About the project
Project name: “Center of excellence Cerovac Caves – sustainable management of natural heritage and karst underground”.
User: Public Institution Nature Park Velebit
Partners: Zadar County, Public Institution „Natura Jadera“ for Management of Nature Protected Areas in Zadar County and Zagreb Speleological Union
Overall project value: 68 453 850,00 kuna
EU co-funding: 53 233 632,80 kuna
Operational program: ”Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020” as part of priority axis 6- Environmental Protection and Sustainability of Resources
Period of implementation: April 4th, 2018 to December 31, 2021
On April 4th 2018, Public Institution „Natura Jadera“ as project leader made a contract with The Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds of the Republic of Croatia and The Central Finance and Contracting Agency under the name Grant for funding the project “Center of excellence Cerovac Caves – sustainable management of natural heritage and karst underground” – K.K.06.1.2.01.0011.
The project “Center of excellence Cerovac Caves – sustainable management of natural heritage and karst underground” aims to develop a new, competitive and integrated tourist offer by developing a new supported infrastructure for visitors of Nature Park Velebit. It also aims to increase the educational, interpretation and scientific potential of Nature Park Velebit and establish an efficient and sustainable system of management and business for the Park. The project improves the presentation of one of the primary tourist attractions of Nature Park Velebit which are Cerovac caves by building a modern day-center for visitors, reconstructing the tourist infrastructure and promenades to the caves and inside the caves for parts already used for tourist purposes. Also, it aims to do a communal- fit out of the sidewalk- road surfaces for the reception of a larger number of visitors and vehicles. The entire area will be modernized with state-of-the-art interpretation and educational contents connected with the phenomena of Cerovac caves, karst and the natural and cultural heritage of Nature Park Velebit. As part of this project, Center of Excellence – Regional Speleological Reference Center will be established that will enable Public institution Nature Park Velebit to provide specialist speleological research services for different economic operators and further develop the offer of different educational, sports and recreation and tourist services.
The purpose of having thematic educational-informational workshops, round-table discussions and expert panels is to educate and inform the broader public and local community with the aim of coordinating the current with the new offer of Nature Park Velebit and develop new tourist products, catering and accommodation facilities. Furthermore, it aims to connect tourist workers and representatives of governing bodies for environment protection with the expert community in order to surpass the challenges of environment protection and development of sustainable tourism in karst areas.
Finally, this project will contribute to raising public awareness about the importance of protecting natural and cultural values of the area. It will also contribute to raising appeal of tours, visitor flow and the possibility of accommodating a larger number of visitors.