AGM 2018

MINUTES from the 6th Annual General Meeting of 'ECO HVAR', held on June 24th 2019 at the Cafe Splendid in Jelsa

Present: Vivian Grisogono, President, Nada Kozulić, Vice-President, Marija Bunčuga, Committee Member, Dinka Barbić, Ingrid Buijs, Henk Buijs, Frank John Dubokovich, Mica Ruzmanović, Mihovil Stipišić, Ivana Župan

Apologies for absence: Goga Borić, Debora Bunčuga (Committee Member), Andro Duboković, Peter Elborn, Vedrana Nemeš, Annie Polatsek, Lana Zake

The Meeting started at 18:00.

AGENDA

1. Welcome. Number of attendees noted, selection of the Meeting Secretary.

2. Adoption of the Minutes from the 5th AGM.

3. Review of Eco Hvar's activities during 2018.

4. Amendment to Statute

5. Nomination of Mrs. Dinka Barbić as a member of the Steering Committee

6. Adoption of the Charity's financial report for 2018.

7. Outline of the Charity's programme for 2019.

8. Any other business.

Under item 4, 'Amendment to Statute', Article 22 of the Statute to be altered to read: "Upravni odbor broji tri do pet članova, a čine ga Predsjednik i Tajnica Udruge po položaju te još jedan ili tri člana koje imenuje Skupština" ("The Steering Committee consists of 3 or 5 members, and comprises the Charity's President and Secretary by virtue of their position, and one or three more members as nominated by the General Meeting")

1. Vivian Grisogono, Charity President, welcomed the attendees and confirmed that there was a quorum.

Marija Bunčuga was elected Meeting Secretary, nem. con.

2. ADOPTION OF THE MINUTES FROM THE 5TH AGM.

The Minutes, which were previously published on the Eco Hvar website in English and Croatian, were circulated to the attendees.

The Meeting adopted the Minutes from the 5th AGM, nem con.

3. REVIEW OF ECO HVAR'S ACTIVITIES IN 2018

Nada Kozulić, the Charity's Vice-President, presented the following review of the Charity's activities during 2018. President Vivian Grisogono provided English explanations for the non- Croatian speakers present.

As usual we received many inquiries, concerns and complaints, mainly by email, but also via Facebook and occasionally by phone. Among the more unusual inquiries were: "Can you help find a mobile phone lost in a bar in Hvar?" (we put the request on our FB page); "can you help find my ancestral property in the area of Podum?" (short answer "no"); "do you sell dried lavender?" (no). We also received offers from prospective volunteers, but unfortunately we do not have any suitable activities to offer, except at certain times of the year. We were able to help with a request for olive oil tasting, and another from a firm interested in promoting eco-tourism on Hvar.

The majority of inquiries related to our core activities of caring for animals and the environment. We received some 56 inquiries relating to animals, of which 24 were about dogs, 23 about cats and kittens, 3 about horses, 3 about donkeys, 2 about birds and one about a goat. The animals in question were not only on Hvar but also further afield, eg in Split, Stobreč, Zavalatica (Korčula), Klek (Metković).

We did as much as we could to help, directly and indirectly. Where appropriate we passed the inquiries on to the local town wardens who are responsible for taking care of abandoned animals, or for calling in the inspectors in cases of maltreatment. We established good communications with the veterinary inspectors in Split, and some cases were brought to a successful conclusion.

1. Activities related to animal care

2018 was the Year of the Dog. For our Charity, the highlight of the year was undoubtedly the 'Humanitarian Concert in Aid of Abandoned Animals on Hvar', held on 14th October in the Festive Room of Jelsa's Town Hall. We are extremely grateful to Vinka Šurlin, Director of the mixed choir GSU 'Stella Maris' Hvar, who initiated and organized the concert, which was the first major event to be held in aid of Eco Hvar. We are also indebted to everyone who helped to make the concert a resounding success: the 'Stella Maris' choir; the St Cecily Choir, Jelsa', Director Slavko Reljić; 'Klapa Priženca', Svirče, Director Vojana Jurić; Mješovita klapa Svetoga Duha, Vrbanj, Director Ivan Vidošević; Faroski Kantaduri, Stari Grad, Director Jakša Vranjican; programme presenter Vlatka Buj, Jelsa's Deputy Mayor; and Žare Zagorac, sound engineer.

In terms of practical help, the most difficult problems relate to wild cats. There is no cat shelter on the island, so organizing feeding and sterilization programmes on a formal basis is almost impossible. therefore we are extremely grateful to the many individuals, locals and visitors alike, who take the trouble to feed local cats and even to get them sterilized. The initiative undertaken by Amanda Blanch and Chris Edwardes of 'Hidden House' Hotel in Stari Grad is a trailblazer, and we are glad that it is continuing, as circumstances permit.

Two cases were particularly harrowing in 2018. In August 2018, an exhausted, seriously ill hunting dog with a major throat wound appeared on the doorstep of one of our members. It was with great sorrow that we took him to the vet to be put down. Dr Prosper advised us that in such a case the local authority was officially responsible for financing the procedure, however our request for a refund from the Jelsa Council elicited no reply. The second case involved Zlatan, the little ginger cat who lived on Jelsa's Pjaca: his throat was terminally injured in July 2018. He was cared for in his last days in Pitve, where he died peacefully on 25th July 2018. The better news is that Zlatan's mother Zlata is still alive somewhere in Jelsa, and pops into the Cafe Splendid now and then to revisit her old friends.

Eco Hvar organized the rescue of 12 dogs during 2018, 11 of which were transferred to the 'Animalis Centrum' shelter in Kaštel Sućurac near Split, from where they all quickly found new homes, some locally, others abroad, notably in Germany. The shelter operates to the highest standards: not only do the dogs receive medical care, food and water, but they are socialized through contact with trained volunteers and other dogs; they are taken for walks, and in summer some of them even go swimming.

The Hvar Town authorities have been positively engaged in animal care for some time. They were the first to sign a contract with the 'Animalis Centrum' shelter in accordance with the new Animal Protection Laws., and they have succeeded in rescuing many maltreated animals during the year. We are very grateful for their collaboration. Our members/supporters in Hvar are also active in doing what they can for any animals in need. We are especially pleased that animal lovers in Hvar have established a specially equipped dog park.

2. Activities related to environmental protection

Education. In collaboration with Local Action Group (LAG) "Škoji" Eco Hvar organized a lecture evening under the heading of 'EkoLAGija'. Two respected experts from Zagreb, dr.sc. Darko Znaor and mag.ing. Sonja Karoglan Todorović spoke on the subject "Organic farming and produce - matching economics with ecology", and Dr. Alan Smith, a guest speaker from America, described his experiences as an organic farmer.

Pesticides. On the Eco Hvar website we published two articles about pesticides, one listing the chemical pesticides in common use on Hvar, their possible adverse effects and the related scientific studies, in English and Croatian. As far as we know, this is the first time that such information has been made available in an accessible form in Croatian. (http://www.eco-hvar.com/en/poisons-be-aware/267-pesticides-and-their-adverse-effects). The other article describes the laws and directives governing pesticide use internationally and in Croatia, alongside some of the problems surrounding permitted chemical pesticides. (http://www.eco-hvar.com/en/poisons-be-aware/266-pesticides-laws-and-permits)

Survey of land use on the Stari Grad Plain. In collaboration with LAG Škoji and the Agency for the Management of the Stari Grad Plain Eco Hvar initiated a questionnaire in order to gather information from land users about the types of crops cultivated, the amount of land under cultivation, numbers of cultivators registered as commercial, organic, or authorized to use chemical pesticides, what types of 'plant protection' products are used, and what sources, if any, the cultivators consult about farming methods. The Survey is still in progress, and results to date are available on the Eco Hvar website: (http://www.eco-hvar.com/en/environment-articles/277-starigrad-plain-our-survey)

The Pest Control Programme: campaign for change. During 2018 Eco Hvar contacted the Croatian Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health, the Institute of Public Health for Split-Dalmatia County, and the three local authorities (Hvar Town, Stari Grad and Jelsa Council) whose pest control measures are dictated by the Institute. We asked for information about the implementation of the pest control programme, and expressed our concerns about various obvious inadequacies in the regular annual actions involving chemical poisons.

The local authorities, when asked under the Freedom of Information Act, supplied details of payments, dates of actions and pesticides used, but we were not given the requested information about the details of the routes used for the fogging actions which take place over the summer season. We remain concerned that adulticide actions are very poorly advertised, contrary to the Directives, and larvicide actions not at all; pesticides are still being used which are not allowed in the EU; poison spray is being applied to roadside vegetable plots, fruit orchards and cultivated fields, contrary to the Directives; untold collateral damage is being done to insects, birds and the environment; and the programme, far from resolving the problem of unwanted insects such as tiger mosquitoes, is actually exacerbating it through inevitable resistance in the target species. Despite having produced ample evidence to back our concerns, we have not received any adequate response from the authorities, never mind evidence of the change of policy and practice which we are seeking.

Rubbish. Eco Hvar continued its activities related to better rubbish management, being especially active at the time of the traditional Procession 'Za Križen' (29-30.03.2018). On September 15th 2018 Eco Hvar participated in a 'Green clean-up action' in Hvar Town organized by the Charity 'Dignitea' and Hvar Town.

Cooperation with other charities and organization. We continued to collaborate with related organizations. Apart from those already mentioned, we have worked closely with Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, which lobbies in Brussels for better control mechanisms over chemical pesticides, and more support for organic farming.

3. Raising awareness.

i) Media coverage. As in previous years, in 2018 some of Eco Hvar's activities were publicized in the widely read local newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija, and we are very grateful to local journalist Mirko Crnčević for his understanding and support of our aims.

ii) The Eco Hvar website. The website is attracting increasing numbers of readers, with several articles, particularly those about pesticides, featuring on the first page of the Google search engine.

We are especially grateful to Steve Jones, John Ball and Marion Podolski for their invaluable contributions to the success of the website through original articles and beautiful photographs, and also to Ivana Župan for her excellent translations of our articles into Croatian.

iii) Leaflets. Before Easter Eco Hvar again posted leaflets encouraging those taking part in the Processions not to throw rubbish around the environment. We also posted warnings in English about the imminent fogging actions during the summer.

iv) Facebook. We post items of interest on our Facebook page almost every day. We also regularly posted warnings about the imminent fogging actions in Croatian and English - so we do more to publish these actions, in accordance with the official Directive, than the local authorities!

The Review of the Charity's activities during 2018 was accepted by the Meeting, nem. con.

4. AMENDMENT TO STATUTE.

The proposal that Article 22 of the Statute should be altered to read: "Upravni odbor broji tri do pet članova, a čine ga Predsjednik i Tajnica Udruge po položaju te još jedan ili tri člana koje imenuje Skupština" ("The Steering Committee consists of 3 or 5 members, and comprises the Charity's President and Secretary by virtue of their position, and one or three more members as nominated by the General Meeting") was accepted by the Meeting, nem. con.

5. THE NOMINATION OF MRS. DINKA BARBIĆ AS A MEMBER OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE was accepted nem. con. In accordance with the aforementioned Amendment to the Statute, the Steering Committee henceforth will consist of five members: Vivian Grisogono, President, Nada Kozulić, Vice-President, Debora Bunčuga, Secretary, Marija Bunčuga and Dinka Barbić.

6. FINANCIAL REPORT. The Charity's financial status during 2018 showed that the Charity had income of 17,143 kn, and outgoings of 18,040 kn. At the beginning of 2018, the Charity's financial resources stood at 14,259 kn, carried over from the previous year, with a balance of 13,810 kn at the end of the year. The Charity's main expenses were related to animal care, maintaining the website, and the costs of accountancy and banking. The Charity's sole source of income was through donations. Gifts related to the fundraising concert held in October 2018 amounted to 3,750. 00 kn.

The Financial Report was accepted nem. con.

7. PROPOSED POPGRAMME FOR 2019.

Our aims remain the same as always, and we continue our work accordingly.

i. Education and raising awareness

- various activities involving young people, in collaboration with the local schools

- further lectures and seminars about environmental protection

- more articles on the website offering relevant information

- dedication of a special section for young people on the website

- organization of 'eco-activities' including outings and nature walks, especially for young people, to encourage enjoyment and respect for the environment. One project is to organize a walk across the length of the island, and some members are researching the maps of the old paths, and testing out the terrain to establish how many are still viable.

ii. Animals

- We will continue our collaboration with the animal shelter 'Animalis Centrum' in Kaštel Sućurac

- we will continue to collaborate with the local authorities as far as possible, especially with a view to establishing an animal shelter on Hvar and feeding stations for cats.

- we would like to establish local temporary animal shelters for dogs and cats, also a 'dog hotel' to serve owners who need to leave their animals in a safe environment during their absence.

iii. Promotion of organic agriculture

- we will continue to lobby against pesticide use, whether by public authorities or individuals.

- we are aiming to formulate a project to establish organic farming on Hvar and possibly on other islands

iv. Support for eco-tourism initiatives such as Ecobnb, whose first 'eco-friendly accommodation' on Hvar is near Hvar Town, managed by Vilma Plazonja (who is a Friend of Eco Hvar) (http://www.eco-hvar.com/en/highlights/276-eco-friendly-accommodation-on-hvar)

v. Cooperation with other charitable organizations

- we will continue our collaboration with like-minded organizations at local, national and international levels.

The Programme for 2019 was accepted by the Meeting, nem. con.

8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS.

The success of the humanitarian concert was recognised as a project worth repeating. Ingrid Buijs suggested that it might attract more than the 70+ attendees if it was held earlier than October, but of course this would depend on the schedules of the performers and any competing events.

Referring to the eco-photo competition organized by the Charity in May 2019, Ingrid suggested that it should be an annual event, and perhaps should focus not only on Hvar's beauty, as this year, but also on more negative images, to make the school pupils aware of activities which have a detrimental impact on Hvar's environment. The suggestions were met with general approval.

Mihovil Stipišić mentioned some of the other charities working for the environment, and it was agreed that close cooperation was the best way forward for our island.

Nada Kozulić concluded the meeting by expressing thanks to everyone who helped Eco Hvar in whatever way during 2018.

The Meeting ended at 19:30.

Signed:

Marija Bunčuga,                                                                                                                                                                                            Vivian Grisogono MA(Oxon),

Meeting Secretary                                                                                                                                                                                                           President Eco Hvar

 

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