Russia, Europe and Eurasia
Croatia - Completed
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning
Croatia is endowed with internationally recognized natural and cultural assets, though after regional conflicts in the early 1990s threatened their economy and security, many of their natural resources were at risk and were not centrally managed. Since 2000, Croatia has, for the first time, a Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning with a Nature Conservation Division that has responsibility for protected areas. DOI-ITAP and the Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning cooperated on the management of protected areas and the training of their growing professional staff of park managers. A practical training program focused on parks interpretation, education and management was designed in Plitvice and Paklenica National Parks by DOI-ITAP. The program implemented critically needed park programs and provided job skills training and temporary employment to 20 interns of diverse ethnicity from war-affected regions. DOI-ITAP continued its work at three additional parks: Mjlet National Park, Krka National Park, and Lonjsko Polje Nature Reserve. Critical equipment and supplies were also provided to the parks, including audio-visual technology for visitor centers, telescopes, microscopes, binoculars, and natural history field guides. Permanent employment was offered to several interns at the parks.
Georgia - Active
Protected Areas Development
DOI-ITAP has established a long-term working relationship with the Republic of Georgia to foster a national system of protected areas in Georgia. The working relationship was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1999 which created a general technical assistance program and a specific sister park relationship.
With funding from USAID/Georgia, DOI-ITAP provides broad technical assistance at the headquarters level on establishing a national training center and a national training program focused on issues of park system management, administration, and personnel management. DOI-ITAP also provides field-level technical assistance and training.