The marine environment is governed by a highly complex and interrelated legislative corpus. There are multiple levels of management and multiple jurisdictions, many of which could potentially be in occasional conflict. The integration of these many legal instruments and management bodies requires a high level of coordination and cooperation that is often less necessary in the terrestrial environment. Increasingly planning at the larger ecosystem level is being achieved through the definition of maritime spatial plans which define priorities within the marine environment. These plans include nature and biodiversity conservation as one sector within the broader planning scheme.
Below is a list of conventions to which the Republic of Croatia is a signatory, followed by lists of laws, regulations and ordinances pertaining to the sea and the marine environment in Croatia, starting with EU legislation and then national legislation; the list is by no mean exhaustive.
International Conventions and Protocols
Law on Ratification of the Protocol on Biosafety (Cartagena Protocol) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Official Gazette of International Treaties 7/2002; Adopted: Montreal, 2000; Croatia signed the Protocol in New York 2000. Read More
Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS), Official Gazette International Treaties 6/2000; Adopted: Monaco, 1996; Entered into force for Croatia: 1 June 2001. Read More
The European Landscape Convention, Official Gazette of International treaties 12/2002; Adopted: Florence, 2000; Entered into force for Croatia: 1 March 2004. Read More
The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention), Official Gazette of International Treaties 6/2000; Adopted: Bern, 1979; Entered into force for Croatia: 1 November 2000; NN, međ.ug. 6/2000. Read More
Law on Ratification of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention), Official Gazette of International Treaties 6/2000; Adopted: Bonn, 1979; Entered into force for Croatia: 1st October 2000; NN, međ.ug. 6/2000. Read More
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Official Gazette of International treaties 12/1099; Adopted: Washington, 1973; Entered into force for Croatia: 12 June 2000; NN, međ.ug. 12/1999. Read More
Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Official Gazette of International treaties 12/1993; Adopted: PARIS, 1972; Entered into force for Croatia: 8 October 1991; NN, međ.ug. 12/93. Read More
Barcelona Convention (Convention on the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution and related protocols on the protection of the sea from pollution from land and the Mediterranean Action Plan); Entered into force for Croatia: 1993; NN, međ.ug. 12/1999. Read More
The Convention on Biological Diversity and related protocols, Official Gazette of International Treaties 6/1996; Adopted: Rio De Janeiro, 1992; Entered into force for Croatia: 7 October 1996; NN, međ.ug. 6/1996. The objectives of this Convention are the conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and equitable distribution of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. Read More
The Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, Official Gazette of International Treaties 6/2006; Publication of the entry into force of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling and the Protocol to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling; OG International treaties 2/07 & NN međ.ug. 6/2006. Read More
The Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention) Official Gazette of International Treaties 1/2007 Adopted: Aarhus, 1998; NN međ.ug. 1/2007. Read More
European Directives and other regulations
The European Unionis regarded as a forward-thinking supranational organisation with respect to the advancement of international environmental policy and sustainable development. Since the early 1970s, Europe has been firmly committed to environment protection. Air and water quality, conservation of resources, biodiversity protection, waste management and control of activities with adverse environmental impact are just some of the areas in which the EU is active, at both Member State level and the union level. European environment policy, based on Article 174 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, seeks to ensure the sustainable development of the European model of society. Below we refer only to policies and directives that apply to marine conservation of the European and accession countries. For full information on the European Environment as a whole, check the EU environmental legislation website.
“The Birds Directive” on the conservation of wild birds. Read More
“The Habitats Directive” on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. Read More; The habitats directive is basis for the development of the Natura 2000 network throughout the member states and accession countries. Read more about Marine Natura 2000.
“Environmental Impact Assessment Directive” on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. Read More
“Water Framework Directive” establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy and integrated river basin management for Europe. Read More
“Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive” on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment. Read More
“Environmental Liability Directive” on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage. Read More
“Marine Strategy Framework Directive” on establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy. Read More
“Maritime Spatial Planning Framework Directive”. Read More
Regulation 812/2004 laying down measures to protect against incidental catches of cetaceans in fisheries.
The Common Fisheries Policy sets quotas for member states allowed catch per fish species and market incentives for environmental practice by the fishing industry. Read More
Here is the list of the main acts regulating nature and environment protection in Croatia:
- Nature Protection Act (Official Gazette 80/13)
- Strategy and Action Plan for the Protection of Biological and Landscape Diversity of the Republic of Croatia (Official Gazette 143/08)
- Environmental Protection Act (Official Gazette 80/13, 153/13, 78/15)
- Regulation on the Ecological Network (Official Gazette 124/13, 105/15)
The full and updated list of acts and regulations is maintained by the Ministry of the Environmental Protection: