ECO HVAR: AIMS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE CHARITY

Environment

Eco Hvar's aims for environmental protection, and related articles.

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Health

Eco Hvar's ideas for encouraging positive health, plus related articles

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Animals

Eco Hvar's aims for protecting animals and improving animal welfare, plus related articles

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Welcome to the Eco-Hvar website

Welcome to the Eco-Hvar website!

Hvar Island on the Dalmatian coast in Croatia is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It has the makings of a paradise on earth. Islanders have long boasted of the clean air and sea, the pristine natural environment and the healthy lifestyle based on a good diet and outdoor living.

 

Clear sea in Hvar harbour, July 2014. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Tourism is the island’s main economic activity. Hvar Town established the first professional tourist organization in Europe when the Hvar Health Society (Higijeničko društvo Hvar) was founded way back in 1868 under the leadership of Bishop Juraj Duboković. The Society’s aim was to attract guests to Hvar Town who could benefit from the climate, especially the mild winter, and the clean air. These ‘health tourists’ were well looked after by all accounts, with good food and healthy activities. They provided the foundation for Hvar’s enduring successful tourist industry.

The style of tourism has changed over the years. The basis of Hvar Island’s attractions remains the same. Many people still come to visit or stay here in order to enjoy the clean air, sea and countryside. No-one is disappointed in the natural beauty of the place. There are also other attractions, including the island's rich and colourful history and cultural heritage, not to mention the good food and high quality wines.

However, the island is not perfect. Certain aspects could and should be changed. There is a surprisingly high incidence of smoking- and diet-related illnesses on the island, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and lung problems. The doctors also have to deal with thyroid and hormonal disturbances, especially in young girls, and cancers in all age groups. The indications are that islanders need a better understanding of healthy lifestyle habits, also a clearer knowledge of the downside of using chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

For animal-lovers, the treatment of animals also gives cause for concern. There is no animal rescue facility on the island,  and refuges for dogs and cats are urgently needed so proper care can be provided for homeless animals.

The registered not-for-profit charity Eco Hvar was founded in 2013 to help improve conditions for people, animals and the environment. You can read details of the charity's aims in each category on these links: Environment, Health, Animals. The overall ideal aim is to create a true earthly paradise on the exquisite Island of Hvar.

 

Eco Hvar is pleased to co-operate with like-minded organizations, and is a member of PAN Europe, LAG Škoji, Održivi otok ('Sustainable Island') (Facebook page), Dignitea (Facebook page) Pokret otoka ('Island Movement'), and 'Citizens for Science in Pesticide Regulation, A European Coalition'.

The Eco-Hvar website contains original articles, information, references and links in keeping with the aims of Eco Hvar. All the material on the website is copyright, including the illustrations and photographs, and may not be reproduced or published in any form except with the copyright holders' written permission. However, you are welcome to copy or print out any of the articles for personal use only. For day-by-day topics of interest in keeping with Eco Hvar's aims, you can follow us on Facebook.

 

 

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Eco Environment News feeds

  • In 201o, politicians pledged to halt devastation of Earth’s wildlife. Since then, no progress has been made. And despite glimmers of hope, prospects look grim for next month’s top-level meeting in Canada

    In 2010, politicians and scientists made a pledge to halt the devastating reductions in wildlife numbers that had been denuding the planet of its animals and sea creatures for the previous century. At that time, wild animal populations were declining by about 2.5% a year on average as habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, climate change and disease ravaged habitats and lives. Such losses must end within a decade, it was agreed.

    Next month, conservationists and politicians will meet in Montreal for this year’s biodiversity summit where they will judge what progress has been made over the past 12 years. “It will be an easy assessment to make,” said Andrew Terry, the director of conservation at ZSL, the Zoological Society of London. “Absolutely no progress has been made. Populations have continued to decline at a rate of around 2.5% a year. We haven’t slowed the destruction in the slightest. Our planet’s biodiversity is now in desperate peril as a result.”

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  • The climate emergency is prompting some scientists to suggest extreme measures. But whether you call it geoengineering or biomimicry, others feel interfering with nature will have too high a cost

    Like the apocryphal frog that doesn’t notice the rising water temperature until it’s boiled alive, we as a global society are still struggling to recognise that anthropic global warming is hastening us towards irreversible environmental and ecological catastrophe. While there is consensus among climate scientists about the urgency of the situation, and widespread political acknowledgment that the use of carbon fuels must be reduced, targets have not been met and as the UK’s Cop26 president, Alok Sharma, said, the lack of progress at this month’s Cop27 demonstrates the 1.5C limit is on “life support” and there is growing evidence that we are further along the road to a tipping point than previously thought.

    So advanced is this process that some scientists are beginning to argue that merely cutting carbon is not enough and an emergency measure involving what is known as geoengineering is called for. There have been a number of plans suggested, some more outlandish than others. They range from building giant mirrors in space to reflect away sunlight to painting the roofs of buildings white to help counteract heatwaves in cities.

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  • Tory MP becomes latest member of party to get behind push to drop moratorium with reports Michael Gove also supports move

    The president of the Cop26 climate summit Alok Sharma has become the latest Conservative party MP to support lifting the ban on new onshore windfarms.

    Sharma has joined his former boss Boris Johnson, who nominated him for a peerage, in backing an amendment to government legislation in an attempt to drop the moratorium on onshore wind.

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  • Former prime minister says US and Europe will pay biggest share of loss and damage fund, but China must too

    China must pay into a new fund for poor countries stricken by climate-driven disaster on the basis of its high greenhouse gas emissions and large economy, the former UK prime minister Gordon Brown has said.

    “America and Europe will have to provide most, but China will have to contribute more too,” he told the Guardian.

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  • Cites treaty, adopted in 1963, protects more than 500 species, many exploited by unsustainable or illegal trade

    An international wildlife conference has moved to enact some of the most significant protections for sharks, songbirds and scores of turtles, lizards and frogs.

    The meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) ended on Friday in Panama. Along with protections for more than 500 species, delegates at the UN wildlife conference rejected a proposal to reopen the ivory trade. An ivory ban was enacted in 1989.

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  • Under-fire water firms, criticised for their part in the scandal, have pointed the finger at the authorities in newly revealed letters

    Water company bosses have blamed UK government inaction for a lack of progress in stopping sewage pollution, newly revealed letters show.

    According to data from the Environment Agency, sewage has been dumped into the seas and rivers around the UK more than 770,000 times over the course of 2020 and 2021 – the equivalent of almost 6m hours.

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  • ‘Participatory budgets’ such as one project in east London are revitalising areas and improving accessibility

    Children of all ages hang out at the seating area. One group of teenagers from a local school call the sunny bench between two planters their “chill spot”. One family sits out on a shady seat with the baby on warm evenings. People eat their lunch on the benches. Chosen and installed by the local community, the planters are a tiny but thrilling example of what can be done with a quietly radical policy that is being tried by a few councils.

    When Newham council first proposed the idea of a “participatory budget”, a fund for which local people could propose ideas, and receive funding as long as other residents approved, it seemed impossible to imagine what might emerge.

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  • The story of the damage done to the world’s biodiversity is a tale of decline spanning thousands of years. Can the world seize its chance to change the narrative?

    The story of the biodiversity crisis starts with a cold-case murder mystery that is tens of thousands of years old. When humans started spreading across the globe they discovered a world full of huge, mythical-sounding mammals called “megafauna”, but by the end of the Pleistocene, one by one, these large animals had disappeared. There is no smoking gun and evidence from ancient crime scenes is – unsurprisingly – patchy. But what investigators have learned suggests a prime suspect: humans.

    Take the case of Genyornis, one of the world’s heaviest birds, which was more than 2 metres tall and weighed in excess of 200kg. It lived in Australia until, along with many other megafauna, it went extinct 50,000 years ago. In North America, giant beavers weighing the same as a fridge and an armadillo-like creature called a glyptodon, which was the size of a small car, existed until about 12,000 years ago, when they, too, went extinct. In all, more than 178 species of the world’s largest mammals are estimated to have been driven to extinction between 52,000 and 9,000BC.

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  • Conservationist says if world leaders do not go to the summit a strong deal to halt and reverse nature loss is at risk

    Chris Packham is urging the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, to attend a key nature summit to protect the planet for the sake of his great-grandchildren because we are “very close to the point of no return”.

    The Cop15 biodiversity summit being held in Montreal from 7-19 December is the nature equivalent of the recent Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, with governments from all over the world expected to agree targets to halt the destruction of the natural world. But world leaders are not expected to attend the once-in-a-decade meeting where the next 10 years of targets will be agreed.

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  • Kendal, Cumbria: Here in the river we do our best to remove the waste that is at least visible to the naked eye

    On a bright autumn morning, a colourful gathering is taking place on the banks of the River Kent. A team of local river guardians, campaigners and attenders at the Kendal Mountain festival has assembled to help with a regular river clean. We spend a cheery hour clearing the water and the banks of packaging, poo bags, broken hardware, stray underpants and diverse industrial debris.

    Some of what we find has started to erode, corrode or decay, and I’m struck by how fragments of pot, bone, tumbled glass and natural fibre, and even some metals, feel almost wholesome in this context. Not so the plastics. The durability that makes these laboratory-created materials so useful has no match in nature. Most don’t break down in the environment, they just fragment, resulting in a distribution inversely proportional to their size. Hence 95% of microplastics in waterways measure less than 40 microns, too small to be filtered out, and most are wholly invisible. Those smaller than 5 microns are tiny enough to be absorbed into animal and plant tissues though gut walls or roots. We now find them everywhere we look, in blood and flesh, in sap and fruit, in milk and the bodies of the unborn.

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