22.12.2021.The opening ceremony of the Geo-Info Centre of Papuk Nature Park was held today in Voćin, where the visitors will be able to experience the rich history of the area in a multimedia environment. The centre will open for the public in January, offering them the opportunity to see the sabre-toothed cat, the giant octopus, Miocene sharks, or touch dinosaur teeth.
“The Geo-Info Centre is an HRK 40 million project, and it is part of the UNESCO Geopark Geostories project worth in total more than 90 million. Through the project we have provided for the necessary infrastructure, built the adrenalin park, renovated the Pannonian Sea House, and we also implemented a series of smaller-scale projects, and the visitors honoured this as more than 60 thousand of them visited Papuk this year,” said the manager of Papuk Nature Park Alen Jurenac.
The project is financed from EU funds with 85% under the OP “Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014 -2020”, and the remaining 15% was provided by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund. “This is one of a series of successful projects the Fund has implemented in cooperation with the Public Institution Papuk Nature Park,” said Vlatka Gulan Zetić from the Environmental Protection Sector at the Fund. “Papuk Nature Park is specific in many aspects, and it must be protected and preserved. What makes this project particularly important is that the model of sustainable management of natural resources; the infrastructure is boosted on the one hand, and on the other the visitors’ awareness of the importance of nature protection,” concluded Gulan Zetić.
Igor Kreitmeyer, the director of the Nature Protection Directorate at the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development pointed out that these projects were fusing cultural and natural heritage. “We are much better prepared for the next programming period, and I am convinced we have proved ourselves and our ability to carry through any goals we set,” he said.
The minister of regional development and EU funds, Nataša Tramišak, acting as envoy of the president of the Croatian Government Andrej Plenković, concurred. “In the last few years, we have invested more than 3bn kunas from the European funds in the natural and cultural heritage, with nine projects in the area of Virovitica-Podravina County. These projects put a new perspective on the development of tourism and the overall economic development of the area,” said Tramišak and congratulated the County on successful completion of the projects.
The mayor of Municipality Voćin, Predrag Filić, expressed his pleasure with the development of the tourist infrastructure, and the importance of the new location on the tourist map was highlighted by county mayor Igor Andrović.
Present at the opening ceremony, along with the representatives of Papuk Nature Park and the companies that participated in the construction, supervision, and equipping of the Geo-Info Centre, headed by the design engineer Ivana Pancirov, were MP Josip Đakić, MP Vesna Bedeković, chief advisor of the minister of economy and sustainable development Anja Bagarić, the mayor of Orahovica Saša Rister, the member of the Board of Hrvatske šume Igor Fazekaš, managers of public institutions and of tourism boards.