The Lastovo archipelago to become a Nature Park in 2006

The archipelago of the Island of Lastovo shall soon be declared a new Croatian Nature Park. The project to have it declared a Nature Park began four years ago however the matter itself was only seriously considered and acted upon recently. Namely, up until now there have been a whole series of plans for this island but although they would have brought economic benefit to its inhabitants, these have been abandoned so as not to endanger the natural balance on the island. By declaring it a Nature Park, however, the situation on the island will not be significantly altered. It will however guarantee better economic and tourist growth to the entire archipelago, with an emphasis on environmental protection, traditional agricultural production and non-massive tourism. Among the emphasised natural assets of the Lastovo archipelago are listed the 44 islands, islets, cliffs and reefs, the very indented relief, rocky shores, forests, habitats of endemic and rare plants and animals, followed by numerous cultural, sacral and historical architecture, archaeological localities and traditional heritage.

Along with all this, the declaring of a Nature Park will further encourage traditional agricultural production which would encompass the rejuvenation of abandoned fields and as there have been no announcements to date regarding restrictions in the areas of fishing, hunting and forestry, the local inhabitants will be able to continue living as they have up to now. There will be restrictions placed only in areas of special natural wealth like for example the Island of Sušac, part of the islet in the immediate vicinity of Lastovo, the lush pine tree forest and sandy cove in Jurjeva cove at Prežba, the spring Lokanj, the fields Pržina, Prgovo and Studenac, Veje and Male cliffs, all pools, caves, the group of islands Lastovnjaci and Vrhovnjaci and many other localities.

As far as tourism is concerned, a greater emphasis has been placed on encouraging alternative forms of tourism, holidays in rural households and generally in the enjoyment of nature. Nautical guests, who have up to now freely anchored along the island, will now have to pay for this service so as to better regulate marine traffic and also to protect the coastline.

Source: www.htz.hr

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