The Romans knew how to build, and they knew how to choose the best sites for their building. Diocletian's Palace in Split is a prime and well-preserved example. New discoveries in and around the Palace in recent years have brought about a major revision of the history of this magnificent Late Antique building project.
The 'Mediterranean diet' is considered to be extremely healthy, especially in protecting against heart disease. The first commercial genetically modified (GM) crops were planted in the United States in 1994 and have aroused heated controversy ever since. When GM meets the Mediterranean diet, are the two compatible? Or will GM swallow up the concept of the 'Mediterranean diet' and spit it out, unre...
A major scientific study published in November 2016 confirmed the horrific damage cigarette smoking can cause to human health. Cigarette smoking is associated with 17 different types of cancer and is estimated to claim more than 6 million lives each year.
In the age before tablets, mobile phones, computers and televisions, many people used to read, and reading was a social asset. Yes, it is so. We who are old enough remember that there was a time, not so long ago, when these wonders of modern living did not exist. Children brought up in this age of instant communication across continents often wonder what we did with our time. One thing was reading...
Hvar is blessed in having a very good water supply. That said, piped water is not yet available across the whole island. The eastern villages between Jelsa and Sućuraj still rely on wells and cisterns filled by rainwater, although projects to connect them to the mains supply by stages are in hand, and have been since about 2010.
The law on the Protection of Animals (Zakon o zaštiti životinja) is relatively recent, dating back only to 2006. It is based on European Union directives dating from 1983, with several updates to the present time. The Croatian law was updated and amended in 2013. When this final text was debated and accepted by Parliamentarians in February 2013, there was a strong recommendation that public awaren...
The wildflowers on Hvar are a year-round joy. Even in the depths of winter, there is hardly a week without colours brightening up the countryside, contrasting with the island's rocks and the variegated dark green of the woodlands.
Orchid enthusiast Frank Verhart continued his researches into European orchids during 2016. He found much of interest on the Pelješac peninsula.
Orchis tridentataPhoto: Frank Verhart
Frank Verhart from the Netherlands has lifelong experience looking out for orchids, and his expertise increases year on year. In 2015 he explored the Dalmatian islands of Hvar and Brač as the guest of Eco Hvar, and introduced many to the magic of the often tiny treasures to be found in woodlands, fields, gardens and roadsides. He was able to show why it is so important to look after these protected plants, as they all too easily get overlooked when individuals and local authorities spray areas with herbicides, and as a result of thoughtless fly-tipping in the countryside. Mapping where the orchids are to be found plays a key role in their protection. Frank logs his orchid findings with care, resulting in detailed maps for the records. In his identifications and classifications, he uses the taxonomy from the standard work by the Belgian expert Pierre Delforge, 'Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East', published by Christopher Helm Publishers, 2006.
Over several years, Frank has generously been sharing his detailed findings with Prof.dr.sc. Toni Nikolić at the Department of Botany in the Biology Division of Zagreb's Science University, who is responsible for compiling the full listing of Croatia's plants, the Flora Croatica Database.
In 2016, Frank visited France and Croatia, by way of Slovenia. As he reports: "all still and as usual by hitch-hiking. On the way [to Croatia] I have visited and stayed overnight at Miran Ipavec's Autostoparski Muzej (Hitch-hiking Museum) in Bled, Slovenia. Miran is maybe the most experienced hitch-hiker, distance wise, in Slovenia.. I’ve again been able to do some very cool observations, especially Orchis ustulata and Cephalanthera damasonium (Burnt orchid and White helleborine) as they have never been reported from Pelješac before, and I am fairly confident indeed, that there are no official reports of those. The latter has recently been found by Croatian botanists for the first time on Mljet 2012 and Korčula 2013, I think this is quite remarkable..."
The Orchis ustulata (neotinea ustulata, burnt orchid, burnt-tip orchid) is fairly common across Europe, to which it is native, but is considered endangered in the United Kingdom, according to the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. That said, Kew reports that there has been a significant decline in central Europe "due to habitat destruction as a result of building, quarrying and, in particular, more intense agricultural practices. Burnt-tip orchids can only survive in unfertilised, unploughed grassland due to their protracted underground growth period. In addition, where grazing is discontinued burnt-tip orchid is liable to decline because its small size means it cannot survive in long grass."
Besides the rare findings on Pelješac, Frank observed many more familiar orchids. However, a couple appeared in unusual colours, notably the orchis morio (pictured above), and the orchis italica (below).
Query: It was a pleasant surprise to come across your article regarding olive oil making in Dalmatia. Me and my husband have taken it up as a serious hobby to be involved in the olive oil process in m...
Hello I was staying in Hvar Town for 5 days last week in June 14 and we tried our best to care for the kittens, cats we have seen as they were so very skinny. What is keeping me awake at night back in...
The site contains articles and information on topics related to health, the environment and animal welfare.
While the focus is on Hvar Island in Dalmatia, much of the information is relevant to the rest of Croatia, and some to Europe, the United States and the rest of the world.
The main language of the site is English, but articles in Croatian are being added as quickly as possible. Some of the Croatian articles are translations, some original. Book reviews are in the language of the publication being reviewed.
To see all the articles archived in each category, click on the category name which is given below the title of each article (Environment, Highlights, Notices etc).
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We are very grateful to Željka Horvat for kindly and expertly designing the ECO HVAR logo, also to Jelena Bunčuga, Petra Mimica, Bartul Mimica and Ivana Župan for their generous help in translating articles into Croatian.
Special thanks are also owed to Mihael Magdić of Orion Informatika i Trgovina, Varaždin, for his excellent and patient efforts in designing the website.
New study reveals negative impact of climate change, human activity, acidification and deoxygenation on ocean and its creatures
The deep ocean and the creatures that live there are facing a desperate future due to food shortages and changing temperatures, according to research exploring the impact of climate change and human activity on the world’s seas.
The deep ocean plays a critical role in sustaining our fishing and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as well as being home to a huge array of creatures. But the new study reveals that food supplies at the seafloor in the deepest regions of the ocean could fall by up to 55% by 2100, starving the animals and microbes that exist there, while changes in temperature, pH and oxygen levels are also predicted to take their toll on fragile ecosystems.
Environmentalists hail ‘landmark moment’ as world’s biggest soft drinks company agrees to set up pilot scheme in Scotland
Coca-Cola has announced it supports testing a deposit return service for drinks cans and bottles, in a major coup for environment and anti-waste campaigners.
Executives told an event in Edinburgh on Tuesday evening they agreed with campaigners who were pressing the Scottish government to set up a bottle-return pilot scheme to cut waste and pollution and boost recycling.
Donald Trump is a deal maker, and there’s a great deal to be made on climate change
A month into his presidency, Donald Trump already has a minus-8 job approval rating (43% approve, 51% disapprove). Congress has a minus-50 approval rating, and the Republican Party has a minus-14 favorability rating. All are facing widespread protests, marches, and public resistance. Hundreds of concerned constituents have been showing up to town hall events held by Republican Congressmen, like this one with Tom McClintock (R-CA):
This is the scene out Rep. Tom McClintock's town hall. We just made it inside after pleading with Roseville police. pic.twitter.com/13UaXMvWph
A sacred Tibetan lake, a crack in the Antarctic ice shelf and deforestation in Cambodia are among images captured by Nasa and the ESA this month
Yamzho Yumco (Sacred Swan) Lake is one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet. It is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and is highly crenellated with many bays and inlets. The lake is home to the Samding monastery which is headed by a female reincarnation, Samding Dorje Phagmo. The image covers an area of 49.8km by 60km. Aster images map and monitor the changing surface of our planet, such as glacial advances and retreats; potentially active volcanoes; crop stress; cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.
As renewable energy projects are rolled out in cities around the world, we spoke to companies and organisations working in the sector to find out what’s happening and what to expect. Here’s what they said.
Wenlock EdgeIn anonymous hedges and woods, snowdrops have become a kind of spontaneous festival all over the country
Snowdrops and mild weather – is this spring? Something disturbed a crow in the darkness. The bird flew from trees behind the abbey ruins, skirting copse and hedge down the lane to the edge of town with its going-to-work traffic and lights switching on under rooftops. The crow called out before first light, before even the robins stirred, intent on raising the alarm by itself. Caw, caw, caw.
All right, crow, I’m awake. Now what? Snowdrops. Along the route, as the crow flies, the snowdrops are in full bloom, drifting along verges, tucked into corners of hedge banks, materialising from the mossy remains of walls in the wood. They are the footprints of old Welsh goddesses, the spilt milk no one cries over. They are something, at last, to cheer about. Every year they pop up from nowhere, grey-green leaf blades and little white lantern flowers glowing in gloom.
Between 2007 and 2015, Export-Import Bank provided 48 insurance policies to Connell Company to work with mining companies in seven African countries
An obscure US government agency has provided $315m in taxpayer-supported financing over the past decade to a company that has supplied equipment to African mines accused of slave labor, human rights violations and environmental destruction.
Between 2007 and 2015, the US Export-Import Bank provided 48 insurance policies to the New Jersey-headquartered Connell Company to pursue deals with at least 17 mining companies in seven sub-Saharan countries. These included a $20,000 policy to supply equipment to the Bisha copper mine in Eritrea, which is being investigated by a Canadian court amid accusations of slavery, according to an investigation of the bank by the Guardian and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism’s Energy and Environment Reporting Project.
Australian scientists seek to understand how non-carbon aerosolised particles affect global temperatures
Australian scientists are studying air pollution and cloud formation in Antarctica in an effort to understand how non-carbon aerosolised particles impact on global temperatures.
It’s the first comprehensive study of the composition and concentration of aerosols in the Antarctic sea ice area, a region that influences cloud formation and weather patterns for much of the southern hemisphere.