Sustainable tourism in the Carpathians is currently gaining more and more momentum. It is true, especially now, when the number of visitors in nature is growing and local economies require new impulses. In order to support this transformation, the European Wilderness Society is involved the implementation of the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention).
Please also read: Carpathians Sustainable Tourism Center
Sustainable tourism protocol and the Strategy
One of the Carpathian Convention’s protocols is the Sustainable Tourism Protocol. For its implementation, experts developed the Strategy for the sustainable tourism Development of the Carpathians. This strategy has three objectives. One of them being the establishment of a continuous process of awareness raising, capacity building, education and training on sustainable tourism development and management at all levels. In support of this objective, the European Wilderness Society is involved in the project “Ensuring sustainable tourism development in Ukrainian Carpathians” in Ukraine.
Sustainable tourism school and mentoring
This project in Ukraine includes the establishment and implementation of the “Sustainable Green Tourism School”. The project partners established an online education format to organise this school. Furthermore, involved experts offer mentoring support to the personnel of the Sustainable Tourism Center of the Ukrainian Carpathians.
Topics covered by the European Wilderness Society include:
- Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians
- Investments and funding involvement to the sustainable tourism and nature conservation projects
- Tourism in protected areas
- Respect nature and its implementation in Ukraine
The European Wilderness Society also presented other international projects that are taking place in the Carpathian region. For example, the Interreg Central Europe projects Centralparks, BEECH POWER, where the organisation is leading the communication. Furthermore, the project Clean up National Nature Park “Synevyr”, which is co-funded by EOCA, was presented during the online school.
Experts and conservationists consider the Interreg Central Europe project Centralparks as a Carpathian Convention flagship project. The Carpathian Convention therefore also supports its further implementation. The project aims to reconcile nature conservation and local socio-economic development. It also aims to ensure the support and better involvement of local communities. In addition, the project includes the development of a strategy for local sustainable tourism development, based on natural and cultural heritage of the Carpathians.
The European Wilderness Society contributed to the development and implementation of the curricula of the “Sustainable Green Tourism School” jointly with eight other Ukrainian experts. By providing mentoring support to the Sustainable Tourism Center of the Ukrainian Carpathians, as well as to the online-school participants, it was clear that there is an interest to learn more about sustainable tourism. Moreover, the need to educate a broader public, including students, authorities and even school children was highlighted. Therefore, the European Wilderness Society continues to look for new projects and consortia to further support the implementation of the Carpathian Convention Sustainable Tourism protocol.