Northern Velebit was declared a national park in 1999 by the Croatian Parliament. The same year, the Croatian Government founded the Public Institution Northern Velebit National Park to manage the Park area. In 2001 the National Park began its work in protection, maintenance and promotion of the Northern Velebit National Park with the aim to protect and conserve the nature in its natural condition, to ensure unhindered natural processes and sustainable use of natural resources, and to supervise the implementation of natural protection requirements and actions on the National Park territory.
The responsible ministry is the Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection , the Directorate for Nature Protection.
The Park’s Headquarters is located in the Velebit village of Krasno which lies within the Velebit Nature Park. It contains an info-centre, a gift shop and a presentation room.
The Park is managed in accordance with the Nature Protection Act (Croatian original) , unofficial English translation , the Physical plan (in Croatian) and the Management Plan, the National Park’s main strategic document. The Management Plan (in English) defines the vision and mission of the Park, zoning and Park conservation objectives and measures. The plan is drawn up for a period of 10 years and is implemented through annual Protection, maintenance, conservation, promotion and utilization programs.
Vision of the Park
The Northern Velebit National Park is recognizable by its preserved biodiversity, richness of the natural phenomena and experience of pristine wilderness. It is a space for gaining new experiences and the stronghold of sustainable development for the surrounding local communities, based on traditional practices.
Institution management bodies
National Park Public institution management bodies are the Governing Board, the Director General and the Conservation Manager.
The Governing Board manages the Park and draws up all the important management-related documents and decisions. It comprises five members who are appointed by the Minister of Environmental and Nature Protection. The Governing Board takes its decisions at Governing Board meetings. The members of the Governing Board of The Northern Velebit National Park are:
The Director General organizes and governs the operation of the National Park, represents the Park and takes care that the Park’s work plan and financial plan are implemented. The Director General of the Northern Velebit National Park is Mirjana Javor.
The Conservation Manager manages the Park’s conservation tasks, coordinates all research activities within the Park and supervises their implementation, monitors and proposes natural values and cultural heritage preservation and protection actions. The Conservation Manager of the Northern Velebit National Park is Svjetlana Lupret-Obradović.
Organization and work of the Institution
The National Park organization is set forth in the Public Institution's Internal Structure and Operating rules (in Croatian) . The organizational structure consists of four departments:
Currently the Park employs 17 staff members. Our main activities include daily supervision of the park grounds which is done by our park rangers. Conservation staff work together with scientists in listing and presenting the natural and cultural wealth of the Park and prepare programs for their monitoring and protection. The Park is open to visitors and serves recreational purposes, which is why we pay a lot of attention to educating visitors and the general public by holding presentations and exhibitions, organizing guided tours and setting up educational trails, by printing guidebooks, commemorating important dates related to nature and environmental protection etc. In our work, we cooperate with many scientific and specialist institutions, the local community, NGOs, schools, companies and the tourist sector.
The National Park operates under the Public Institution's Charter (in Croatian) and other internal acts of the Institution. The National Park is funded from the central government budget trough the line Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection. To a smaller extent, we rely for funding on entrance fees, providing services and the sale of souvenirs. For specific projects and actions we have been able to find sponsors inclined to support nature conservation.