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National Legal Framework – Nature Protection

National Strategy and Action Plan for the Protection of Biological and Landscape Diversity is a strategic document that determines long-term goals and guidelines in the biodiversity, landscape and protected natural values conservation, as well as the methods for its implementation, in accordance to the general economy, social and cultural development of the Republic of Croatia. One of the strategic goals of the Strategy is the prevention of invasive alien species entry into nature and the continuance of existing invasive species issues resolving. In order to fulfil that goal three strategic guidelines have been defined: determining the existing situation regarding alien and invasive species, assessing their influence as well as determining and implementing activities that remove or reduce their negative influence; undertaking necessary actions for prevention of new invasive species entrance; systematic monitoring the distribution of invasive species in Croatia.

Nature Protection Act forbids the import and marketing of alien species as well as their introduction into nature and ecosystems that they don’t naturally inhabit.

There are exceptions to this rule – when it is not a threat to biodiversity, human health and if it does not endanger the economy. If an ecological threat is determined during the process of issuing a permit for the breeding of a alien species, the applicant must deliver Impact assessment acceptability for alien species on nature. The Nature Protection Act defines the controlled conditions of breeding and keeping of species – the entry of a unit or any of its parts in any developmental stage into nature, as well as its breeding or crossing with any native species is forbidden. The criteria for the usage of alien species as well as the drafting procedure and the content of impact assessment acceptability for alien species on nature are stipulated in a regulation. The Nature Protection Act also prescribes the creation of “black” and “white” lists whose content is determined by an ordinance together with the list of alien species that are not permitted to be imported or marketed as well as the list of alien species that can be imported or marketed without any limitations. In order to remove or prevent further expansions of alien species the Minister may order the removal or stipulate the measures for removal and control of their further expansion.

Until the regulation that will stipulate the criteria for the import and marketing of alien species and their introduction into nature and ecosystems that they don’t naturally inhabit, methods of acquiring public opinions the impact assessment acceptability for alien species on nature drafting procedure and the content as well as the study for impact assessment of reintroducing a distinct native species or its repopulation is adopted the Ordinance on the manner of compiling and carrying out risk assessment studies on the introduction, reintroduction and breeding of wild taxa applies. During risk assessment precautionary measures are applied, during which the lack of scientific evidence cannot be the argument for implementation or prolongation of activities that may have a risk for inducing irreversible damage on the environment or human health.