TrainingWilderness Network News

Online consulting for protected areas

Our recent highly successful Online Ranger training course inspired us to create even more joint online activities. The training course on ‘Tourism and Waste Management in Protected Areas’ opened new perspectives not only to us, but also to many participants. So, now we offer online consulting for protected areas!

On 30th June, the European Wilderness Society launched an online consulting for Ukrainian protected areas. The first protected area taking this offer was the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve (CBR). We already have a good cooperation with this institutio and now we are taking it another step forward to tackle challenges like:

  • Tourism and recreation
  • Waste management
  • Rangers and education

Challenges of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve

The challenges that CBR faces, can be categorised into internal and external challenges. Among the external challenges are:

  • Bad shape of roads
  • Lack of mobile phone connection
  • Rescue service does not meet European standards

Some of the internal challenges are:

  • Poor State-of-the-art qualification of the protected area state security service
  • Proper equipment is missing.
  • Underdeveloped tourism and recreational infrastructure
  • The recreational load is too high at certain objects and territories. This leads to environmental problems like trampling, erosion, pollution etc.
  • Waste problem on touristic trails, especially in highlands

Conclusions and further steps

We agreed with CBR that they can tackle some of the challenges without any large investments but with certain expertise. One way to tackle these problems is to cooperate with local and foreign NGOs on tourism and waste management. Many of these challenges are also not only releveant to CBR, but to a majority of Ukrainian protected areas.

The European Wilderness Society helped to initiate communication between the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve and the Ukrainian State Environmental Academy of Post-Graduates and Management. This cooperation creates lots of new possibilities like the GPS tracking of tourist flows and offering interactive maps of tourist trails. Both sides are currently negotiating whether it is possible to introduce this cooperation as a scientific-research project. Besides, the Ukrainian State Environmental Academy proposed to include waste management and cooperation with the local communities into the Protected Area Management plan. Another partner willing to help with the mentioned issues is the NGO ‘Carpathian Trails’ that specialises in trail maintenance and promotion.

Everyone agreed to conduct the next online consulting in four weeks and discuss the current progress on the identified challenges.

Ukrainian Ranger Educational Programme

A separate important block was dedicated to the introduction of the Ukrainian Protected Area Ranger Training Programme. It should become a systematic training for park employees to increase their competences in different important fields. This includes law enforcement, communication with visitors, excursions, first aid, English language courses etc. An urgent need for the Ukrainian Ranger Training Programme was confirmed by multi stakeholder groups of the abovementioned online ranger training course. Hence, we intergrated a lot of their ideas in the Ranger Project proposal.

Among our employees of the state security service, we would like to see advanced specialists, that help us to protect our reserve as well as support us in our research and monitoring activities.

Vasyl Pokynchereda
Deputy Head of the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve

Second online consulting

Our next online consulting was conducted on 8th July. This time, we worked with the National Nature Park “Pivnichne Podillya”. We will support their nature conservation efforts in cooperation with the energetic director, Andriy Kiyko, and his team.

The online consulting is free for all protected areas. And we enjoy to further support Ukraine, its dedicated people and Wilderness.

Max A.E.Rossberg
Chairman of the European Wilderness Society

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