First Regional Conference On Environmental Impact Assessment, was organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection of the Republic of Croatia, in Zadar, from September 18th to 21st , 2013.
We have made a decision to organize a conference so it would bring together: professionals, scientists, authorities’ representatives, local and regional government representatives, nongovernmental organizations, public relations experts, investors and developers from Croatia, region and further still, who participate in the environmental impact assessment procedures and who are willing to share their knowledge and experiences.
Today, we can say the Conference was a success because of an exceptionally large number of papers and a surprising number of participants. This makes us, as organizers, especially joyful since it suggests that the topics that were discussed are current and relevant. We thank all of participants for finding time, enthusiasm and financial means to participate at the Conference, especially in these hard times we are all living in.
We believe that we, as the organizers of this gathering, have lived up to expectations, and that we have shared knowledge, experiences and opinions on the topics of this conference which are crucial from the nature and environmental protection perspective, especially given the significant investment potential of the region that has to be planned and realized, while making sure that the quality of nature and environment is protected.
One of the main goals of the Conference was to remove communication barriers and increase mutual understanding and trust between the stakeholders, all the while respecting expert knowledge and best practice.
Numerous expert papers, more than 150 of them, which were presented during the Conference as well as theme round tables have brought forth a critical mass of knowledge and best practice that can motivate changes to the better.
We are aware that we must start from ourselves if we wish to change the existing behavioural patterns. This is exactly why this was the first “carbon neutral” conference in Croatia, and the region, which means that all of the greenhouse gas emission from the event were compensated. By investing in greenhouse gas reduction units created through renewable energy resources projects and forestation, emissions of participant transport and lodging, conference logistics and venue were neutralized.
We would like to thank our patron, sponsors, members of the Organizing, Scientific and Advisory Committees, authors, key lecturers, round table panellists, moderators, participants and all others that have contributed to the successful realization of the first conference of such scale and topic in the region!