Zadar County Rural Development Agency is currently implementing the project "Green Economy and CO2 - GECO2". It is a project with a total value of about 2.5 million Euros, and is financed from the cross-border cooperation program Interreg Italy-Croatia.
GECO2 has joined in the battle against climate change by developing new agricultural and industrial models. The aim of the project is to establish regional centers for climate change monitoring as well as to present Croatian and Italian companies with a new voluntary carbon market through the economic valorization of agricultural practices. Potential customers are, for example, industrial or service companies that want to enter the market with a sustainable product that will carry the "CO2 free" brand, which would give their products added value. The project would enable the creation of a network of local centers for climate change monitoring in the Adriatic region and thus help local communities to adapt and reduce the negative effects of climate change, says Project Manager Ivana Dević from the Zadar County Rural Development Agency AGRRA.
As part of the GECO2 project, a workshop for farmers was held in Benkovac, where the principles and examples of the green economy were presented, with an emphasis on carbon dioxide marketing. Through this workshop, farmers had the opportunity to learn what their role is and what are the ways to reduce and maintain carbon dioxide emissions. They also had the opportunity to find out what these problems are and possible scenarios that could happen related to extreme climate change. Farmers are also familiar with the future development of the carbon market, market models, but also with the results and great economic benefits of such marketing.
The Project Manager paid special attention to the basic requirements of the new Rural Development Program for the period of 2021-2027, especially to those related to climate, the environment and green economies such as the CO2 market.
Through the workshop, farmers were introduced to the European Green Plan for a new, sustainable and inclusive strategy for economic growth and development, improving human health and quality of life, caring for the environment and equal opportunities for all.
The Coronavirus crisis has shown how vulnerable we are and how important it is to re-establish a balance between human activities and nature. At the heart of the Green Agenda are biodiversity and Field-to-Fork strategies, which point to a new and better balance between nature, food systems and biodiversity to protect the health and well-being of our citizens while increasing the European Union's competitiveness and resilience. These strategies are a key part of the great transition that is just beginning. Also, the new situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic makes such projects even more important because it is inevitable that the world, including Croatia, will soon have to turn to its own agricultural production with special emphasis on organic production. It must become the main driver and holder of the economy in the future, the Project Manager Ivana Dević points out.