Green Destinations

Urednik Blog, News

An Insight into the Activity Implementation Plan According to the Green Destinations Criteria

Having received the Green Destinations Silver Award this autumn, rather than resting on its laurels, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is planning intense efforts for the next two years, aimed at achieving compliance with the criteria contributing to destination sustainability.

The themes and criteria arising from the audit of the Green Destinations Award application by the Plitvice Lakes National Park, have been outlined in a presentation for the employees of the National Park, held by Maja Vurnek, PhD, expert associate at the Protection, Maintenance, Safeguarding, Promotion and Utilisation Department and member of the team responsible for Green Destinations-related activities, and organised in cooperation with General Manager Tomislav Kovačević.

After the opening speech by General Manager Tomislav Kovačević, and the introduction of the team that participated in gathering documentation and examining the criteria (employees Zrinka Nenadić from the Marketing and Sales Department and Kristina Sigurnjak from the Maintenance, Technique and Utility Infrastructure Unit), the presentation opened with the topic of sustainable development. The focus areas included Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 Agenda and the pillars of sustainable development relating to social progress, economic development and the environment (naturally including environmental protection). The most recent report on the global Agenda for Sustainable Development unfortunately shows an underachievement within the framework of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their targets, and highlights the need to enhance these efforts on a global level in the next 7 years. As a result, greater importance is given to activities aimed at improving sustainability carried out by individual destinations, protected areas, and hotel and hospitality establishments, and Green Destinations is a great example of an organisation that provides an excellent basis and tools for assessing sustainability.

The framework for compliance with the themes and criteria, i.e. the Green Destinations standards, recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, is made up of 6 themes with a total of 84 criteria. After achieving compliance with the themes and criteria, all the materials were audited by a specially appointed Green Destinations auditor, and the destination was given a report and proposals, remarks and suggestions by the auditor, together with the scores for the themes and compliance with the specific criteria.

The participants were introduced to the themes, scores and criteria remarked on by the auditor, whereby certain criteria were marked as partially compliant and a very small number of the criteria were marked as non-compliant. However, our Plitvice Lakes National Park fulfilled most of the criteria, thereby proving its compliance with the sustainability standards and ultimately earning the Silver Award. Going through the specific themes and criteria with the defined priorities, the participants were given some insight into the activities to be carried out by the public institution in the upcoming period.

The presentation concluded with a focus on the priority activities including climate change adaptation and mitigation, monitoring satisfaction levels of the local community, encouraging the business and tourism sector towards achieving sustainability and improving the visitor system in terms of its accessibility.

Finally, the Plitvice Lakes National Park will be carrying out additional activities in the upcoming period, all aimed at improving the management and strengthening the sustainable processes within our protected area.