The goal of the project is to raise awareness of the need to protect water resources and to promote eco-tourism and tourism based on the principles of sustainability in the interior of the country.

A project which encourages continental eco-tourism and promotes awareness of the importance to preserve Croatia's water resources, i.e. the Our Beautiful Sava project, has been initiated for the fourth time.

Along with the already traditional Sava Fairs, which bring together people living along the banks of this beautiful river, this year's project goes one step further with the introduction of the website www.lijepanasasava.hr. The site will make it possible for all those who are not able to visit one of the fairs to learn about the project itself as well as numerous other interesting facts about the Sava River.

The fairs, which will be held in Zagreb June 3-5, in Županja on June 11, in Sisak on June 18 and in Slavonski Brod on July 1, will offer visitors numerous novelties this year. The first fair, which will take place in Zagreb, will last three days this year, and it will be held within the framework of the traditional international garden show Floraart. The central fair day will be Saturday, June 4, when the cultural/artist societies "Horvati" from Zagreb and "Matija Antun Relković" from Davor will revive Sava songs and melodies together with tamburitza groups from Županja between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Sava Fair in Zagreb, which marked as many as 5,000 visitors last year, will thus offer an extra treat this year, along with the exhibition "Life Along the Sava River Over the Centuries" and a fish stew tasting.

At all Sava Fairs, visitors will be able to enjoy the educational and entertaining workshops "Visible and Invisible Water World" organized by Hrvatske vode, while each fair will have its own characteristics. Thus the Sava Fair in Županja on June 11 will delight the youngest visitors with the Children's Herdsmen Games, the slightly older visitors with handicrafts and traditional harvest dishes. In Sisak, the fair will join forces with traditional June meetings on June 18. Apart from this, one of the new partners of the project, i.e. the Croatian Chamber of Economy, will present a nautical tourist guide for the Sava River in this city a couple of days earlier, on June 1.

A special surprise will await all those who will come to the project's final in Slavonski Brod on July 1. Apart from the popular Fišijada, the city's fish stew competition, visitors will also be able to attend a concert by the most famous domestic folk ensemble Lado. On this occasion, this new partner of the Our Beautiful Sava project will perform a number of forgotten Sava songs and melodies for the first time.

The beginning of this socially responsible project, which was initiated through a partnership between competent ministries, the International Sava River Basin Commission and Coca‑Cola Croatia, was marked this year by a presentation at the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure.

The host, Janko Brnardić, the head of the Directorate for Inland Waterway Navigation, pointed out on this occasion that the revival of the river's waterway was of a strategic interest to Croatia. "In the media it often seems that the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure is not for the protection of river because it wants it to be used as a waterway, but the documents we are passing vouch not only for navigation on the river, but also for sustainable development", explained Brnardić, adding that a project for the construction of an important waterway on the Sava could begin in mid-2013.

The importance of the Sava River is also proven by the fact that the further development of the river's basin will be decided by an agreement between the countries through which the river flows. Dejan Komatina, International Sava River Basin Commission secretary, explained that ministers from the countries in which the Sava River basin is situated would meet on Brdo close to Kranj on June 1 in order to discuss a new strategy and action plan for future development.
"The Our Beautiful Sava project is a project that doesn't only promote the extraordinary value and potential of the Sava basin, but also sustainable development, and this is the key message which has to be kept in mind", said Komatina. The head of the Water Policy and International Project Directorate at the Ministry of Regional Development, Forestry and Water Management, Ružica Drmić, agrees that water protection is the joint duty of everyone.

"There has been a lot of interest amongst people, and the best results are achieved through cooperation and by offering various contents", she pointed out. How important the area along the Sava River is for the entire country was explained by Rajko Ružička, assistant to the director of the Agriculture, Food Industry and Forestry Sector at the Croatian Chamber of Economy. As he explained to those gathered, around 1.6 million people live along the Sava River in Croatia, while some 32,000 companies do business along the river.

"People often say that water is the oil of the future, thus the Croatian Chamber of Economy has recognised the significance of this project and is pleased to be part of it for the second consecutive year", said Ružička. Above cooperation, which is certainly key to the success of the project, is also reflected in the fact that the project has nine times more partners this year than at the time when Coca‑Cola HBC Croatia launched the project four years ago.

"For a number of years we have been striving to invest in the protection of water resources, but also in the local communities in which these resources are situated. The results we have been achieving show that we are on the right track", concluded Boška Trbojević, the director of the Communication and Public Relations Department at Coca‑Cola HBC Croatia. On the national level, the project Our Beautiful Sava is supported by the Croatian National Tourist Board and Hrvatski farmer (a company for rural development and marketing).

Contact:

Igor Ćutuk, Public Affairs Supervisor
Coca‑Cola HBC Croatia
phone 01 2480 167
fax 01 2480 505
e-mail igor.cutuk@cchellenic.com