The objective of the international interdisciplinary scientific conference “Sustainability of the karst environment - Dinaric karst and other karst regions”, organized by Centre for Karst, Gospić, Croatia, was to give a theoretical and practical contribution to the concept of sustainable development in karst regions, with a special emphasis on the experiences achieved in the Dinaric karst region. The exchange of information and findings obtained in other karst regions worldwide allows for an integral approach to this complex issue, and thereby contribute towards finding reliable solutions. The basic objective of the conference was to apply an interdisciplinary approach to scientifically assess the issues of sustainable development of all forms of karst.
The issue was approached from different perspectives, from those of a technical and biological nature, to those addressing the social aspects of environmental issues and life on the karst. The conference itself was held at the Plitvice Lakes (World Heritage Site), one of the most fascinating phenomena on Earth. During the conference, one half-day excursion was organized to visit National Park Plitvice Lakes. Following the conference, an excursion was organised to visit several other significant phenomena of the Dinaric karst in Croatia.
Conference themes were:
- Geological aspects
- Geomorphological aspects
- Hydrological and hydrogeological aspects
- Coastal and submerged karst
- Biological and ecological aspects of karst
- Anthropogenic impacts and protecting karst
- Sociological, demographic and social aspects of karst
- Dinaric karst and other karst regions (China, Alpine, Caribbean karst, etc.)
The publication will serve as a contribution to the VIIth Phase of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP 2008-2013) of UNESCO, which has endeavoured to address demands arising from a rapidly changing world.