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Explore Cross-border Aquatic Biodiversity – EXChAngE

Explore Cross-border Aquatic Biodiversity – EXChAngE

About project

  • Project title and acronym: Explore Cross-border Aquatic Biodiversity – EXChAngE
  • Description of the project: Project is developing a new cross-border tourism product – the Blue Pass, which enables visits of new thematic routes: Dubrovnik and Aquarium (CRO), Kotor and Aquarium Boka (MNE), Hutovo Blato Aqua Path, and Mostar Old Bridge and River Neretva (BiH), and attracts more tourists in the area
  • Total project budget (in EUR): 1.686.047,15
  • EU co-financing amount (in EUR): 1.433.140,05
  • Duration of the project: 15.08.2020 – 14.08.2022
  • Information on the project’s Priority Axis: Contributing to the development of tourism and preserving cultural and natural heritage

Name of the Lead Partner and Project Partners and description of their roles within the project:

  • University of Dubrovnik (LP): Work package (WP): Management and trainings.
  • Tourist Organisation of Kotor (PP2): WP Implementation, in particular digital services and trainings.
  • The University of Montenegro, Institute of Marine Biology (PP3): WP Management and graphic design.
  • Tourist Board of Herzegovina – Neretva Canton (PP4): WP Investment and trainings.
  • Public Company Hutovo Blato Nature Park, Čapljina (PP5): WP Communication.

A reference to the Programme webpage:

A reference to relevant Funds: The project is co-financed by ERDF and IPA II funds of the European Union

Project website

On the project main objective, Dr. Nenad Antolović, the Head of the Institute for Marine and Coastal Research of the University of Dubrovnik – the lead partner, said, “Activities will be implemented with the main objective to strengthen and diversify the tourism offer through exploring cross-border aquatic biodiversity and to enable better management and sustainable use of cultural and natural heritage.”


The University of Dubrovnik, the Institute for Marine and Coastal Research

The core competencies of the Institute are marine biodiversity, ecology, and management of the Aquarium. Recent results detect environmental conditions in the cross-border Croatia – Montenegro region and rural educational, cultural, and ethnographic tourist attractions.

Tourism Organization Kotor

TO Kotor main role and activities are preservation, improvement, and promotion of authentic values of Kotor town; organization and promotion of traditional manifestations and all other kinds of events that contribute to the enrichment of tourist offer; encouragement and organization of activities aimed at protecting and preserving the tourist space, the environment, and cultural heritage; valorization of all resources that Kotor town possess in order to enrich its tourist offer and product.

The University of Montenegro, the Institute of Marine Biology

Core competencies of IMB are focused on research in the fields of mariculture, marine conservation, ichthyology and marine fisheries, chemistry, general biology, neurophysiology and ecophysiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Recent results present the marine biodiversity of Boka Kotorska bay and provide inputs for the National Strategy for Integrated Coastal Zone Management of Montenegro.

Tourist Board of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton

Since its establishment in 2002 TBHNC creates and promotes the identity and reputation of tourism of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton. TBHNC is active in advertising activities of common interest for all entities in tourism, and for raising the level of quality and the overall tourist offer of the Canton.

Nature Park Hutovo Blato

Main activities of “Nature Park Hutovo Blato” d.o.o. Čapljina are protection, preservation, improvement, sustainable management, and promotion of Hutovo Blato swamp as a nature park, primarily through tourism and fishing and cultural heritage presentation.

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