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The project aims to develop a diversified tourism offer based on the sustainable use of natural and cultural heritage in the cross-border region. Nature parks and other protected natural areas attract a considerable number of tourists from all over the world and create important economic opportunities for local communities. The partnership is geared towards enhancing and promoting three protected natural areas that are home to many rare and endemic species of flora and fauna: Hutovo Blato Nature Park (BA), Kotišina Botanical Garden (HR), and Solila Nature Reserve (ME). The project improves a range of tourism supporting facilities in the sensitive ecosystems, creates joint thematic paths dedicated to endemic species, and promotes the preservation and appreciation of natural heritage.
Public Enterprise ‘Nature Park Hutovo Blato’ (BA), the Lead partner, is responsible for overall project management and for ensuring effective implementation of activities in the protected area of Hutovo Blato. Hutovo Blato Nature Park has been designated as Ramsar wetland of international importance since 2001. This Mediterranean wetland is important from ornithological, environmental, and tourist point of view, and it is considered one of the largest migratory bird areas in Europe. The Lead partner coordinates the construction and renovation of tourism supporting facilities in the park (1 visitor centre, 2 bird watchtowers, 1 observation platform, 1 thematic trail, 1 visitor access trail, 1 adrenalin park, and 1 boat dock) and organizes a number of attractive educational and recreational events dedicated to the preservation and promotion of endemic species.
Project partner 2, Utility Company of Makarska ‘Makarski Komunalac’ Ltd (HR), coordinates project activities in the Croatian part of the project area. Kotišina Botanical Garden is located on the coastal slopes of Biokovo Mountain above the village of Kotišina, and it is an integral part of Biokovo Nature Park. Project partner 2 supports the construction of hiking and instructive trails running through the garden where visitors can see more than 300 plant species, some of which are threatened or endangered. The partner is also in charge of organizing recreational and educational events to raise awareness about the richness of natural heritage among different target groups (e.g. bird-watching competitions, educational workshops, and nature camps).
Project partner 3, Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management of Montenegro (ME) coordinates the investment activities in Special Nature Reserve Solila. The area of Solila has been protected since 2008 for the purpose of preserving rare and endangered plants and animal species. Special Nature Reserve Solila is an internationally important habitat for more than 114 species of birds and numerous species of reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals. Project partner 3 is responsible for setting up and equipping a multifunctional interpretive centre in Solila to enhance visitor experience and promote responsible use of natural resources.