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© Naomi Cresswell

Sustainable management of our sea is crucial not only for life underwater but also for the people depending on its many benefits. Managing natural resources is a connected process between people and the environment. We see our coastal communities as active players in the positive changes we want to achieve.


Fishing has a long tradition in the Adriatic region, going back perhaps to the Neolithic. Thousands of years of tradition, though, could be erased by recent overdevelopment.

Adria is heavily dependent on tourism, and it provides great opportunities for many coastal communities to diversify their income. At the same time it poses an enormous threat to the environment. Driving a sustainable path for tourism by reducing its negative effects is a challenging but necessary goal that should become our shared priority.

Until recently, the management of natural resources has been driven mainly by governments and policy makers. Communities have been left out of decision-making processes and local needs have been neglected. Such an approach has led to widespread mistrust. WWF and partner organisations are working to change this.

Did you know?

Small-scale fisheries can be part of the solution to overfishing and environmental degradation caused by larger scale, industrial fisheries activities.

© Darko Mihalić

We believe that conservation efforts should include communities. We are working to empower communities, improve their livelihoods and develop low-impact business opportunities to reduce pressure on coastal ecosystems and deliver long-term sustainable solutions.

Collaboration with coastal communities as active players of transformation is crucial for the future of the Adriatic Sea. Empowered communities will be able to take management roles in the process of safeguarding our sea.

Developing a collaborative approach to conservation means taking a holistic view. We are working with a range of stakeholders, from governments to academia and civil society organizations, to develop co-management models. There can be no systemic change without shared responsibility and mutual trust.


When traveling, seek out low-impact tours and limit your impact on the environment.
Spread the word about what we do and support us in our work with coastal communities!


Each year almost 20 million tourists visit Croatia alone. Turning towards sustainable tourism activities that respect local people and nature should be our priority.

© WWF Adria

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