#WhatDoYouCareAbout” Stories For a Sustainable Future: Oceans and Earth

By Mirjana, Croatia 

Planet Earth is our home and features incredible biodiversity, both on land and in water. We rely on natural resources for food, energy and water, but our careless exploitation of them is causing severe damage to the world’s ecosystem, in the form of deforestation, floods, desertification and global warming. It is crucial to reverse these negative effects, and we must act quickly by promoting education, innovation and common efforts towards a sustainable and respectful use of our natural resources. Failing that, not only the planet, but also our economy and everyday life will be increasingly affected.

Croatia, the land of a thousand islands, is the third richest country in Europe in terms of natural water resources, and it boasts a well-preserved ecological environment, with hundreds of native plant and animal species. National and nature parks cover a total surface area of 5,151 km², corresponding to 9.1% of the country. A total of 11 nature parks, 8 national parks and 2 strict nature reserves are protected natural areas, showing that Croatia is a country of exceptional and diverse natural beauty. In 2017, Croatia was faced with coastal fires and floods that seriously impacted Croatian tourism and the country’s economy. These natural disasters were caused by the inefficient and unsustainable maintenance of river flows, forest areas, and sea coasts. 

“Collective action on climate change is required. People need to act and react, and drive changes themselves”.

According to future projections, Croatia is threatened by dramatic climate changes. By 2070, the air temperature could rise by 2.2 degrees Celsius, and sea levels could rise by 40 centimeters. There will be more natural disasters like hail, storms, high winds, and even tornados. Climate change will also lead to shifts in the tourist season. Due to warmer summer months, the season will not be so enjoyable. The worse climate will also significantly affect agriculture, which is considered to be an important branch of the Croatian economy. The crucial thing is that the prevention of, and adaptation to, climate change needs to happen right now. It is possible, but only with political will and efforts to integrate climate action measures into national strategies. Furthermore, collective action is required. People need to act and react, and drive changes themselves. This is achievable in many ways, but certainly, the main one is adopting an eco-friendly attitude! 

Read more #WHATDOYOUCAREABOUT STORIES FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE here.

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