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  • Constitution of the Republic of Croatia1, 1990

Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia states that “freedom, equal rights, national and gender equality, peace-making, social justice, respect for human rights, inviolability of ownership, conservation of nature and the environment, the rule of law and a democratic multiparty system are the highest values of the constitutional order of the Republic of Croatia.”

Article 52 states that “The sea, seashore, islands, waters, air space, mineral resources, and other natural assets, as well as land, forests, flora and fauna, other components of the natural environment, real estate and items of particular cultural, historical, economic or ecological significance which are specified by law to be of interest to the Republic of Croatia shall enjoy its special protection.
The manner in which any assets of interest to the Republic of Croatia may be used and exploited by holders of rights thereto and by their owners, as well as compensation for any restrictions as may be imposed thereon, shall be regulated by law.”

Article 70 states that “Everyone shall have the right to a healthy life. The state shall ensure conditions for a healthy environment. Everyone shall, within the scope of their powers and activities, accord particular attention to the protection of human health, nature and the human environment.”

The 1994 Law on Nature Protection was one of the first general law on environment protection in Croatia. It was repealed by the Nature Protection Act of 2003 which, among others, states in its third Article that: The nature protection objectives and tasks are:
- “to conserve and restore the existing biological and landscape diversity to a state of a natural balance and relations harmonized with human activities;
- to assess the state of nature and ensure monitoring of the state;
- to provide a system for the protection of natural values for the purpose of a lasting conservation of their features that form the basis for designating them protected;
- to provide a sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of the present and future generations without substantial degradation of nature parts and with the least possible disturbance to the balance of its components;
- to contribute to conservation of the natural state of the soil, conservation of water quality, quantity and availability, maintenance of the atmosphere, generation of oxygen and maintenance of the climate;
- to prevent harmful human activities and disturbances to nature as a consequence of technological development and performance of activities;
- to ensure the right of citizens to a healthy environment, rest and recreation in the open.”

The 1994 Law on Environmental Protection, according to the FAO Legal Office's website, “establishes the principles of environment protection in Croatia, provides a framework for further regulation with respect to environment protection and makes provision for the implementation of environment protection policies and plans and the administration of the environment.”

Croatia has also adopted a Strategy for Sustainable Development in 2009 and stated the principles for sustainable development: “(a) protection of human health; (b) promotion and protection of fundamental rights; (c) solidarity within and between generations; (d) open and democratic society; (e) involvement of citizens; (f) involvement of businesses and social partners; (g) corporate social responsibility; (h) integration of economic, social and environmental components into the development of all policies; (i) education for sustainable development; (j) coherence of policies at all government and self-government levels; (k) use of the best available technology; (l) renewal (for example, by reuse or recycling) of natural resources; (m) promotion of sustainable production and consumption; (n) precaution and prevention; (o) “polluter pays” for damages caused to the environment.”

1. The Constitution of Croatia is not currently available through the Constitutional Court's official website. However, an unofficial translated version with the amendments until 2010 can be accessed on the World Intellectual Property Organization's website.