Public Institution for the management of protected parts of nature and the ecological network of Virovitica-Podravina County was established on March 12, 2002 by Virovitica-Podravina County. The Public institution is independent in carrying out its activities and operations in accordance with the Law, the Statute of the Public institution and other general acts of the Public Institution.
Public institution for the management of protected parts of nature and the ecological network of Virovitica-Podravina County carries out its activity through the following activities:
- protection and preservation of natural values,
- cooperation and communication with the local community,
- education and interpretation,
- visiting and promotion,
- capacity building and enabling the work of the PI.
Areas managed by Public institution include the Mura-Drava Regional Park / the Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve, then the following protected areas:
- significant landscapes Križnica, Jelkaš and Širinski otok,
- the wetland habitat Vir,
- monuments of park architecture - parks in Virovitica, Suhopolje and Slatina, a group of trees in Noskovačka Dubrava, individual tree of Sequoia in Slatina
- and numerous Natura 2000 areas in Virovitica-Podravina County.
The PI also conducts regular activities in project preparation, monitoring of species and rescue of endangered species and returning to nature, of which the following are emphasized:
Preparation and application of projects that will contribute to the protection and preservation of the natural values of the VPC at the national and international level (The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, INTERREG Programmes, Calls for proposals of National Ministries); Monitoring of:
- white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla),
- white stork (Ciconia ciconia), black stork (Ciconia nigra),
- swallow (Hirundo rustica),
- woodpeckers (Dryocopus martius),
- snake's head fritillary (Fratillaria meleagris),
- the large copper (Lycaena dispar)
- and other butterflies’ species,
- stag beetle (Lucanus cervus),
- fish species and water habitats;
- and other plant and animal species in the VPC area,
with the aim of increasing monitoring of the number of species and habitats in the VPC area.
In the last years, the Public Institution has participated in the recovering, ringing and returning to nature of Natura 2000 protected species:
- white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla),
- white storks (Ciconia ciconia),
- and swans (Cygnus olor).
There were also recovering highly protected owl species – tawny owl (Strix aluco) and the Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo).
Apart from the participation of the Public Institution in numerous projects, the Public Institution organizes numerous public events and educational workshops with the aim of presenting and promoting the natural heritage, as well as raising public awareness of the importance of nature’s preservation and improvement. It is actively working with the Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Nature Conservation Inspectorate and other public institutions at the regional level as well as with public institutions of national parks and nature parks and non-governmental organizations at local, regional and international level.
Public institution of VPC is one of the founders of the international Association Green Belt of Europe, which includes 24 countries from Baltic to the Black Sea, and director of the Public institution of VPC is a member of the International Environmental Protection, Nature Conservation Committee of the Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve, the Subcommittee for the Nature conservation, National MAB committee and the pentalateral Ministerial Coordination Board (CB) for the establishment of the 5-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube.
Public institution is managing the Informative and educational centre – Hostel “The Drava story”, and designs contents and programs for visitors. Eight employees of the Public Institution of VPC participate in the implementation of all these activities.
The Public institution of VPC has its headquarters in Čađavica Municipality, in the village of Noskovci, in the former summer residence of Count Drašković (built in the 19th century) and reconstructed through several projects. The building measures 800 m2 on 3 floors – a basement area with future multimedia setup and bio-research station, ground floor with thematic arrangement of individual spaces (World of Owls, Flora, Corner of Butterflies, Birds singing room, Mammals, CITES educational corner and the Drava forest Fairies and Elves) and attic (accommodation space in 4 multiple bedrooms with 32 beds and 2 single rooms – a total of 34 beds). Additional features for facility users include the educational path “In the embrace of Drava”, opened in 2013, which is equipped with 20 info educational boards, a resting area and a bird-watching tower on the bank of the Drava River. The additional educational path was created in 2015 in the park that surrounds the Centre. The path presents the 27 types of trees and shrubs of this protected park.
There is a River’scool within the Informative and educative centre – hostel The Drava Story in Noskovci, constructed through the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme project coopMDD.
The Public institution is equipped with 44 bicycles for adults and 32 for children, together with the necessary bike equipment for cycling along the Drava River.
The main reason for participating in this project is to attract more visitors due to the development of infrastructure within the implemented project activities. Visitors and local population will have improved access to picturesque, almost untouched natural areas, as well as other potential tourists visiting places along the Drava River. With info and educational boards, we intend to increase public awareness of the importance of conserving exceptional biodiversity in areas of future pentalateral TRB MDD.