Transboudary Parks Awards 2016
In 2016, two Transboundary Parks renewed their commitment of cooperating across borders. At EUROPARC Conference 2016, Krkonoše National Park (Czech Republic) and Karkonosze National Park (Poland) were re-awarded, along with Oulanka National Park (Finland) and Paanajärvi National Park (Russia).
EUROPARC’s Transboundary Parks Programme initiative is a special verification and certification system that aims to promote and facilitate transboundary cooperation between European Protected Areas. There are four elements to the system:
- the unique EUROPARC Basic Standards for transfrontier cooperation,
- a verification process carried out by external verifiers,
- the formal certification as a “EUROPARC Transboundary Area” if the application was successful and
- the renewal of the Certificate every five years.
Transboundary Parks Awards 2016
Krkonoše-Karkonosze Transboundary Parks (CZ/PL)
Krkonoše National Park and Karkonosze National Park have been cooperating since 2004, when they were awarded the Transboundary Parks Certificate for the 1st time. After that, they renewed their commitment in 2011 and repeated this year. Since 2013 – when the Czech Park celebrated its 50th anniversary – Parks agreed on having a joint logo. Now, across borders, the same image is reinforced in Visitor’s mind, so they understand how important is the cooperation between the Parks.
However, they cooperation goes further beyond branding: Parks have been working together in several projects, such as:
Management of natural resources
- systematic monitoring of birds, bats, butterflies and red deers (2013-2015)
- Safe Krkonose Mts.I and II – training of both NPs staff (rangers, foresters, educators, etc) and Identification of so called trauma-points in field – i.e. places of importance for mountain rescues
- GIS: harmonising the GIS layers that differed in both countries (2010-2014)
Education & Information
- cross-border educational programmes (2013-2015)
- joint education of KRNAP and KPN staff, including language skills, short-term internships in the partner park, annual meetings
- Campaign “Same mountains, same forests” (2011-2012)
- publication of visitors’ rules for both parks and joint logo
- tourism infrastructure – reconstruction of monastery garden in Vrchlabi (CZ) for educational purposes and creation of a new environment education center in Karpacz (PL) (2010-2013)
- Barrier-free Krkonose Mts. Identification of trails in field, accessible for handicapped people (including wheel-chair bounds)
The Parks have acknowledged that working together brings mutual benefits, such as a broader view of the territory, through the regular sharing of information, experience and views; better access to EU fundings (especially INTERREG); improved coordination in practical management of natural ecosystems; improved language skills and better communication.
Oulanka-Paanajärvi Transboundary Parks (FI/RU)
The cooperation between Oulanka and Paanajärvi National Parks dates back to the early 90’s. Their already close cooperation was then again boosted by the two year Interreg project “Oulanka-Paanajärvi – wilderness, experiences and well-being”, which they ran from 2005 onwards. The aim of the project was to improve the preconditions of nature-based tourism by developing the services of the park pair. Also in 2005, both parks became members of the EUROPARC TransParcNet by receiving the Transboundary Certificate for their model cooperation across borders. The twin parks of Oulanka and Paanajärvi National Parks form an internationally unique wilderness area and an important destination for nature-oriented tourism.
The projects they have been developing together focus on:
Management of natural resources
- sustainable management of trout fisheries for the transborder Oulanka river system (2013-2014)
- sustainable management of salmonid fisheries (2015-2016)
- development and promotion of sustainable and high-quality nature and culture tourism, and improvement of communication (2012-2014)
- investments on infrastructures and facilities at both National Parks
Parks acknowledged that participating in protected area management outside one’s own country “increases understanding of international character of nature protection work; and, at personal level, increases the feeling of partnership with colleagues across the border”.
For more information about the cooperation between Oulanka-Paanajärvi can be found here.