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Model forest pilot site in Dalmatia

Within the IPA Adriatic “AMF – Adriatic Model Forest” project and in accordance with the project’s objectives, the main target is the establishment of a new Model Forest in Dalmatia as a new member of the Mediterranean and International Model Forest Networks.



Sibenik Knin County

Split dalmatia County

In order to fulfil the tasks that include the First technical workshop in Split (Croatia) and the AMF meeting in Ferrara (Italy), Sibenik-Knin County and the Institute for Adriatic Crops in Split, as the responsible partner for the Work Package 4 „ Pilot site: implementation of a Model Forest in Dalmatia“, joined forces and have selected an area for the Model Forest pilot site.

The selected site will encompass the territory of two counties: Sibenik-Knin County and Split-Dalmatia County. The territory of the potential Model Forest site is partly delimited by state borders and by natural borders of the River Krka and the mountains Dinara and Biokovo.
At the same time, the pilot site partially concurs with the administrative boundaries of cities and municipalities in the selected territory. The Model Forest in Dalmatia will include 4 cities (Drniš, Solin, Vrlika and Split) and 11 municipalities (Unešić, Ružić, Promina, Biskupija, Kijevo, Civljane, Primorski Dolac, Prgomet, Lećevica, Muć and Klis).
The estimated size of the site is around 215.000 ha. The percentage of forested land is approx. 52%.
The pilot site of the Model Forest in Dalmatia is located mostly in the Mediterranean climate zone and it includes 23 km of the coastline and a hinterland in the continental climate zone which is crisscrossed by mountains.
The population of the area is 245 230 thanks to the numerous population of the city of Split while other parts are sparsely populated and mostly economically poor.

The selected site will encompass the territory of two counties: Sibenik-Knin County and Split-Dalmatia County. The territory of the potential Model Forest site is partly delimited by state borders and by natural borders of the River Krka and the mountains Dinara and Biokovo.
At the same time, the pilot site partially concurs with the administrative boundaries of cities and municipalities in the selected territory. The Model Forest in Dalmatia will include 4 cities (Drniš, Solin, Vrlika and Split) and 11 municipalities (Unešić, Ružić, Promina, Biskupija, Kijevo, Civljane, Primorski Dolac, Prgomet, Lećevica, Muć and Klis).
The estimated size of the site is around 215.000 ha. The percentage of forested land is approx. 52%.
The pilot site of the Model Forest in Dalmatia is located mostly in the Mediterranean climate zone and it includes 23 km of the coastline and a hinterland in the continental climate zone which is crisscrossed by mountains.
The population of the area is 245 230 thanks to the numerous population of the city of Split while other parts are sparsely populated and mostly economically poor.
The landscape of the Model Forest in Dalmatia includes 90 % of natural forest types and it is also rich with natural protected areas such as National Park “Krka waterfalls”, Nature Park “Lake Vransko”, the mountains “Velebit” and “Biokovo” and the Forest Park Marjan in the vicinity of Split. Forest functions are mainly touristic, ecological and recreational. The ownership of the forest is divided between private forests (4 % – 20 %) and public forests. All public forest have FSC certificate for sustainable management.
Every year, the state forests (Croatian Forests Ltd.) invest substantial funds in fire prevention while on the other hand, private forests lack funds and organization regarding the fire protection of forests.

The potential area comprises of Mediterranean and continental forests:

1. Mediterranean forests divide into:

  • Coastal zone (Aleppo pine, holm oak, black ash, juniper, myrtle…)
  • Humide zone (hornbeam, pubescent oak, fir…)

2. Continental areas (mountains) – beech forests

Biodiversity of the area is represented with Mediterranean herbs and plants that grow in specific karst habitats such as macchia, shrub woods and Mediterranean grasslands, but also in rocks and caves.

Main economic and land use activities at the Model Forest site are: in cities – tourism, commerce, shipbuilding, metal and cement industry, and food industry and in rural areas – agriculture, farming, sheep breeding, fishery, rural tourism, recreation and hunting.
In the forests, people pick mushrooms and asparagus, but forest fruits and various herbs picking are also popular amongst local inhabitants.
Problems which affect this forest area include inadequate fire protection, depopulation and poor quality of life, underdeveloped processing and production of non-wood forest products, as well as, insufficient coordination and networking between the public, private and civil sector.

Potential stakeholders and partners of the future Model Forest in Dalmatia are:

  • County, Municipality and City Administrations
  • Public institute for management of protected natural areas in Šibenik-Knin County
  • Croatian Forests L.t.d
  • Tourist boards
  • Fire brigades, Fire communities and Voluntary fire brigade societies
  • National and Nature Parks
  • Forest Park Marjan
  • Hunting Association “Voljak“
  • Veteran Association “Planina“

List of potential partners could include other interested parties such as gatherers of medicinal herbs, private family farms, mountaineering associations, farm land concessionaires, environmental associations…
The most important aims of the future Model Forest are: protection of forest habitats, diversification of economic valorisation of forest products together with the involvement of the local partnership in the decision making about the use of forests and other natural resources.

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