Datum objave: 22. May, 2024.

From May 17 to 19, Kornati National Park became the headquarters of the ecological and educational project “Eco-camp Kornati 2024.” In partnership with the diving club St. Roko from Bibinje, JU NP Kornati, diving club Murter-Kornati, City Society of Red Cross Zadar and in cooperation with the Technical Culture Association of Zadar County, and with the help of funds from the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, we coordinated various eco-camp activities.

First, a research dive was carried out in the bays of Balun, Mrtovac and Levrnaka pier on May 17, in order to assess the state of pollution of the undersea and check for the presence of invasive and endangered species. Then, on May 18, the main cleaning operation began in Lojena bay, in front of the Kornat-Levrnaka restaurant, and in the area of the Levranka pier. About 20 divers from the clubs of St. Roko Bibinje and RK Murter-Kornati with the help of employees of JU NP Kornati and volunteers of DG Red Cross Zadar on land, cleaned the bays on Levrnaca. In total, over 3 cubic meters of waste was collected in the sea and on the coast.

As the most visited “spot” in Kornati, the island of Levrnaka proved to be the most affected area in Kornati National Park in terms of underwater pollution by waste, so regular cleaning was started in 2023 in the first edition of the project and continued. Much less waste was found this year, so we can conclude that tourists behaved more responsibly in the protected area and that regular underwater clean-up actions give the best results.

Behaviors that have a negative impact on the environment can be changed by raising awareness of the harmfulness of such parts to the overall ecosystem. Wondering how? – informal educational methods. About 20 students from Sibenik’s Antun Vrančić Gymnasium participated in the Eco-camp this year, for which educational content was prepared in cooperation with RK St. Roko and GD Red Cross Zadar, in the form of lectures that took place during an educational trip to Levrnaca itself.

Alen Petani, a member of the RK St.Roko and a long-time volunteer and diver, is also a passionate lover and connoisseur of malacology. He prepared a malacology workshop for high school students, where he presented various species of bivalves and snails that inhabit the Adriatic Sea, as well as some exotic species that can be found in distant seas. The students were delighted with the content and interested in a deeper exploration of the world of molluscs.

This was followed by a more serious but important workshop of the City Society of the Red Cross Zadar, conducted by Ervin Mešanović. It is a workshop on the prevention of human trafficking, which is unfortunately a current problem all over the world. Young people who are preparing for an independent life, packing for college or moving abroad, must be aware and trained to recognize dangers in suspicious situations. Although surprised, the students soon understood the importance of this topic through the workshop, and eventually became aware of this problem. The topic was chosen considering that part of the project refers to the preparedness of children and young people for crisis situations.

On the way back from Kornati, students in groups participated in an educational quiz about the Kornati National Park. From questions about protected species and appropriate crossword puzzles, students successfully mastered new challenges, won valuable prizes and enriched their knowledge.

Considering the success of the diving campaigns and the beautiful photos of the undersea that were created during them, new activities will follow as part of the Eco-camp Kornati project – namely, in the coming months, we will present underwater photography lovers and the general public with an online exhibition through the Instagram page dedicated to the biodiversity of the Adriatic sea.

We would like to thank our partners, collaborators and donors, as well as all participants, students, their companions and volunteers.

*The project is financed from the funds of the Ministry of Regional Development and funds of the European Union

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