New York, 30 September 2020

Video address by H.E. Mr. Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia at the Summit on Biodiversity


Distinguished Delegates,
Dear colleagues and Friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


To put the world on the right track we all have to step up efforts and start from our own home.

My homeland is Croatia, a Mediterranean country where people are very proud of beautiful sea, islands and conserved nature.

Croatia is rich in biodiversity. 38% of the land and 9% of sea are part of European ecological network Natura 2000 and nationally protected areas.

In Croatia, there are exceptionally valuable 8 national and 11 nature parks, presenting Croatia as the biodiversity hotspot of Europe.

Protection of natural capital, is the basis for sustainable and inclusive growth.

Drinking water, clean air and unpolluted rivers and sea, enable citizens of Croatia to lead a healthy and productive life, to develop their own potentials and contribute to society.

Without preserved ecosystems all of this would not be possible.

Halting biodiversity loss and delivering an ambitious global biodiversity framework will require a whole-of-society approach.

That is why we are working on new National Development Strategy until 2030, which will set ambitious orientation towards carbon neutral, resilient and nature positive economy.

Our goal is to ensure Green and Digital Transition by promoting clean energy, green and blue investments and circular economy.

Our priorities are conservation and restoration of biodiversity, food self-sufficiency and smart mobility and connectivity.

Scientists have been warning us and providing clear data that protection of 30% of global land and 30% of sea is the minimum needed to stop biodiversity loss.

Although Croatia has already protected over 30% of land, we are committed to protect at least 30% of the Adriatic sea.

Having in mind indispensable value of strictly protected areas for biodiversity conservation, we commit to increase the percentage of nationally strictly protected areas.

We are also committed to restore ecological connectivity of our river ecosystems.

Such healthy and preserved ecosystems will also contribute to the "One Health" approach, since they are precondition for the prevention of future zoonotic disease outbreaks.

Deeply concerned about devastating impacts of biodiversity loss, we will dedicate substantive efforts to encourage behavioural change and change in consumption patterns of Croatian citizens.

Small, open economies, like ours, will have a chance to be transformed faster into a low-carbon and sustainable economy supported by clean technologies.

Therefore, our mission is for Croatia to be among the European leaders in these transformational trends by 2030.

Finally, we are aware that the healthy ecosystems are the cornerstones of our development and it is up to us to turn development challenges into opportunities.

This is our duty to the expectations of young generations and only in this way, we will improve the quality of life of our citizens and ensure better future for all.