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Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in the Dalmatian Coast (COAST)

COAST Project Summary

The project Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity in the Dalmatian Coast through Greening Coastal Development (COAST) is developed with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and in cooperation with the Ministry for Environment and Nature Protection, as well as other relevant ministries, four Dalmatian counties and numerous local NGOs, firms and individuals. The Project is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The COAST Project covers the Dalmatian coast, which entails four counties: the Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia and the Dubrovnik-Neretva Counties. Within these, 4 demonstration areas were recognized and selected due to their exceptional biological value and unique landscape. 

The Objective of the Project
The objective of the COAST Project is to effectively transform the current practices of the tourism, agriculture and fishery sectors in these four coastal counties to include elements of biodiversity and landscape conservation. Direct as well as indirect influence through the banking sector would be used in order to achieve these goals.

BIODIVERSITY AND LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION - The initial Project activities would focus on detailed inventarisation of some particularly important landscape and bio-diversity areas. This would be an important contribution to the elaboration of the national ecological network. Furthermore, the results from these activities would be used to form guidelines for the sustainable use of natural resources in agriculture, fishery and tourism.

AGRICULTURE - The Project would support environmentally friendly agricultural practices (including traditional and organic agriculture, cultivation of indigenous varieties and breeds). The Project would also let agriculture go hand-in-hand with other sectors, especially tourism, which would then attract investors and allow for the implementation of EU eco-agriculture programmes in Dalmatia. In addition, the Project would encourage the re-use and production on abandoned agricultural land, as well as the branding and marketing of biodiversity-friendly agricultural products.

FISHERY AND MARICULTURE - The Project would encourage sustainable fishing practices by researching the current state and availability of fishing resources. It would produce guidelines that would improve the regulation of fisheries, and promote participatory monitoring and management. It would focus its efforts on promoting efficient fishing gear that would not severely damage the marine habitats and ecosystems, and would make it easier to avoid catching juvenile fish and other non-commercial species. In addition, the Project would promote the diversification and partial substitution in fishery activities (fishing tourism). It would support shell-fish farming in three demo areas.

TOURISM - The Project would develop guidelines for environmentally and socially responsible development of tourism by encouraging respect for the environment, biodiversity and the landscape on which it depends. Furthermore, it would strengthen the integration of tourism with other traditional activities within the agriculture and fishery sectors. In particular, it would encourage rural and eco tourist development.

BANKING SECTOR - The Project would encourage the banking sector to be responsible for the projects it funds. In addition, it would ensure technical assistance for the strengthening in their ability to evaluate the ecological and social impacts of the projects that may get funded in the future.

GREEN BUSINESS SUPPORT PROGRAMME - The Project would offer green business support programmes through County developing agencies. These programmes would provide the technical assistance and the necessary instruments (partial guarantee funds and small grants) to support those projects that contribute to the sustainable development of Dalmatia.

CAPACITY BUILDING IN KEY INSTITUTIONS - In order to improve capacity building mostly at the regional level, the Project would offer employment and education for the new experts in County developing agencies and public institutions. During day-to-day work, they would be involved in projects that focus on physical planning and the protection of natural resources.

PLANNING AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK - One of the key Project objectives is the integration of landscape and bio-diversity into the local and regional planning schemes. In addition, the Project would influence the formation of a regulatory, operational and implemental system in the sectors of spatial planning and environmental protection, which are necessary for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Corporate Thematic Area

Energy and Environment

Project Contact Information
Project Office in Split:
Gojko Berlengi, Project Manager (
Kraj Sv. Ivana 11
HR-21000 Split, Croatia
tel.: +385-21-340-480
fax: +385-21-340-484
e-mail: or

Zagreb Office:
Sandra Vlašić, Environmental Governance Programme Officer (

Status of the Project
Currently in implementation

Four Counties in Dalmatia: Zadar, Sibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva

Period of the Project
2007 – 2013

Main Partners
Ministry of Environment and Nature Protection; Ministry of Tourism; Ministry of Agriculture; Ministry of Culture; National Physical Planning Institute; State Institute for Nature Protection; Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund; Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Dalmatian Counties (Zadar, Šibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia and Dubrovnik-Neretva) and their respective development agencies (ZADRA, RRA ŠKŽ , RERA, DUNEA)

Budget (2011)
1,597, 557 USD 

Major sources of funding
GEF, UNDP, Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, Government of Croatia, county governments

Project Documents
Project Document 
Project Inception Report

Related Information
COAST web page
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