EU Rural Reviews
UNDP demonstration project wins support from private-sector solar producer
Under two agreements, signed at the Solar Education Center in Zadar on 18 January 2012, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) installed a small solar power plant in the remote village of Ajderovac, near Srb in Croatia's mountainous Gračac municipality. The solar plant restored the electricity supply to the village, which was cut off from the energy grid during the 1991-95 war. The total value of the project is HRK 188,000, with EnergyPLUS, a private producer of solar technology from Ludbreg, providing an in-kind donation worth HRK 138,000, and UNDP supplying the remaining HRK 50,000. With Zadar Deputy County Prefect Rajka Rađenović looking on, the agreements were signed by UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton, EnergyPLUS owner Zvonko Magić and Una Association President Tanja Rastović. (more...)
Watch our short, homemade film, Greetings from Ajderovac which shows how UNDP has installed a demonstration solar power plant in a remote village of Ajderovac in Lika, where returnee families had been farming for years without electricity.
Witness support offices help to deliver justice
Article by: Sunčica Pleština
A Study Visit to Rab: The Forest Story
The island Rab was not chosen as a destination for a two-day study trip on International Year of Forests and World Water Day, for around twenty high school students from Otočac and Senj by accident. In fact, Rab is, next to Mljet, the most forested island on the Adriatic. It is adorned by a unique forest Dundo, known by locals as Dundovo that has been long protected since 1949 as a special reserve. Precisely because of its protected status, Dundo is today one of the most beautiful examples of autochthonous holm oak forests in the Mediterranean.
This study trip held on March 25th and 26th was hosted by high school from Rab, and the visitors were students and professors from high school Pavao Ritter Vitezović from Senj and high school Otočac. The trip was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Zadar field office and high school Markantun de Dominis from Rab. It is a continuation of "Water Triptych", a project designed for high schools from areas that use the Lika-Gacka river system as a source of potable water. It was part of a larger project "Every Drop Matters - River Gacka" which was started in 2007 by UNDP and Coca Cola in Croatia. (more...)
Setting up of a Local Action Group for economic recovery of islands in the Zadar archipelagoWhat is a LAG in fact? We are a little village, will we again have people from the big city come tell us how to do things, decide for us, just because they outnumber us? We already had such projects. We all gathered for the sake of sustainable development, but at the end - nothing happened! Can a suburb also join the project? How can we join forces with the residents of Dugi otok island; for us, it's like teaming with Vukovar, they are so remote!? These were the first questions that arose during the presentations of the LEADER approach and newly created Local Action Group (LAG) for islands of the Zadar County, held in Zadar in November and December 2010, for the representatives of arts and crafts industry, local self-governments, NGOs, cooperatives, sports and fishing clubs, hiking associations. (more...)
Croatia's unfinished business is outside Zagreb
By Louisa Vinton, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Croatia
Croatia can be justly proud of its achievements in two decades as an independent state, including the creation of robust democratic institutions and a level of prosperity (at least as judged by an average GNI per head of $13,580) that has vaulted it into the World Bank's elite category of high-income economies. Membership of the European Union (EU) is within reach.
To celebrate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations (UN), the team of UN agencies working in Croatia chose to hold its annual party outside Zagreb, in the town of Petrinja. Although just one hour from the capital, Petrinja is located in the Areas of Special State Concern and faces many of the challenges typical of Croatia's war-affected regions. (more...)
Green Jobs in Croatia - Where and How Many?
Article by: Robert Pašičko
Does the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions pose excessive and unnecessary costs in these times, when both production and the GDP are falling? Are renewable energy sources just an overpriced fad of the developed world? Or could it be that both of these approaches provide the opportunity for growth to the domestic economy, and for the creation of new jobs and competitive Croatian products? Looking at this issue from another angle, we can see that the global industry of renewable energy sources is growing at an annual rate of over 30 percent, and more wind-powered electricity plants have been installed in the EU in the course of 2008 than for any other energy source.
Currently, there are over 2.3 million people employed in the area of renewables (half of whom are working in the biomass and biofuel sector; over 600 thousand in the production of solar heat systems; 300 thousand in wind-generated energy; 200 thousand in the production of photovoltaic systems...), and there are also 7 million employed in the area of energy efficiency. Where are we in that picture, and where could some room be found for the Croatian industry – taking into consideration our human and energy potential? (more...)
Hospitality of the Ilok Wine Region
Winery tradition in the service of tourismThe City of Ilok is located in the very east of Croatia, on the hills of Fruška mountain, on the right bank of the Danube, in the historical region of Srijem. This picturesque town in Slavonia covers a surface of 128.89 km2, and the D2 state road connects it with bigger urban centers in Croatia – namey Vukovar, Osijek and the capital of the country, Zagreb. Roads and rivers also connect Ilok with Danube-oriented urban centers in the neighboring state, Bačka Palanka and Novi Sad. (more...)
Silent MajorityWhile on the parliamentary level, the representation of women in Croatia amounts to modest 27 percent, not even resembling to the actual composition of the population (51% of women) it is however, significantly higher than the number of women politically participating at the lower levels of local government. In many municipalities women do not participate in government as members of councils and that puts Croatia on the low 30th place of the total of 41 country members of the Council of Europe. It is customary in democracies that the decisions are made by majority voting, nevertheless the women's majority in Croatia frequently remains silent in community decision making. (read more...)
Watching From the Sidelines
A Look at How Children with Disabilities in Croatia, Continue to Remain at a Disadvantage
In 2007, Croatia ratified the United Nations Convention on Persons with Disabilities, a Convention designed to protect the world's approximately 650 million persons with disabilities. This was a major step for Croatia in addressing its issues regarding the rights of persons with disabilities. It indicated Croatia's firm committment to eradicating prejudices as well as ensuring the active involvement and participation of persons with disabilities in civil society. While there has been some progress made however, the goal has not yet entirely been reached and certain key areas need special attention. Among these are the problems concerning young children living with physical and intellectual difficulties. The following article is a brief look into a the current situation concerning children of school going age and the focus issues that need to be addressed. (read more...)