Country Profiles

Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection Council

Savjet za održivi razvoj i zaštitu okoliša (SORZO)


Name: Dr. Branka Pivcevic-Novak

Position: Head of Department for General Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection

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Phone: +385 1 3717283


SORZCO c/o Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction
Ulica Republike Austrije 14
HR-10000 Zagreb
Hrvatska (Croatia)



Mission Statement

‘The Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection Council was established for the purpose of achieving coordinated and harmonised economic development in the context of environmental protection and ensuring conditions for sustainable development, as well as for the continuity of the professional and scientific basis for the regulation of certain issues in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development.’

Composition and Membership

SORZO replaced the Croatian Council for Environmental Protection (SAZO, 2001-08) by Government Decision pursuant to the Croatian Environmental Protection Act, widening the council remit to include SD.

Chair: Natalija Koprivanac.

SORZO comprises nine Members, from a range of relevant civil society/NGO organisations, including one UNEP member. There is no fixed term of appointment.

SORZO has an appointed administrative secretary but no other managerial or administrative staff and is otherwise coordinated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction. SORZO forms temporary expert working groups for specific tasks, thereby drawing on resources and expert input from outside appointed members.

List of Council Members

Role and Functions

  • advising on government policy or making policy recommendations, including NSDS.

SORZO delivers opinion and provides assessment, advice and proposals on existing and potential Government policy, delivered as unanimous recommendations adopted by the Council. Under the Environmental Protection Act all aspects of environmental protection policy must be seen by SORZO prior to submission for approval by Government and Parliament.

The Council represents a forum for discussion and strategic questions and operates in a responsive, supervisory mode. It does not (directly) initiate action.


Recent Activities

Specific current and future priorities include:

    • Engagement in preparations for Rio+20;
    • Actions Plans connected to the Croation NSDS, the application of the Directive on Marine Strategy, and engagement in the development of the Action Plan for the Adriatic Sea;
    • Positions on documents relevant to the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the EU;
    • Proposals for the development and/or revision of relevant national sustainable development policy and legal instruments; and
    • To perform other tasks assigned to it by the Government or the Minister.

Publications and events:

    • Enhancement of the influence of SORZO on the sustainable development and environmental protection in Croatia, discussion and recommendations (March 2009);
    • Organisation of the EEAC Annual Conference 2009 (Dubrovnik, 23 October 2009), organisation (January-October 2009), and EEAC special event "Environmental Risks of Oil and Gas Transport by tankers in the Adriatic and Management Solutions" (Dubrovnik, 22 October 2009); and
    • Action plans for the implementation of the Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Republic of Croatia, discussion and recommendations (June 2009).

On average, 10 to 12 Council sessions are planned per year. All decisions have to be reached in plenary.