Welcome to the Eco-Hvar website, which has three main aims:
- to keep you informed about developments relating to the environment, good health and animal welfare, on Hvar Island and in the wider world;
- to provide a platform publicizing other charities and organizations with similar aims to ours;
- to provide a forum where you can put forward your suggestions and concerns.
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.
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. As a result, some animals are mistreated, abandoned or killed without mercy. The few people who care enough to save unwanted animals cannot cope with the numbers involved. There is a need for education in animal welfare, and an urgent need for a refuge for dogs and cats.
The registered not-for-profit charity Eco Hvar has been founded 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.
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.