Centralparks: sustainable tourism development and biodiversity protection in Carpathians

Centralparks: sustainable tourism development and biodiversity protection in Carpathians

Centralparks is one of the key Carpathian projects, which supports the implementation of the Carpathian Convention  Protocol on Sustainable Tourism (2011) and Protocol on Conservation and sustainable use of biological and landscape diversity (2008).

Centralparks aim and objectives

Centralparks project aims to:

  • improve integrated environmental management capacities of Carpathian protected areas for the protection and sustainable use of natural heritage and resources
  • reconcile nature conservation and local socio-economic development, as well as to ensure the support and better involve local communities.

The Strategy for local sustainable tourism development based on natural and cultural heritage of the Carpathians (hereafter –Strategy)  was developed in the framework of the project. This Strategy has 3 strategic objectives in environmental, social and economic dimensions, among which:

  • managing tourism impacts on the fragile mountains ecosystems of the Carpathians
  • cooperation for the local sustainable tourism development
  • ensuring economic stability of the local tourism services sector etc.

More information can be found in the presentation: here.

The Strategy was submitted to the Parties of the Carpathian Convention on 10th June 2021. Moreover, workshops and the Strategy testing in the Carpathian pilot regions took place.

Workshops in Magura region, Poland

One of the Centralpark pilot areas is Magura region in Poland.

A series of 4 thematic workshops for local stakeholders were held in October 2021 in the Magura region of Poland, in the frame of the Centralparks pilot action. Thematic workshops were aimed at testing the draft of the Strategy at the local and regional level, according to one of the priorities of the current Polish Presidency of the Carpathian Convention.

On 9th December 2021 the representatives of local municipality authorities and Magura National Park administration, other relevant local stakeholders, and Centralparks experts on sustainable tourism met again at the national park education and visitor centre in Krempna (Poland). This additional consultation meeting was organized due to the demand of local actors and stakeholders, involving seven municipalities sharing the national park external buffer zone. The local strategy for the Magura region shall be finalized by the end of January 2022. It will allow its integration with the new local development strategies for the period 2022-2030, to be elaborated and adopted next year by the 7 municipalities surrounding Magura National Park.

Gems of Gemer, Slovak Republic

Gems of Gemer – how to use the opportunities of local sustainable tourism? This question and many more were discussed at the workshop in Veľké Teriakovce on 27th October 2021. The workshop was organized by the State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, the Administration of the Protected Landscape Area Cerová vrchovina and the NGO PRONATUR. Participants discussed the resent outcomes of the qualitative visitor satisfaction survey carried out in the Protected Landscape Area Cerová vrchovina. The Education and Information Centre Bílé Karpaty, Centralparks project partner from Czechia, gave an enthusiastic interactive presentation of their experience with local guiding in the Bílé Karpaty, sparked a constructive discussion which brought up many stimulating ideas, questions and challenges of how to work together to create sustainable nature tourism in the Carpathians and specifically in Gemer. The participants expressed their interest in the next steps of implementation of the Local Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy in the Carpathians.

Carpathian network of protected areas and sustainable tourism

According to the opinion of Carpathian Network of Protected areas members, Tourism management is one of the most urgent topics for the common projects at the Carpathian scale. Therefore, Centralparks project outcomes and outputs can significantly contribute to its further development.

Centralparks Final conference

Centralparks Final conference, which  will take place on 23-24 of March, 2022 in Wieliczka, Poland. Registration will start in February.

We hope that the Centralparks and its final conference will serve as a common ground for further joint sustainable tourism development and implementation in every Carpathian country.

Hanna Ollos, Centralparks communication manager

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