Launching HNV-Link on the Dalmatian islands
Launch event in the Rector's Palace in Ston on June
The Learning Area of "Dalmatian islands" in Croatia had the project national launch event in the Rector's Palace in Ston on June, 7th 2016. The event gathered key stakeholders in the region. Among the guests of honour were key officials of the University of Split and of the public sector of Dubrovnik - Neretva and Split - Dalmatia counties.
In the HNV-Link, the Learning Area of “Dalmatian islands” is the only example of an island ecosystem with High Nature Value farming. The Croatian partner – Local Action Group LAG 5 - brings into the project the national LEADER Network, a true grassroots driven organisation of local actors. “HNV-Link Project is a great continuation of our work on the inventory of habitats and agricultural potential of our region", said the president of the LAG Škoji, Ivo Duboković.
Though promoting rural innovation and biodiversity on the Dalmatian islands is nothing new, HNV-Link project is the first of its kind in Croatia. It is seen as a chance for southern Croatia and South Dalmatian islands to be in the focus of European rural development and "green" innovations. "We are honoured to be a part of a national and European partnership that will enable the development of a sustainable economy on our islands”, stressed Ivo Duboković.
During the event, the importance of farming in supporting rich biodiversity and cultural heritage of the Dalmatian islands was highlighted. It is hoped that the HNV-Link will promote creative ways of supporting and incentivising farmers to maintain and enhance unique habitats of Dalmatia. Sharing ideas, expertise and knowledge was seen important. As the president of Leader Croatian Networks, Milan Medić put it, "The value of this project cannot be seen only in the amount of resources that we have been allocated by the European Union but also in the vertical and horizontal networking of the key stakeholders of rural development".
For regional stakeholders, the HNV-Link project is also a way to re-discover the uniqueness of the area closest to home. The rector of the University of Split professor Simon Anđelinović crystallized the thoughts of many: “For me as a scientist it is important that, through this project, biodiversity of the Dalmatian islands will be recognized and appreciated. We have varieties of lavender and indigenous varieties of wine that we do not truly identify as being something unique. This project will help to identify these indigenous varieties, to investigate their morphological and biochemical characteristics. Research, as a key foundation of this project, will enable application of theoretical knowledge to practice that will, hopefully, result in economic improvement of the living conditions of people on the islands."
Thank-you to the event attendees, including:
- Rector of the University of Split Prof Šimun Anđelinović
- Provost of the University of Split Prof Ph. Alen Soldo
- Rector of the University of Split Prof Maja Fredotović
- Deputy Mayor of Split - Dalmatia County Ante Šošić
- Head of the Department of Rural Development and Agriculture Dubrovnik - Neretva County Ivica Prović
- President of the LAG Škoji Ivo Duboković
- President of the LAG Brač Tonči Sanader
- President of the LAG 5 Vjeran Filippi
- Chief of Ston Vedran Antunica
- Representatives of the Regional development agency of Split - Dalmatia county
- The development agency of Dubrovnik
- Development agency Dunea
- The Institute for Marine and Coastal Research, Extension service
- Ecological Association ¨Mala sirena¨
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