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Olive plantation on Krk Island, Croatia


Description:

In 2011, the Department of Forestry under Ministry of Agriculture ceded the land area of 26 ha of marshland in Krk Island under 50 years concession to private investor Zvonko Brozović. The aim of the concession was a re-cultivation into agriculture area. The concession plan included drainage of the marshland (by the Department of Forestry) and planting of 4,500 olive trees (by the private investor). Initially, the project obtained legal permissions from the State Institute for Nature Protection and Municipality of Dobrinj.

Thanks to the pressure by the local CSOs (Eko Kvarner, Jezero, Animalia) the Ministry of Culture and its Nature Protection Inspection Department stopped the project. The opponents of the project stressed that the land was located within the second protection zone of the drinking water sources, in which no agriculture activities were allowed. Furthermore, the marshland area was suggested to became a part of the National Ecological Network NATURA 2000 as a habitat to various protected and endangered animal and plant species, and an important bird migration point as declared by the State Institute for Nature Protection. Ironically, it is the same institute that initially approved the project. It was estimated that the project would particularly negatively affect the endangered turtles species. Namely, the turtles have acquired the habit to lay their eggs in the old drainage canals surrounding the project area, which was planned to be cleaned for irrigation purposes. The marshland area also provides various ecosystem services to the local citizens, such as a regulation of local micro-climate. The cleaning of the canals started in August 2012. Shortly after, the government temporarily stopped the process due to the necessity for more detailed assessment and valorisation of the project area in accordance to the European Union regulations on the use of the NATURA 2000 areas. The opponents of the project took advantage of the fact that Croatian was entering the EU at that time to demand from the government to conduct further biological studies that would approve great biological and environmental importance the area and its permanent protection.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Olive plantation on Krk Island, Croatia
Country:Croatia
State or province:Primorsko-goranska County
Location of conflict:Dobrinj, Njivice, Mali Lug
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Land acquisition conflicts
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Land
Fruits and Vegetables
Olive trees

Project Details and Actors

Project details

4,500 olive trees was planned to be planted on 26 ha of the land

Project area:26
Level of Investment:250,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2000 directly affected
Start of the conflict:28/03/2011
Relevant government actors:The Ministry of Agriculture- Department of Forestry; The State Institute for Nature Protection; The Regional department of construction and environment protection of Primorsko-goranska region; The Municipality of Dobrinj; The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia- Department of Nature Protection Inspection
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Eko Kvarner http://www.ekokvarner.hr/; Jezero; Animalia http://www.zastita-prirode-animalia.hr/; Zelena Patrola http://zelenapatrola.com/; Public Institution for Managing Protected Nature Areas http://www.ju-priroda.hr/

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsThe olive plantation plan includes use of fertilizers
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:New legislation
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Application of EU envirnomental regulations after Croatia's access to the EU
Development of alternatives:The opponents of the project demanded its cancellation. The fact Croatian was accessing EU at that time favored their solution to the situation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Further devastation of the land area was stopped in 2012, while Croatia entered the EU on 1st of July 2013 which created the conditions to finally put the marshland area under the permanent protection within Natura 2000 network. However, the land is officially still under the concession granted to the investor. The opponents stressed that the state bureaucracy system failed to find the solution to the investor situation, which could be exchange of original 26 ha with some other area on the Krk Island apt for agricultural production.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

CRO-NEN - Building-up the national ecological network as a part of the Pan-European Ecological network & the Natura 2000 network
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/project/Projects/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.dspPage&n_proj_id=2201&docType=pdf

Current status of the practical implementation of ecological networks in Croatia
http://www.ecologicalnetworks.eu/documents/publications/ken/CroatiaKENWP2.pdf

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Eko Kvarner: Brozovićeve masline ugrozit će rezerve pitke vode u Malom lugu
http://www.novilist.hr/Vijesti/Regija/Otoci/Eko-Kvarner-Brozoviceve-masline-ugrozit-ce-rezerve-pitke-vode-u-Malom-lugu?articlesrclink=related

Preorane livade naljutile ekologe i rastjerale ptice
http://www.novilist.hr/Vijesti/Regija/Otoci/Preorane-livade-naljutile-ekologe-i-rastjerale-ptice?articlesrclink=related

Greška u koracima: Brozović je znao što kupuje
http://www.novilist.hr/Vijesti/Regija/Otoci/Greska-u-koracima-Brozovic-je-znao-sto-kupuje?articlesrclink=related

Piršić: I Županija je u krčku močvaru "investirala" 50.000 kuna
http://www.novilist.hr/Vijesti/Regija/Otoci/Pirsic-I-Zupanija-je-u-krcku-mocvaru-investirala-50.000-kuna

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Documentary by Zelena Patrola
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59ODnrv2GPU

Other documents

The result of work on olive plantation on Krk Island President of CSO Jezero in the devastated marshland area
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/1._Converted_land.jpg

Meta information

Contributor:Jovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)gmail.com
Last update15/05/2016

Images

 

The result of work on olive plantation on Krk Island

President of CSO Jezero in the devastated marshland area