Saturday, 11 July 2020
Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.


The European Commission presented the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 - Bringing nature back into our lives, which is one of the key elements of the European Green Plan, a new European strategy for achieving the sustainability of the European economy.

Nature is just as important for mental and physical well-being as it is for society’s ability to cope with global change, health threats and disasters. It was the COVID-19 pandemic that raised awareness of the connection between human health and ecosystems, supply chains and consumption patterns. Protecting and restoring biodiversity and functioning ecosystems are a key part of responding to the global health and environmental crisis and an important aspect for ensuring the long-term survival and well-being of our societies and for strengthening our resilience and preventing the emergence and spread of future diseases, as Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy writes.

-I welcome the presentation of the Strategy during our presidency of the Council of the European Union, which in these circumstances is more relevant than ever - said the Minister of Environmental Protection and Energy Tomislav Coric, adding that he hopes that the ambitions from the Strategy will be transferred globally.

Protecting, restoring and conserving nature will be crucial factors in Europe's recovery from the economic crisis. That is why on March 26th, the Heads of State and Government of the European Union called on the European Commission to start working on the comprehensive recovery plan for the European Union, which includes green transition and digital transformation.

You can see the Strategy here.

An earthquake of 5.8 magnitude was recorded in the first hours of Thursday in the central part of the Mediterranean Sea, and it was also felt in Dubrovnik – Slobodna Dalmacija reports.

According to a report by the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC), the erarthquake occurred just before 2 am CET. The epicenter was about 240 kilometers southwest of the Greek province of Methoni, and the hypocenter was at a depth of 10 kilometers.

According to testimonies from the EMSC internet portal, the earthquake was felt by the inhabitants of many Mediterranean countries, and in Croatia it was felt by the people of Dubrovnik, even though they were 846 km away from the epicenter – Slobodna Dalmacija writes.

One of the most read American daily newspapers, The New York Times, whose online edition is followed by over five million subscribers, ranked Dubrovnik among the top 11 tourist destinations in the world which, in the midst of the corona virus pandemic, were turned into peaceful places to live, Director of the Croatian Tourist Board Representation in New York Ina Rodin reported. 

As The New York Times writes, travel restrictions have turned 11 overtouristed destinations into quiet, almost unrecognizable places, even for those who live there. It’s a bittersweet experience for the people they talked to.

Apart from Dubrovnik, the selected "changed" destinations are Rome, Bali, Iceland, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Venice, Prague, Halong Bay in Vietnam and the Galapagos Islands. Locals shared their experiences, and the situation in his native Dubrovnik was described by Darko Perojevic, chef and owner of the restaurant "Azur".

Perojevic says that the Old Town of Dubrovnik, where he has lived most of his life, hasn’t been empty like this since the war and the eight-month shelling of Dubrovnik in 1991 and ’92 and that the citizens of Dubrovnik all have had some lingering sadness because the emptiness of the city is a reminder of that time.

As he explains, the situation here is bittersweet. Bitter, because of his business, but also sweet because there are many benefits, such as walking around town without crowds, children playing in the streets, meeting old friends…

-We’re not making money but we’ve got our town back to ourselves. We usually get kind of annoyed with all the tourists in Dubrovnik but people here are even back to loving cruise ships again – Perojevic said. 

You can see full interview with the owner of the Azur restaurant and read the stories from other countries in the original article HERE.

If we say Dubrovnik, what comes to your mind? Certainly many of you would answer the Old City or the City Walls. Well, there is a video that will make you feel like you are right there! 

Facebook page Outdoors Croatia, which shares amazing shots from our beautiful country and is followed by 44 thousand people, has published a truly mesmerizing video from the City Walls. Aerial shots of Dubrovnik follow the runner and his dog truly enjoying the beauty of our city.

It's a good time to remind you that Dubrovnik City Walls ticket prices are cheaper nowdays


If you are missing travel and especially if you are missing Dubrovnik, you must watch this video. Take a look at it below!


It's World Bee Day! In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly made a Decision to mark World Bee Day on May 20th with the aim of raising awareness of their importance and warning of a reduction in the number of bees in the world.

It is envisaged that World Bee Day will be marked through education and activities aimed at raising awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators, the dangers they face, as well as their contribution to sustainable development. The celebration of this day aims to strengthen measures aimed at protecting bees and other pollinators, which would make a significant contribution to solving problems related to the global food supply and the stopping of hunger in developing countries.

Of the greatest importance are wild pollinators, a diverse group of animals, the most important of which are bees, spray flies and butterflies. More than 2000 species of bees are known in Europe, and there is a particularly large diversity in the Mediterranean, while mountain habitats are home to the largest number of endemic bee species. It is important to note that honey bees, species that have been domesticated by man, although they contribute to pollination, cannot replace the role that wild pollinators play in pollination.

In the European Union, pollinators are necessary for the survival of 84 perccent of agricultural species, and 76 percent of food production depends on insect pollination. In terms of agricultural production alone, the contribution of pollinators is estimated at 15 billion euros per year. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), compiled as part of a comprehensive analysis of pollinator status, pollinators not only ensure food safety but also engage in economic activities worth 577 billion dollars. This analysis indicated that the diversity and abundance of wild bees and other pollinators are declining in many regions of the world, and that many species are endangered. This is in line with scientific knowledge about the decline in biomass and the diversity of many groups of insects. Therefore, it is crucial to stop the loss of biodiversity.
The causes of bee endangerment are the disappearance and fragmentation of habitats associated with changes in land use, then climate change and intensive agriculture. A European Parliament resolution on the EU Pollinator Initiative, adopted in December last year, draws attention to the impact of pesticide use on domestic and wild bees, especially neonicotinoids, which have been shown to be harmful to bees. By encouraging sustainable agricultural practices, including reducing the use of pesticides and retaining natural vegetation on parts of agricultural land, as well as planting native vegetation on urban and other anthropogenic green areas, it can be contributed to the struggle for bee survival and thus for our own survival.

Based on the assessment according to the European Red List of Bees, made in 2014, depending on the region, there are between 315 and 555 species of bees in Croatia, of which the most endangered species are bumblebees and solitary bees, Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy writes.

A video conference of the Ministers of Tourism of the EU Member States will be held at 2 pm to discuss coordinated action in the implementation of the European Commission's Tourism and Transport Package, as well as the ways of contribution by the ministers responsible for tourism of EU member states in discussions on the Recovery Plan.

All topics are related to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) on the tourism sector, which were also discussed at the previous conference of tourism ministers held on April 27th.

As it was emphasized during the first videoconference, the tourism sector will need significant and adequate financial support in the short, medium and long term, and a joint Recovery Plan defines key areas for action.

As one of the sectors most affected by the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic and identified as one of the 14 key industrial ecosystems in Europe, the videoconference will discuss financial support for tourism and plans for its recovery this and next years.

At the session of the Small Council, the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities decided today to lower the ticket prices for the City Walls from the current 200 kuna to 50 kuna, confirmed the president of the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities Niko Kapetanic for Dubrovacki vjesnik.

Kapetanic pointed out that the lower price will be valid until June 30th, and depending on the development of the epidemiological situation, in agreement with the City of Dubrovnik, it will be decided how to proceed further.

-While the corona lasts, these will be the prices, and when the danger passes, we will return the prices to the old ones. After all, foreigners tell us that the price of 200 kuna is acceptable to them. At a lower price, we would show that we don't have respect for our own sights - said Kapetanic for Dubrovacki vjesnik and added that the amount of 50 kuna will be valid for foreign visitors and citizens of the Republic of Croatia, except for residents of Dubrovnik-Neretva County who have free entry to the walls.

The decision on the lower price list will be implemented as early as tomorrow, May 20th. A visit to Sokol Tower, the Rector's Palace and the Ston Walls, which are open from May 11th, will cost 30 kuna, also until the end of June.

In an interview with Die Welt, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic spoke about the fight against coronavirus epidemics in Croatia and at the European level, as well as the reactivation of the economy and the tourist season in Croatia.

As Die Welt stated, tourism is extremely important for Croatia and toruists usually crowd on the beaches of the Adriatic. They asked the Prime Minister about this year's expectations.
- We are optimistic. Of course, we do not expect the same number of tourists as in previous years. The last two years of the season were record-breaking: in 2019 alone, our country was visited by 20 million tourists, mostly from EU countries. Our hotels, holiday homes and beaches are well prepared this year as well. They are just waiting for a signal to start, but in a new epidemiological context – Plenkovic explained.

When asked about the risk of importing the virus again, Prime Minister explained that his and European Commission's most important concern was to harmonize the epidemilogical situation.

-The virus has proven to be a very dangerous enemy. That is why we must rely on the credibility of the data and the responsible behavior of those who cross borders. We don't need only responsible hosts, but also responsible tourists. I believe that the risk can be limited if people will behave wisely. We all just have to be a little more careful – Plenkovic said, among the other things, in the interview for Die Welt, which Government published on their official website.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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