Activity calendar Activity calendar-home News

Alen Čikada’s lecture on the restoration of ponds: How does a man repair what he has done well in nature?

The construction of ponds as a human intervention in nature is one of the few examples where what man did in nature was beneficial to both man and nature. Time, however, works against puddles because they are less and less needed so many are neglected. But there is energy, knowledge and the will to renew or maintain them. One of those who successfully deals with this is Alen Čikada, from KAL, an association for the protection and restoration of karst ponds, who recently gave a lecture in Sinj in Biom’s organization on the restoration of ponds, and then brought his lecture into practice and showed on the example of Marunska bunarina pond how the restoration of ponds is carried out.

Culturally and historically, ponds are present everywhere on the karst – the pond is a cultural heritage, although its original purpose is practical – the accumulation of water, says Čikada. The ponds are mostly semi-natural or artificial, they are rarely natural, and they were made by man to enable him to live on karst, that is, to be able to water the cattle.

Places for puddles were chosen by man in a way that he noticed that water was being collected in some of the depressions and decided to intervene in a way that he fenced off the depression and thus made the puddles as we see them today. At the beginning of the 20th century, new ponds stopped being built, and in the middle of the 20th century, they stopped being maintained. They are neglected, as Čikada explains, in the 1960s, when the number of cattle began to fall and there was less grazing, so water in remote places was no longer needed because cattle breeders didn’t go that far. The arrival of the water supply caused additional neglect of the ponds.

We find ponds in various places – on islands, deep on the continent, in the mountains, wherever the need arises, ponds have been built. Among them, there is an interesting pond on Silba island, placed about 15 meters from the sea, half a meter below sea level, but it is still very pure of seawater. Ponds also exist regardless of altitude, we find them everywhere, so we record a pond on Učka at 1,000 meters above sea level.

All ponds must be cleaned because leaves and soil or sludge are collected in them throughout the year, leaving less and less space for water. Rotting increases the amount of sludge and reduces the volume of water. Cleaning a puddle should therefore be a regular job, but that job is neither easy nor beautiful because the puddle neither smells nor looks nice, admits Čikada. The expert points out that people are afraid of puddles like mosquito nests. However, mosquito counts have shown that there are more mosquitoes in the proximity on one discarded truck tire full of water than around a puddle because one healthy puddle does not allow mosquitoes to breed because animals eat mosquitoes. The problem is the puddle that is overgrown with vegetation.

There are two main reasons why Čikada is embarking on the restoration of ponds: the first is the most direct one – ponds are needed if cattle breeding is to be developed in Croatia. Another reason is the biological value because the pond supports a closed ecosystem on the karst, it serves as a place where amphibians lay eggs, we can say that the pond is their “uterus”, Čikada makes an interesting metaphor.

When ponds are restored, priority should be given to those where livestock pass, or the ones in remote places where there is no other body of water nearby, so that one restored pond would support the ecosystem of the area. Čikada restores traditionally, which means that he at the start researches where is the nearest clay source, which is not lacking in the Dinaric area, in order to have easily accessible material when restoring a pond. Čikada thinks it would be good to build ponds in new places, something that is rarely done now, although new ponds can be made with little resources.

The grass is a big problem when the pond is being overgrown by it, because it loosens the soil so the water starts to be lost a lot. In cases of more gravelly soil the grass grows less, but where the soil is clean from rocks the grass grows very successfully. The root system of grass in such cases is also very widespread, creating cavities in the ground that are heated more intensively causing strong transpiration, so a lot of water is lost. In addition, the grass also uses the water for itself.

Čikada describes that when rebuilding the pond, he wants to have 30 centimeters of trampled clay on the bottom, as is the case with golf courses when building ponds. If the layer of trampled clay is 10 cm it will hold water, even such a thin layer of 2-3 centimeters of clay can hold water. It is good, however, that there is some sludge in the pond – 5 to 10 centimeters because the sludge protects the clay from the sun and drying out. At the puddle, the marginal parts start to leak first. When the puddle dries, it is good to drive a 10-ton excavator over it for a few hours as this will repair it. The pond will hold on for one season longer thanks only to that trampling. People can do the same – 20 people in boots can stamp down the clay for a few hours, advises Čikada. Previously, hay would be placed on the bottom of the pond for the cattle to eat, and then the cattle would trample the bottom of the pond even more, and some hay would remain, as well as cattle dung, which would provide an additional protective layer at the bottom of the pond. Additionally, dung enhances the ph value of the puddle.

In his lecture, Čikada also presented the main “enemies” of the pond. Gambusia affinis, he admits, disrupts the entire system, but is a minor problem. The bigger problem is the goldfish (Carassius auratus) because it reproduces excessively and has no enemies, it fertilizes the water with bodily secretions and such a pond has many more plants, which in turn create sludge. In addition, this invasive species eat indigenous animals. Another natural enemy of puddles is the red-eared slider, which is often encountered in puddles, and the problem with it is that it eats everything it catches. The golden rule is, says Čikada – “no fish should be in a puddle!”. That is why it is good for the pond to dry out, because that is how the fish disappear, while the amphibians survive.

Marunska bunarina at the end of the restoration

When renovating, Čikada takes care of everything – the sludge is disposed of up to 50 meters from the pond. From this sludge all the larvae will crawl out. Aquatic plants are placed near water for 24 hours, and only then are they deposited elsewhere. When rebuilding a pond, attention is given to the amphibian season. The puddle will not be pumped out while the tadpoles are inside. Mowing around a puddle is also avoided while tadpoles become frogs. Čikada advises that it is best to clean puddles at the end of August and the whole of September and part of October. The second period of low water is February.

When intervening in the environment, man usually degrades it and reduces biodiversity. With ponds, as Čikada points out, man increases diversity because he has given water, and the environment is beautified because the ponds fit nicely into nature. Such changes nature caused by humans give added value to the environment, support the animal world in their surroundings, enable cattle grazing and are a pleasing addition to the eye. One example of the harmony of man and nature!

Watch Čikada’s lecture below (88 mins, in Croatian):


Croatian Forestry: What are the benefits of afforestation in Dalmatia?

What is the benefit of afforestation of the burned area and how long does it take for a “quality” forest to grow after afforestation – forestry engineer Zoran Šunjić from Croatian Forestry/Hrvatske šume, partner in the Dinara back to LIFE project, explained at his lecture held at the educational-volunteer camp in September.

Project partner Šunjić giving a lecture on Croatian Forestry company

The lecture of the project partner entitled “Forestry management in the karst area – challenges from the field and harmonization with the ecological network” included an introduction to the work of Croatian Forestry, after which he took volunteers from the camp to the field where he explained afforestation system and showed the difference between burned and unburned terrain, and students were given the opportunity to plant black pine seedlings themselves.

Digging a hole for a seedling

The total area of ​​forests and forest lands in Croatia is 2,688,687 hectares, which is 47% of the country’s land area. Of that, 2.1 million ha are owned by the Republic of Croatia, while 581,770 ha are owned by private forest owners. Croatian Forestry manages 2 million hectares. Šunjić explained that any area that is overgrown with forest trees, and is larger than ​​10 acres (1000 m2), is considered a forest.

Šunjić tried to argue what are the benefits from afforestation with Aleppo pine and black pine. Croatian Forestry consider Aleppo pine and black pine to be the main and unavoidable pioneers in our coast. Such forests, according to Forestry, stop and prevent erosion, produce oxygen, retain water, purify the air, improve soil quality, protect it from excessive insolation, and generally improve climatic conditions, fulfilling those functions called “general forest functions”. Croatian Forestry also notes, in the context of combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and in order to meet the Paris targets, that a hectare of pine annually “catches” 15-26 tons of carbon dioxide – CO2, the main greenhouse gas.

For these two species of pines, some of the experts from outside Croatian Forestry company state that they are unpleasant during summer fires. They believe that the forested areas in Dalmatia – especially those covered with resin-rich conifers and dried needles – promote the spread of summer wildfires, which are much harder to spread on grassy terrain and easier to put out.

Seedlings ready to be planted

The process of afforestation, Šunjić explained, begins with the planting of Aleppo pine in the coastal / eumediterranean region and black pine in the coastal / sub-Mediterranean region. In forests, all processes take a very long time and in order for the climatogenic community of holm oak to develop under the Aleppo pine or Downy oak to develop under black pine, a 60-100 years phase of pioneer and transitional species dominated by pine must pass.

After the lecture, engineer Šunjić and Damir Jukić – Bračulj, Dinara project’s expert associate for forestry, took the participants of the Dinara camp back to LIFE to the forested area. To begin with, experts from Croatian Forestry described that afforestation begins by digging holes in which pines are planted. The parallel furrows dug by the machines are 3 meters wide, while the seedlings are placed every 2 meters inside one furrow, which means that an average of 2,000 plants are planted per hectare. The holes in which the pines are planted must be 40 cm deep, which protects the young seedlings from the wind. A good part of the seedlings do not survive these difficult conditions, so the dried seedlings are replaced with new seedlings.

Šunjić explained how low-growing and dry branches are removed from the already grown forest, which prevents the spread of wildfires, since the fire will be harder to spread to the branches that grow high. As for early detection of fires, Croatian Forestry uses a system of cameras, although now, thanks to technology, the fastest reports are from local people, in which case the reports come very quickly – the information arrives within minutes. Šunjić added that 300 hectares, or over 500,000 seedlings, are planted annually in Dalmatia, while far more – 1,500 hectares – are burned in wildfires. The capacity of the Piket plant nursery near Zadar is 2,500,000 seedlings, and engineer Šunjić believes that all these plants should be planted.

A tour of the burned area near the Peruća dam ended an interesting and informative trip where participants heard a different view on the issue of afforestation and the benefits of forests on the Dalmatian karst, as opposed to the view of the forested area as a fuel and an amplifier of summer wildfires.

Activity calendar Activity calendar-home News

Marunska bunarina pond renovated

Last Friday in Sinj, lectures were held on the restoration of ponds, and next days in Vučipolje above Peruća Lake accumulated knowledge was applied in the restoration of a neglected pond.

The proposal to renovate the Marunska bunarina pond came through the Dinara back to LIFE Collaborative Council, which brought together stakeholders such as hunters, ranchers and beekeepers, giving the community a chance to highlight what they think is important for restoration. This stakeholder proposal was implemented a few months after it was presented.

Alen Čikada, Kallokva associationa

The process of rebuilding the pond began with the transfer of knowledge. Alen Čikada, an expert from the Association for the Protection and Restoration of Karst Puddles KAL, in the Palacina Hall in Sinj on Friday, October 8, gave a lecture “How and why do we restore ponds in karst?”. Čikada also presented successful examples of karst pond restoration. Restoration expert Čikada, from Lucijan near Žminj, has been dealing with ponds since childhood, and through the KAL association he has been working on ponds restoration for a decade. In his lecture, he passed on his knowledge about the restoration of the pond, and the participants of the lecture gained his knowledge and will be able to start applying it themselves.

On Saturday, October 9, the application of what was learned followed – about 20 people participated in the restoration of the Marunska bunarina pond, including hunters from the Hrvace Hunting Association, members of the Cetinska Krajina LAG, members of the Dragodid association that deals with drywall restoration, Alen Čikada from KAL and members and volunteers of Biom. Marunska bunarina pond near Vučipolje on the eastern side of Lake Peruća was overgrown by vegetation, with collapsed dry stone walls in which however the waterproof layer of dirt has been preserved, so the pond was functional, the water was still retained and was therefore suitable for restoration.

At the beginning of restoration

At Saturday’s action, the vegetation that grew from the pond itself was removed, and the vegetation that grew in the vicinity of the pond, which caused the dry stone wall to collapse and was preventing access to the pond, was also cleaned. The bottom of the pond has been cleared of grass and other vegetation to prevent sludge from forming. The dry stone wall that encloses the pond has been largely restored and will prevent the dirt from collapsing into the pond in the future, as well as the intrusion of other material. Cleaned and restored in this way, the pond should keep water for longer periods, and should also be a source of drinking water during the dry summer period. Photo traps will also be placed on the restored pond to monitor which wildlife is using it.

Ponds are one of the few examples of human intervention in nature that are good for nature and contribute to biodiversity. They were once used to hold water and maintain livestock where there was no water, and as there are fewer herders and livestock in this area, ponds are less and less used, so they are no longer maintained and are decaying.

Biom’s expert advisor for nature protection Ivan Budinski comments on the condition of the Marunska bunarina pond before and after the reconstruction, and assesses its impact on biodiversity in this microlocation: “The pond was in poor condition and it remains to be seen what it will support from living beings. This summer it has completely dried up so we don’t know what was in it and whether it died due to drying out or managed to complete a part of its water-related life cycle and will surely leave the puddle. The amphibians certainly did not survive because the pond dried up early and long after that there was no rain to keep the young amphibians, hidden in the soil around the pond, alive. We hope that the pond will be inhabited by amphibians typical of the area this autumn (salamander, brown toad, forest brown frog, large green frog) and that it will serve as a water resource for many wild animals and livestock all summer”.

Dry-wall restoration

Mosaic habitat management – positive effects for wildfire prevention

One could argue that controlled burning as a management technique releases CO2 in the atmosphere, as well as other gases which are produced by burning of the biomass. However, controlled burning has positive effects that can reduce the damage and negative effects of wildfires, which are uncontrolled, can spread in unreachable terrain, and usually occur in spring and summer season. Such wildfires are dangerous because they burn deep layers of humus that store large amounts of carbon, and can harm a number of wild animals which are unable to escape the fire and secure their young.

Therefore, controlled burning is a recognized and worldwide used method for grassland management, and is becoming a standard practice in legal documents as a recommended method for habitat management.

In the Mediterranean and Submediterranean region, climate and environment factors are bound to produce wildfires, and their occurrence is highly anticipated in the summer period. Active management of mosaic habitats, such as agricultural land, vineyards, olive groves, and woodlands are beneficial for reducing the potential spread and speed of wildfires. Additionally, those habitats are helping the fire prevention because a large portion of area is accessible for firefighters and firefighting equipment and machinery.

Unfortunately, the public is unaware of the importance of open habitats and related benefits. The public is concerned about the wildfire damages, which is positive, but there are a number of organized volunteer activities, which are supposed to mitigate wildfire damages, but their effects are questionable. Such activities are organized to plant a large number of pines, which will sooner or later be caught in a wildfire, and will pose a damage for nature, people and their property. Rethinking such activities and changing them into management of mosaic habitats with grassland is a much more effective alternative and would bring multiple benefits for wildlife protection.

Grazing is an additional nature-friendly solution which reduces wildfire damages. In overgrown terrain grazing is used in combination with other techniques such as manual removal of unwanted vegetation and controlled burning. The proximity of active shepherds is taken in consideration for selecting areas for controlled burning, which are a part of the project. The combination of grazing and controlled burning produces long term positive effects for grasslands, which stops and in some cases even reverse the succession of unwanted vegetation.


A new scientific paper on Dinara presented – a prerequisite for the development of a model for the mapping of grasslands

The 56th Croatian and 16th International Symposium on Agriculture was held in Vodice in the period from 5 to 10 September, where the results of research conducted as part of the Dinara back to LIFE project were presented. This gathering is the largest scientific gathering of agronomic and related professions in Croatia, which also has an international dimension, bringing together scientists from Europe and the world.

In front of the project partner of the University of Zagreb, the Faculty of Agriculture, prof. Josip Leto and prof. Hrvoje Kutnjak have orally presented original scientific paper and a summary in the form of a poster.

The aim of the work of Assistant Professor Kutnjak and Professor Leto was to present the possibilities of estimating the relative productivity of dry rocky grasslands in the foothills of the Dinaric Mountains using Sentinel-2 satellite images. The hypothesis of this paper is that there is a correlation between grassland aboveground biomass from representative grassland areas and NDVI values ​​(normalized differential vegetation index) which would be a prerequisite for calculating grassland productivity in a wider area.

As part of the Copernicus program, the European Commission has in cooperation with the European Space Agency provided an Earth observation service. Sentinel-2A and 2B satellites with their multispectral sensors have found a special purpose for monitoring vegetation changes, which, in addition to a high spatial resolution of 10 m, also ensure a high temporal resolution of images every 5 days.

Professors Kutnjak and Leto, with their work, the first step in making a model for mapping grasslands from the foothills of the Dinara, determined the regularity in the productivity of dry grasslands up to 500 meters above sea level. The obtained projections suggest that 2946.9 ha of the mentioned grasslands in the project area represents an annual grazing potential of about 646.8 AU (animal units), ie, the average productivity of 1.00144 t / ha was calculated, which would theoretically be sufficient to meet the grazing load of 0.219 AU year ha -1 (in such calculations one should be careful because there is still the problem of quality delineation of lawns and other types of land cover via satellite images whose spatial resolution is 10 m, so the detection of grasslands in this case was limited to grasslands which are not in some form of mosaic involving rocks and trees with shrubs). The correlation between grassland yield and NDVI was obtained and described by a linear model y = 378 × X – 89.99 of medium strength (R2 = 0.352) which can be used to map the productive potential of pastures and is the basis for further development of model upgrades for areas with specifics of other altitudes.

In addition to the mentioned work, a summary in the form of a poster was presented, where the goals and vision of the Dinara back to LIFE project were presented in a broader sense, as well as a summary of all research conducted so far (from ornithological, floristic and agronomic), conducted jointly by all project partners.

Activity calendar Activity calendar-home Dnevnik Dinare

Educational-volunteer camp Dinara back to LIFE was held – students learned about restoration and cleaned 28 hectares of grasslands

This September, the restoration activities of the Dinara back to LIFE project began, and the first activity was the implementation of an educational-volunteer camp, whose participants learned about habitat restoration and sustainable environmental management and began removing overgrown vegetation from Dinaric grasslands.

The educational-volunteer camp brought together students from all over Croatia, who are on their way to becoming experts in the fields of biology, geography, agronomy, forestry and other related fields. Eighteen students spent two weeks, from September 5 to 19, in Ježević, where, under the guidance of the project team, they gained their first experiences in habitat restoration projects.

In 14 days, students brought 28.8 ha of overgrown grasslands in a favorable condition (Map 1).

The goal of the camp was for students to gain first-hand practical knowledge and experience of grasslands restoration in two weeks, but also to bring them closer to the work of institutions involved in nature conservation and grasslands management through the educational program.

The overgrown vegetation of juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus) was removed by students with hand tools, and in the video you can see the scene from the action.

In addition to habitat restoration activities, workshops and lectures were organized daily for camp participants, where colleagues from institutions involved in management planning in grassland conservation and protection presented their work, and the most important challenges they face.

In the lectures, the students got acquainted with the project itself and its goals, with a focus on habitat restoration. Then, they learned about conservation biology, an interdisciplinary applied scientific branch whose goal is to preserve biodiversity, and how we apply it to the Dinara back to LIFE project.

The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development gave a lecture on protected areas and the Natura 2000 ecological network, as well as key actors in their management. Croatian Forests educated students on forest land management in the karst area, and took students to areas that were burned or afforested in order to present in practice some of the challenges and solutions.

Luka Škunca, BIOM, presentation on GIX programme

The Ministry of Agriculture held an education on European policies related to biodiversity and agriculture, LAG Cetinska krajina introduced students to the problems and some solutions to the challenges of using incentives, while the lecture of the Faculty of Agriculture addressed the importance of research and data collection in planning and implementing restoration activities on the results of the latest scientific research on the usability of pastures on the Dinara. A demonstration presentation of GIS was held for the students and they practically tried out the program for analyzing geodata.

Frywall restoration

The educational-volunteer camp was closed with the „World Cleanup Day“ action in which camp participants restored one of the overgrown roads along Lake Perućko, and with the mentoring of volunteers and associates from the association “4 Grada Dragodid” learned about drywall construction and restored some damaged walls.

We hope that this experience was valuable to the camp participants and that it will help them in further education and professional guidance.

At the beginning of restoration on Ježević Suhopolje
Activity calendar Activity calendar-home News

Sustainable management and use of pastures – a visit to a good practice example on Velebit

The area of ​​Velebit, due to its beauty and importance for nature, has a unique place in Croatia. It is also in that position thanks to individuals and institutions that make efforts to preserve the nature of Velebit, promote the area, and to encourage sustainable development and coexistence with nature.

Presentation of Dinara back to LIFE project

At the end of August, the Dinara back to LIFE project team visited the Velebit area, with the aim of getting to know the institutions involved in the management and use of grasslands, as well as the success stories of individuals developing their business opportunities based on their sustainable use.

The program of the visit began with a meeting with representatives of public institutions for the management of protected areas, who shared their experiences related to the management and use of grasslands, presented the program of grazing in the protected area and introduced us to the challenges they face in their work. “Dinara back to LIFE” project team was welcomed by employees of the Public Institution “Northern Velebit National Park”, Public Institution “Velebit Nature Park” and the Public Institution for Nature Protection and Preservation of Lika-Senj County, who were introduced to the Dinara back to LIFE project.

Sheep of Veliki Alan saddle

The conversation between the representatives of the project and public organizations was filled with practical challenges and solutions that the users of this space face. The experiences of cattle breeders who face a great challenge of water scarcity on the Croatian karst were transferred, so they are asking for the restoration of additional wells in the grazing areas. The difficulty that Croatian cattle breeders have due to the impossibility of removing bushes was presented, which means that succession takes over pastures, and predators have a safe shelter, while cattle breeders in the Northern Velebit National Park are still free from this ban. The conversation touched on the practical problem of keeping dogs, an extremely important helper for cattle breeders, whom visitors are sometimes afraid of as they approach them because some pastures are close to roads and hiking trails. Representatives of the National Park emphasized that trained dogs do not attack, but go on the attack only if they feel attacked, or if they feel an attack on the cattle they keep.

Cows on Veliki Alan

The Ordinance of the National Park puts in a somewhat more difficult position the owners who bring cattle to pasture in the Park area – a cattle breeder whose animals are killed by predators is not entitled to compensation because it is located in the national park. An existing herder must keep 31 sheep, and if predators take away some of his cattle, which happens regularly, the herder must reimburse that number, at his own expense. Representatives of the Northern Velebit National Park pointed out the fundamental shortcoming concerning cattle – the case when there are no shepherds with the animals! This is not the only problem with animals in this area – on Krivi Put area (outside the NP, above Senj) the problem is a wild herd of horses, and the same problem happened in the heart of the Northern Velebit National Park – on popular tourist destination Premužić trail a wild herd problem has been recorded, as noted by NP rangers.

Young herder Mihovil Jurčić guides the project team to his herd

The issue of grazing in the National Park was also touched upon – there are 360 ​​hectares of pastures and everything is being used, with smaller areas of private plots, but on the south, coastal side of the National Park vegetation “closes” pastures because they are much more inaccessible. It seems the process of forest succession on this side of Velebit is completed, although it does not have to be irreversible.

On the opposite, eastern side of Lika, the situation is completely different, as pointed out by the representatives of the Public Institution of Lika-Senj County, because the matter with the fields, ie succession, is far more favorable since the pastures were restored with incentives, as is the case in Lička Plješivica. It opens up diverse possibilities such as therapeutic riding in the area of ​​Bijeli Potoci – Kamensko, as suggested by the representatives of the Public Institution. However, a new challenge has emerged – intensive felling of vegetation that is taken away for burning for the purpose of obtaining wood for bio-energy.

Jurčić herders, National park representatives and the project team on Veliki Alan pass

The project team once again thanks for the hospitality, sharing their lessons and experiences, and we look forward to the opportunity to host representatives of the Northern Velebit National Park, Velebit Nature Park and the Public Institution for Nature Conservation of Lika-Senj County in the Dinara area and present our grassland restoration experience. and livestock incentives.

After a very informative conversation, a visit to cattle breeders in the field within the National Park, in the area of ​​Veliki Alan, whose cattle graze the pastures within the park, followed. OPG Alan from Pazarište received a concession in the National Park through a public tender, which it grazes with more than 200 cattle, mostly buša cattle, and 31 sheep. The young cattle breeder Mihovil Jurčić (27) and his father Ivan are the only cattle breeders in the area of ​​the Northern Velebit National Park, considering that the terrain is remote and difficult to access. Two other shepherds are helping the two cattle breeders, and since this is a large herd located high on a mountain where there is a lack of water, the cattle breeders have to bring water to their cattle several times a week. For that reason, they call on the authorities to renovate the Mirovo well, which is located on state land. The demanding organization of livestock work requires careful planning in advance, but as the young enterprising cattle breeder Mihovil says – “my day is planned, but it never goes according to plan!”. Young Jurčić says that it is nice in the mountains when the weather is nice, but that he is lonely when the weather is bad so there are no people. The influence that Mrs. Jurčić’s herd has on the field is obvious – on the cases on Veliki Alan where there is grazing, there is no succession because the cows graze the wood that starts to grow.

A well awaiting restoration

Their hard work and dedication are an inspiring example of sustainable grassland use, and we hope there will be more and more of them in the future.

It was also necessary to get acquainted with the Lika LAG and the Lika-Senj County Tourist Board. The rich work of LAG Lika has provided a number of interesting examples of encouraging local production, among which the most prominent was the quality label “Lika Quality”, a quality assessment system, which certainly puts local products to a new level, as well as the example of “Cheese Road”, Tourist Board project which increases visibility to local producers.

In addition, the LAG presented its project Lika Peasant Market, which aims to create short supply chains, as well as the Lika Coop cooperative through which LAG has conducted training on the establishment of cooperatives. LAG also deals with the promotion and valorization of the gastro-tourist offer of Lika-Senj County, and their goal is to locate all caterers and agricultural producers from this area and connect them with each other. The LAG is also implementing the BusyBee Workshop project, which aims to encourage agritourism, with an emphasis on the promotion of specific local products.

LAG Lika presentation

Exchanges of experiences and ideas, but also problems that institutions face are a source of important lessons, and through mutual exchange we all learn together, and become more prepared for new challenges in the future.