A Resource for Sustainable Development: the case of Croatia


  • Jasen Mesić

    1. Jasen Mesić is the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia. He was formerly part of the Delegation of Croatia, which participated at four expert meetings on the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. A member of the ICOMOS International Committee on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, he has engaged in the protection of Croatian underwater cultural heritage throughout the Adriatic coast of Croatia and the region, encouraging the development of protective legislation. His support enabled the creation of the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology, which opened in Zadar in 2007, for the benefit of European countries and the Mediterranean region.
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The Mediterranean has since earliest times acted as witness to commercial exchanges, political conflicts, naval battles and forms of colonization which have forged a common history, the remains of which rest on the seabed of the Adriatic. The richness of this underwater cultural heritage is attested to by the more than 300 Graeco-Roman wrecks documented beneath Croatian waters. Today, the thousands of islands in the region have become a genuine tourist attraction, and the protection of this cultural heritage has become a matter of paramount importance. Croatia has worked in an exemplary fashion to manage public access to this heritage, ensuring the sustainable development of the sites for the benefit of all.