Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Culture, Supreme Court of Croatia; EU Delegation Zagreb, EEA

Stop Development Plans on Pelegrin Peninsula, island of Hvar Croatia – Make Pelegrin Peninsula a National Park and protected Natural and Cultural Preserve

Pelegrin peninsula forms the western tip of the island of Hvar, Croatia, one of the most beautiful and hitherto untouched coastlines of the Croatian Adriatic and a pristine natural and cultural preserve of unique and monumental importance for the natural and cultural heritage of humankind.

Pelegrin peninsula has never before been developed and is home to flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. Unique neolithic and bronze-age sites on the peninsula (Markova cave and smaller caves, along with the bays Vela Garska, Duga and Parja, ancient burial mounds, the lokva or watering hole, plots cultivated in neolithic times and footpaths connecting the bays on the north the bay at Hvar city) form part of the ancient sea route connecting Ancient Greece to the coast of Italy.

It has been shown that the Presocratic philosopher Xenophanes must have passed this way. The great philosopher Plato in all probability also travelled this route, on his voyages to to the court of the tyrants Dionysius I and II in Syracuse - and his contact with Hvar and its inhabitants may well have left its trace in his reflections on human nature, knowledge and the good.

Because of its proven ecological, historical and cultural significance, Pelegrin peninsula should remain in public ownership, publicly accessible as cultural and natural preserve, in order to protect it for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

Plans for the development of Pelegrin peninsula threaten to destroy this unique natural and cultural preserve, are a betrayal of the public interest and in direct violation of the moral and legal obligation of the Hvar City officials to protect this unique natural preserve its invaluable archeological and historical sites.

Zoning plans to allow the construction of a golf course (from a geological, hydrological, and ecological perspective a complete fiasco) and an exclusive luxury resort on Pelegrin peninsula directly contradict the recommendations of experts for sustainable development and revitalization of the island economy and culture. The experts and authors of the scholarly work, Otok Hvar ("The Island of Hvar") from 1995 (Miro A. Mihovilovic, ed. and colleagues, Zagreb: Matice Hrvatske) recommend a different path to revitalization: conservation of vital resources, strict protection of natural preserves and cultural monuments, the sea and coastline; diversification of economic activity, revitalization of traditional sources of employment (agriculture, fishing, shipping and sailing, retail and trade, trade and crafts, services, clean, small industry), over and above the now disproportionately favoured branches of hotelry and restaurant trade. ANY attempt to develop ANY part of the Pelegrin peninsula for the purposes of tourism is unacceptable.

Zoning plans for the commune Hvar from 1992 already proposed Pelegrin peninsula as a protected natural site in the category of a significant natural preserve. This proposal, however, never reached the responsible government organs and continues to be ignored!

Exploitative forms of development advocated by corrupt investors and government officials hoping to profit from them deliberately ignore possibilities for the sustainable development of cultural and ecological park tourism. Pelegrin peninsula should be declared a national park and a protected natural preserve and the harbours Vela Garska, Duga and Parje, the caves, fertile meadows, burial mounds and water collecting basins ("lokve") - on the Pelegrin peninsula placed under strict and permanent protection.

A park such as this would be the pride of the Republic of Croatia and its people and would serve the international community as an example of farsightedness and wise and timely decision-making with regard to sustainable development and protection of natural and cultural resources.

See also the Croation version at the following link:
Croation version of the petition

We, the undersigned, petition as follows:

1) Inscription of Pelegrin peninsula in the register of significant natural preserves deserving "special protection because of their biological and scenic diversity, because of their sensitivity or because of their scientific, scholarly, cultural, aesthetic, educational, economic and other public interest" (Rep. of Croatia, Law on Protection of Nature);

2) designation of Pelegrin peninsula, together with all its bays, meadows and woods, as a national park, and until such time, as a protected natural park ("park prirode");

3) inscription, along with Mark's cave, of all archeological sites of the Pelegrin peninsula in the registry of protected archeological monuments and designation of the harbours Vela Garška, Mala Garška, Duga i Parje, as well as its historical trails as historical and cultural monuments of great significance to national and international public interest;

4) transparent, publicly conducted inspection of Pelegrin peninsula by responsible government inspection agencies and impartial non-governmental environmental protection advocacy groups to determine present status and use of the peninsula,

5) realignment of present activities on Pelegrin peninsula with the Law on the Protection of Nature and the Law on the Protection of Cultural Resources of the Republic of Croatia; taking of relevant legal action against individuals/legal entities having violated legal restrictions concerning protection of natural and cultural heritage, or having caused significant damage to this unique and ecologically sensitive natural preserve (cf. Law on the Protection of Nature, cl. 42. st. 2. ,3.), including a legally binding audit of use or sale of property;

6) restoration of the Pelegrin peninsula to its original state before infliction of damage to its natural or cultural resources and/or illegal use of its localities, including confiscation of localities /protected areas of significant value obtained by individuals/legal entities in violation of existing legal restrictions, as determined by the Law on the Protection of Nature and the Law on the Protection of Cultural Resources.

The Stop Development Plans on Pelegrin peninsula, Hvar, Croatia petition to Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Culture, Supreme Court of Croatia; EU Delegation Zagreb, EEA was written by Marie-Elise Zovko and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.