ZAGREB, Oct 2 (Croatia Sun News) – Ninety-eight percent of 25 square kilometres of land in Osijek-Baranja County in eastern Croatia has been cleared of land mines left over from the 1991-1995 war as part of the HRK 376.8 million (€51 million) Naturavita project.
Presenting the project results, the chief of the Croatian Mine Action Centre (HCR), Niksa Bogdanic, said that the project was being carried out in the part of the county protected by the Natura 2000 environmental protection network and the Ramsar Convention on wetlands.
The project, which covers the Kopacki Rit Nature Park and the Mura-Drava Regional Park, is being implemented from June 2015 to September 2023. Its value is HRK 376.8 million (€51 million), of which 85 percent is provided via grants from the EU Cohesion Fund.
The remaining two percent of the planned area is to be cleared by the end of November. Bogdanic said that about 5,000 land mines had been detected in the area, adding that another 25 square kilometres of land elsewhere in the county remained contaminated with mines. “This means that with this project we have basically halved the area under mines,” he said.
Igor Fazekas, a board member of the Hrvatske Sume forest management company, said that after the completion of the project the company would regenerate the forests in the area and thus contribute to the quality of life in the county.