Slaven Dobrović.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ /dc

Croatia on Sunday observed International Day for Biological Diversity in Zagreb's Maksimir Park, where Environment and Nature Protection Minister Slaven Dobrovic said people must realise that they were not owners of biodiversity but depended on it.

Maksimir Park was recently ranked among the ten most beautiful parks in Europe. Croatia is one of the richest countries in Europe in terms of biodiversity, with nearly 30 percent of its territory part of the Natura 2000 network of nature protection areas in the European Union. About 400,000 species have been recorded in Croatia, although it is estimated that there are between 50,000 and 100,000.

Croatia today also observed Nature Protection Day, which parliament declared in 2003 by passing the Nature Protection Act.

Speaking to the press, Minister Dobrovic said a waste management plan was being completed and that it would be backed by a strategic environmental impact study. He recalled that Croatia has two waste management centres.

He said the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund would assist in waste sorting and the implementation of energy efficiency systems and continue to co-finance the energy-efficient improvement of family houses.

Asked about his position on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Dobrovic said one should turn towards national interest such as raising awareness of the importance of eco-products, notably food.

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