Zlarin Island Leaf Expansion (ILEX) (Udruga Tatavaka)

  • Veće poštovanje ljudi prema prirodi

  • Poslovne organizacije sve više usmjeravaju svoje djelovanje prema zaštiti prirode

  • Promjene u javnom ponašanju i svijesti građana koje izravno čuvaju, štite i obnavljaju prirodni svijet

€5.200 awarded

Project duration: 08/2023 – 03/2024 

Status: ON-GOING 


The challenge

Holm oak forests, indigenous to the Croatian Mediterranean region, are highly adapted to the Mediterranean climate, particularly drought conditions. These dense, evergreen forests boast a unique microclimate that regulates climate extremes, contributing to their resilience against wildfires. However, anthropogenic activities, driven by the high-quality wood of holm oak for construction and heating, have led to extensive degradation along the Dalmatian coast. Centuries of exploitation, including clear-cutting, have hindered natural recovery, as holm oak saplings require shade and ample soil depth to thrive. This degradation poses a significant threat to the biodiversity of the region, emphasizing the urgent need for conservation efforts.

The solution

The Zlarin ILEX project marks the initial phase in establishing a robust Quercus ilex (holm oak) forest on Zlarin Island, aimed at enhancing the island’s resilience to climate change and wildfire events. Tatavaka, through this initiative, intends to raise awareness among the local community regarding the value of holm oak forests for Zlarin’s ecosystem and the necessity of their preservation. The project involves creating conducive conditions for holm oak growth through participatory preparation and planting volunteering actions. Additionally, Tatavaka will implement a holm oak reforestation program, caring for existing Aleppo pine forests that facilitate favorable conditions for holm oak saplings. Education on the significance of holm oak forests and the importance of conservation efforts will be integral in preventing further degradation.

Project deliverables

  • Defining the location of the forestation
  • Forest expert’s assessment of the chosen terrain, addressing the state of thickness and health of the Aleppo pine forest and its soil, with recommendations for terrain preparation for planting. This assessment forms the basis for determining steps for terrain preparation and planting.
  • Informative educational lecture for adults and two workshops for children organized and conducted.
  • Volunteer actions conducted to prepare the terrain for forestation, including removal of weeds, undergrowth, and bushes from the Aleppo pine forest, cutting down trees infected with bark beetles, removal of nests of the pine weevil, and caring for saplings under the cover of old growth.
  • Organized tree planting volunteer action.


Insight into the organization

Tatavaka, established in 2010 by young activists from Zlarin, is committed to promoting sustainable living, transitioning society to a circular economy, and protecting the environment. Collaborating with the Zlarin Tourist Board and local organizations, Tatavaka leads initiatives to create a sustainable island, beginning with the elimination of single-use plastic. Expanding beyond Zlarin, Tatavaka implements educational programs on climate change and sustainability throughout Croatia, working with various institutions and organizations. Through partnerships with governmental bodies, embassies, schools, and NGOs, Tatavaka is dedicated to driving positive social change towards sustainability.