The city of Pula in Croatia has become the first on the global stage to receive the Friend of the Sea Sustainable City Award. This special recognition was delivered on Friday, June 17th, 2022, by the Founder and Director of the international certification program, Paolo Bray. The award praises the city’s efforts to preserve the environment and improve its citizens’ quality of life by embracing sustainable solutions.
The Croatian city stands out for its many sustainable initiatives to increase environmentally responsible behaviors among its citizens and promote nature conservation. The award was received by the Head of the Administrative Department for Local Self-Government of the City of Pula, Anja Ademi.
Friend of the Sea, a project from the World Sustainability Organization that promotes sustainable practices for protecting the marine ecosystem, has recognized the City of Pula for its commitment to preserve and protect the environment and its species.
“We recognize the city of Pula’s impressive record in adopting sustainable practices and marine conservation initiatives. For this reason, we decided to award it with the Friend of the Sea placard”, said Paolo Bray, Founder and Director of the World Sustainability Organization.
“Hopefully, this recognition will present additional motivation for local companies, organizations, and operators to seek further improvements in the domain of environmental awareness and spur them to apply for the Friend of the Sea certificate,” Dr. Bray adds.
The City of Pula is also among the 100 most sustainable destinations in the world, demonstrating its ability to work with all its stakeholders, particularly environmentally conscious companies, individuals, and associations committed to adopting sustainability.
Recently, the incumbent mayor of Pula, Filip Zoričić, pledged to involve companies and operators to move toward sustainable practices by 2025.
Numerous initiatives have been carried out over the past years to improve the state of the environment in Pula, in particular, to address the climate crisis.
Apart from the City of Pula, on June 17th, Friend of the Sea also awarded the Sustainable Aquarium certification to the Pula Aquarium for its contribution to promoting environmental policies and animal welfare. During the official ceremony, a sea turtle rehabilitated in the Aquarium’s Rescue Center was released into the sea at Ambrela beach.
Ambrela beach, one of the city’s most popular seaside spots, is currently undergoing the last stages of the certification process to receive the Friend of the Sea Sustainable Beaches label. The requirements include complying with proper waste disposal, environmental awareness, the absence of disposable plastic, water quality, and respect for the natural ecosystem.
Some of the activities that the city of Pula has implemented to improve the environmental conditions, particularly in the domain of climate change mitigation, include: the establishment and continuous improvement of the waste management system, a green model of storm water drainage in urban areas, rainwater generation gardens, new eco-buses that use compressed natural gas, sustainable public transport options with electric bicycles and electric scooters,
continuous expansion of bicycle path networks and enrichment with new facilities (including smart benches and charging stations), as well as the implementation of energy renovation projects of buildings and many educational initiatives.
In addition to the already implemented activities, the city of Pula plans to introduce other environmentally friendly measures such as co-financing the purchase of energy-saving devices and the installation of solar panels.
The World Sustainability Organization is an international non-governmental organization whose goal is to mainstream sustainability to protect the planet and endangered species by encouraging businesses to adopt environmentally responsible practices through its two main certification programs – Friend of the Sea and Friend of the Earth.