Nature and Society


Countdown towards 2010 in Zagreb

This project supported the international target to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010 in Europe. Involving cities and their citizens was one of the important targets of this action.

The project aimed to raise understanding and awareness of urban biodiversity, both as a valuable component of European biodiversity in its own right, and as a means to generate support for, and active involvement in, the 2010 targets among the urban population, NGOs and local authorities.

The city of Zagreb was chosen because as the capital of Croatia it is the national ‘showcase’ and what happens in Zagreb easily catches the attention of policymakers and the media. But equally important is the fact that the City of Zagreb has an active environmental and biodiversity policy. From a biodiversity perspective, Zagreb is also extremely interesting as it combines a variety of different habitat types within the city boundaries (mountainous areas, the Sava River) and has a large share of green spaces and parks, including the southern slopes of the large nature park Medvednica. The project focused on Zagreb, but there was a strong link and interest among national and local authorities and NGOs from the whole of Croatia.

The project resulted in:

  • baseline biodiversity assessment of Zagreb;
  • increased capacity among key stakeholders to work on urban biodiversity;
  • increased capacity to involve community in biodiversity programmes;
  • the establishment of patterns of cooperation between key stakeholders;
  • greater interest among the civic community for biodiversity issues and greater understanding of the link between local biodiversity and wider European ecological processes and policies.


  • ECNC-European Centre for Nature Conservation (coordination)
  • ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability)
  • City of Zagreb
  • Croatian Ornithological Society (COS)
  • Division of Biology of Zagreb University
  • Croatian Natural History Museum (HHM)


The Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, BBI-Matra/2005/016

The project involved the following activities:  
  • Establishing a partnership between NGOs, the research community and local authorities in Zagreb in support of urban biodiversity.
  • Designing and implementing a community-based monitoring scheme for urban biodiversity in Zagreb that involved citizens as volunteers in biodiversity monitoring. This scheme resulted in an initial inventory of urban biodiversity with a special focus on the occurrence in Zagreb of species of international importance, such as species listed in the Annexes of the Bern Convention, the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive.
  • Carrying out an awareness-raising campaign in Zagreb on urban biodiversity and the links between the biodiversity of Zagreb and the wider ecological context as well as the 2010 targets. This campaign involved the local media, and also included an ?urban biodiversity? photo competition for the general public.