The Croatian-Slovenian cooperation project “KaPO – Mutual Management of the Protected Areas Kamenjak and Pohorje“ was financed by the European Union under the “PHARE INTERREG Slovenia-Hungary-Croatia Neighbourhood Programme 2004–2006” in the amount of EUR 114,173.55, while the remaining EUR 41,588.45 was co-financed by the Medulin Municipality and the Kamenjak Public Institution. The project started in July 2007, lasting 13 months.
The KaPo project improved the sustainable development of the protected areas, the significant landscape of Lower Kamenjak and the Medulin Archipelago and the protected mountain area of Pohorje in Slovenia, and strengthened nature protection measures.
With a view to exchanging experience and good practice, numerous workshops were held and education and information materials designed, information panels and signposts were installed in the protected areas and study trips were organised on the topic of the management of natural sites. Information terminals were also installed, a pupil exchange between the Ruše and Medulin Municipality and the training of protected area supervisors were conducted, and the development of an integrated visual identity of the area was completed – the basis for the Management Plan and the draft infrastructure plan including a study on pilot area rehabilitation.
A significant number of walking and cycling paths were created in the protected area of Kamenjak, while certain roads were closed to motor traffic to enable visitors to enjoy the highest quality stay possible. The Kamenjak House of Nature in Premantura was established with a visitor-education centre where visitors and admirers of Kamenjak can obtain information about the natural values of this protected area and learn more about it. The Kamenjak House of Nature was equipped with educational materials, books on nature protection and a multifunctional space for film screenings and lectures for locals, pupils and visitors.
The Natura Histrica Public Institution conducted research on the flora of Kamenjak and prepared professional foundations for the proclamation of the area as a botanical reserve. It also carried out research to assess and evaluate the current state of the protected landscape, on the basis of which a draft management plan for the protected landscape of Lower Kamenjak and the Medulin Archipelago was prepared.
The project KaPo is a good example of a participatory model of sustainable management planning as part of which local governments, public institutions and NGOs cooperate in the sustainable management of natural resources, and, as such, is an exemplary model for the improvement of cooperation and protection in other protected areas throughout Croatia.