Will the Sopot waterfall be forever destroyed?

Via the Green Phone we received a report from a citizen in May, that Hrvatske vode initiated the development of preliminary design of retention and geodetic project in the area of Tupaljski stream and waterfall Sopot, which, of course, concerned the citizens, organisations, biologists and experts.

Namely, that area belongs to the Ecological Network (Natura 2000), in particular to the Areas of conservation important for species and habitats (POVS), code HR2001365 Pazinština, and it is also the habitat of a strictly protected species Veliki vodenjak (Great Crested Newt).

The mere construction of the dam would destroy the waterfall Sopot, since the flow of water would be stopped. In order to get the necessary information, we contacted a number of competent authorities, from the State Institute for Nature Protection, the Public Institution "Natura Histrica" to the Administrative Department for Sustainable Development.

We alarmed the media and got in touch with numerous citizens. According to the State Institute for Nature Protection, it was confirmed that the “establishment of the necessary protection from harmful effects and the progressive erosion by performing simple and small embankments, pens, parallel construction, crossbeams, partitions, etc., in the bed of the watercourse” is planned in that area. For this procedure, Hrvatske vode are OBLIGED to make an Estimate of eligibility for the ecological network and the Evaluation of the need to assess the impact on the environment. According to information from Department of Sustainable Development and the State Institute for Nature Conservation, these procedures have not been initiated yet.

The ecological network is a specific mechanism that does not protect landscape values, and not even the overall biodiversity of the area, but only the target species and habitats for which the area is separated into the network. That is why, in addition to this mechanism, the pressure of the public, citizens, institutions and professions is required in order to preserve this wonderful jewel of Pazinština!