(WHY DO WE EXIST)
PROTECTED LANDSCAPES THAT ARE DISAPPEARING, NATURAL AND CULTURAL VALUES,
GOOD PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUPPORTING NATURE PROTECTION
AND BIO-DIVERSITY IN OUR COUNTY.
PEOPLE AWARE OF THE VALUE OF CLEAN NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT AS WELL AS CULTURAL HERITAGE.
PROTECTED AUTOCHTONIC SPECIES AND TRADITIONAL BREEDING PRACTICES.
There are several alluvial depressions in Gajna which accumulate and retain water after the main body retreats into the Sava river during the regularly occurring floods in spring and autumn. The project that was prepared by the BED attempted to retain water in the depressions throughout the year and thus renew the watery, plant and animal life of the marshes. The technical implementation of this idea is made possible by the Lateral channel that intersects Gajna in its western part. The Lateral channel gathers water from Dilj, through Slavonski Brod and to Dakovo, makes its way over Bid, thus directly draining water into the Sava River. This area is mostly hilly terrain, covered with forests, making the Lateral Channel free of any significant pollution and relatively pure. The dam at the Lateral Channel and the system of channels enables water to be admitted into the Gajna marsh. The main indicator of the quality of water in the marshes is the flourishing watery animal and plant world. While fish, frogs water snails, leeches etc remain abundant in Gajna, livestock is also assured of having pure water to drink The 'Gajna' project envisages the increase of the depth of the Velika (Large) Gajna swamp for one meter, 20 meters wide and for a length of 400 metres, in order to permanently keep it from drying out. The greatest undertakings, requiring the most human effort were aimed at erecting a dam at the Lateral Channel. Work was conducted in September 1990 with the participation of ecologists, hunters from Oprisavci and Poljanci, as well as inhabitants of these two villages. Reports on the implementation of the Gajna project formulated by the BED in 1991 reveal that Gajna was inhabited by many kinds oi marsh iowl (cranes, plungers cools, spoonbills, egrets, various species of ducks, swallows, river gulls, kingfishers, white storks, black storks,. .) and some of them roosted there (wild ducks, some marsh birds). Often, mention is made of the negative effect of humans on nature. This, however, is an unique project in the Republic oi Croatia whereas man has attempted to evert a "beneficent" effect in providing healthy water for livestock consumption, while at the same time allowing for the development of marsh flora and fauna, usually treated as just an useless side-effect. The attitude towards marshes and swamps is changing world-wide. Marshes are not considered as being a source of danger for man (snakes, frogs, lizards and mosquitoes), but are regarded even by laymen in the same way as by scientists and nature lovers. Marshes are natural habitats of many songbirds coastal and marsh-birds, various amphibians, lizards and mammals. The pollution of marshes allows for the survival only of dangerous bacteria algae and Kits, these species being the most resistant to defiling. In order to implement the Gajna project, it would be necessary to formulate a plan of management and increase the understanding of the local population to the effect that this is a part ol the cultural, local and national treasure of the Republic of Croatia, and to monitor and register the plant and animal species of Gajna and legally protect them from any current and future jeopardy.