Nature Protection Act

Since the adoption of the Wolf Management Plan in 2005, a new Nature Protection Act (hereinafter: the Act) was adopted in May 2005, while amendments to the Act were passed in December 2008 and June 2013. Today, this is the fundamental regulation governing the area of nature protection in the Republic of Croatia. A number of implementing acts (ordinances and regulations) have been adopted pursuant to the Act to outline in detail specific issues such as the protection and conservation of wild taxa, protection and conservation of habitats, cross-border trade in protected wild taxa, preserving ecologically significant areas of the Republic of Croatia, proclaiming protected areas in one of the protection categories, etc. Via the implementing acts, the Act is continually aligned with the relevant directives and regulations of the acquis communautaire in the area of the environment that pertain to the protection of natural habitats, wild flora and fauna, protection of birds and protection of wild flora and fauna by regulating their trade.

The Act also prescribes that the use of natural resources be carried out pursuant to management plans, and in line with physical planning documents, while taking account of the conservation of the biological and landscape diversity. Therefore, management plans for natural resources contain measures and conditions for nature protection. Nature protection measures include overviews of protected and threatened natural values of a certain area, and measures for their protection and conservation. Nature protection conditions are issued by the Ministry, while landowners and rights holders are obliged to obtain these prior to drafting management plans. These conditions are established on the basis of expert assessments compiled by the State Institute for Nature Protection. If the manner or scope of the exploitation of the natural resources directly threatens the favourable state of a species or habitat type, the Minister may issue an order restricting or temporarily halting the exploitation while the threat lasts. Landowners and rights holders have the right to compensation for restrictions they are subjected to, proportionate to the lost revenues. The level of compensation is determined in agreement by both sides.

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