January 29, 2021 — Oikon has successfully completed the development of the Prioritized Action Framework (PAF) for the implementation of Natura 2000 protection measures in Croatia for the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.
The project lasted a little over a year, and in the development of the document, apart from Oikon’s experts, participated external associates Ms. Jasminka Radović, an expert in strategic planning in the field of nature protection, and Ms. Polona Čufer Klep, an expert in financial planning, worked on it.
Oikon’s services consisted of:
- Component 1: Preparation of the first draft of the PAF in Croatian and English, including data collection and analysis;
- Component 2: Implementation of stakeholder consultations, which included the preparation, organization and implementation of nine stakeholder meetings;
- Component 3: Preparation of the final draft of the PAF in Croatian and English.
Prioritised action frameworks (PAFs) are strategic multiannual planning tools, aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the measures that are needed to implement the EU-wide Natura 2000 network and its associated green infrastructure, specifying the financing needs for these measures, and linking them to the corresponding EU funding programmes: the Cohesion Fund, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), and the LIFE programme.
The legal basis for the PAF is Article 8 (1) of the Habitats Directive, which requires the Member States, therefore Croatia, to send, as appropriate, to the Commission their estimates relating to the European Union co-financing which they consider necessary to meet their following obligations in relation to Natura 2000:
- to establish the necessary conservation measures involving, if need be, appropriate management plans specifically designed for the sites or integrated into other development plans;
- to establish appropriate statutory, administrative, or contractual measures that correspond to the ecological requirements of the natural habitat types in Annex I and the species in Annex II present on the sites.
In the document are also considered financial needs and priority measures associated with bird species in the Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated pursuant to the EU Birds Directive 2009/147/EEC, as well as financing needs related to wider green infrastructure.
This is the first time that Croatia will adopt PAF for the financial period 2021 – 2027.