Project duration: 1/2007 – 1/2012

Team leader: Sanja Tišma, PhD

Description of Project

The purpose of the project is to expand the current knowledge on sustainable development of natural and human resources using different scientific models and procedures and critically test existing and evaluates new knowledge on mutual interaction of ecologic, economic and social systems.

The research is carried out with the goal to identify and promote key factors of sustainable management of development resources from the perspective of different natural-geographic and administrative units of the Republic of Croatia. The research is focused on the use of different economic-statistical methods with special emphasis on multy-criteria methods, cost-benefit analysis and various benchmarking methods. The model for the overall system of planning, monitoring and evaluation of sustainable development will be produced, to be applied to administrative, regional and local units and certain natural-geographical units (karst areas). This will be a good analytical base for continuous measuring and evaluation of key ecologic, economic and social factors, which will ensure long-term inputs for future research in the field of sustainable regional development.

Expected Results

1st year – organisation of the first workshop where the team members will present their own scientific research and exchange knowledge and experience in the scope of the project. The workshop proceedings will present the introductory document of the project. Furthermore, the scientists will participate in the preparation and implementation of specialised post-graduate study in the field of regional development at the Faculty of Economy of the University of Zagreb

2nd year – consolidation of scientific results (gathering, analysis and synthesis) will be the main activity. Successful case studies from European Union and Croatia will be identified and analyzed. Moreover, intensive cooperation with local/regional decision makers is planned in the scope of the project, so part of the activities will be carried out in the field where at least three focus groups and three workshops will be organised (especially in karst regions of RC). Gathered scientific material and results of field work undertaken with representatives of local community of Croatian karst areas will be used for the production of the study «Scientific bases and analysis for management of karst areas natural resources» in the context of giving incentive to regional/local development.

3rd year – intensify the exchange of gathered knowledge through organisation of two round-tables. The subject of the first round-table will be indicators for monitoring sustainable development and methods for evaluation of impact of decisions of key development actors. The subject of the second round-table will be strengthening capacity of local and regional community in applying principles of sustainable development in management of resources (management of human and natural resources, institutions and knowledge). The results of scientific works of round-table participants will be published as proceedings. At the same time, theoretical research from the field of regional and ecological economics will continue. Current findings will be used for preparation of two scientific papers, one for international conference organised by International Society for Ecological Economy and one for international conference of European Regional Science Association.

4th year – presentation of initial models of sustainable management of development resources for chosen administrative and natural-geographic units in Croatia. The models will be discussed at local/regional level through at least two focus groups and at least two workshops. Furthermore, work on elaboration of benchmark model for monitoring of key sustainable development indicators at regional level will continue.

5th year – The key result is the elaboration of final models for sustainable management of development resources for counties and karst areas as well as final benchmark model for monitoring sustainable development at regional level. Research team will organise a special workshop where all results of the research will be presented. Moreover, the team will prepare guidelines for future work taking into consideration new scientific achievements and current scientific challenges. Finally, at the end of the project cycle, a scientific book will be prepared as the first of this type in Croatia, with collection of research papers on sustainable management of development resources.

Type of Services Provided

The research is carried out in three sub-themes:

    • Research of sustainable economic development factors consists of analysis of current models of sustainable development at regional and local level in the Republic of Croatia and elaboration of the model for sustainable development which will enable its incorporation into development policy at regional level and its testing;
    • Research of sustainable development of karst areas with the goal to give incentive to regional and local development which is based on studying the position and role of protected areas (national parks and nature parks) as promoters of local development in karst areas (for example: eco-tourism, educational/recreational function of parks; eco-agriculture, cultural heritage, biodiversity), strengthening possibilities for sustainable development management in karst areas (management of human resources and knowledge, and institution building in supporting economic infrastructure), and in promoting karst area values in Croatia and internationally;
    • Research of applicability of different economical-statistical analytical methods for evaluation of successful sustainable development which is based on developing a new approach to understanding and measurement of development, taking into account socio-economic and environmental particularities of different areas in the Republic of Croatia.
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