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Contemporary socio-geographic issues of small Croatian islands – the example of Žirje Island, Croatia

Croatian Geographical Society - Zadar, Department of Geography, University of Zadar
Publication Date
  • Žirje
  • Hrvatski Otoci
  • Depopulacija
  • Deagrarizacija
  • Mijene Krajolika
  • Žirje Island
  • Croatian Islands
  • Depopulation
  • Deagrarization
  • Landscape Changes
  • Economics


The processes of deagrarization and depopulation have been present on Croatian islands (particularly on smaller and remoter ones) for several decades and they have disrupted demographic and economic basis of the islands. Scarce and generally old population on the island has mostly abandoned traditional economic activities, as well as different forms of specific way of life, particularly Mediterranean insular culture that was being formed for thousands of years. These socio-geographic changes had also repercussions on transformation of insular landscape. Žirje Island in Šibenik archipelago is a good example of contemporary socio-geographic changes and transformation of the Croatian insular area in general. Negative socio-economic processes on Žirje Island are particularly stressed because its southern part was completely isolated for the purpose of building military infrastructure and stationing the troops of the ex-Yugoslav army. Contemporary initial, but extremely uncontrolled development of tourism has become a serious threat to insular landscape, so the local population has demanded that state and county administration should take immediate steps for protecting the southwestern part of the island (Stupica) and proclaim it protected landscape.

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