environment. The project therefore provides the possibility of active participation in the protection of source of life, sea and the marine environment.

Planned project activities directly point to the need for sustainability of governance and action through advocating the establishment of a coordinated management system, policy making, decisions and acts based on sustainability principles, encouraging public involvement in decision-making processes, and raising awareness of the need for active civic engagement in the protection of the marine environment. Successful implementation of project activities will ensure a step further towards establishing sustainable coexistence with nature on which our future and the future of our planet depends. In times of crisis caused by the Covid-19 virus, we believe we are more aware of this than ever before.