Forests for the society – forests without barriers

Tourism Project

Title in original language: Lesy pre spoločnosť - lesy bez bariér (FOR SOC)

Country/ies: Norway, Slovakia, Ukraine
Status: Actual projects
Category: Projects and initiatives for sustainable tourism development
Link to the Tourism Strategy: Objective 2 - Develop innovative tourism management, fully integrating the needs of local people and economies and other supporting sectors, and respecting he preservation of natural and cultural heritage
Duration of the project: 08.07. 2015- 04.30.2017
Objectives and results of the project:

The project focuses on the establishment of cross-border partnership aimed to support tourism development and its promotion (especially forest tourism) together with increasing the capacity of multifunctional forest management to fulfil social functions and offer services for forest visitors and tourists including young generation and people with special needs.
The aim is to set up joint cross-border activities and events focusing at exploring natural and related cultural heritage of the concerned area and supporting awareness about the key role of forests for sustainable life on our planet and necessity of responsible citizenship. In addition, the aim is to increase knowledge about forests and all their values and products and deepen the understanding of nature, especially among the youth. The created cross-border partnership consisting of diverse institutions from Slovakia, Ukraine and Norway will enable pooling knowledge, transfer of best practices, methods and approaches for forest related recreation development.

Objectives and planned activities:

creation of model educational facilities and setting up model experiential outdoor programmes and activities for various target groups (forest trips for pupils, students, disabled people, forest summer camps, forest fest events, etc.)
development of educational programme – training course on ecotourism, forest tourism and forest related environmental education based on the conducted analysis;
testing of training course during the training of trainers for 40 participants from Slovakia and Ukraine
improvement of knowledge of 80 study tours participants and their skills in ecotourism and forest tourism services by visiting to the best practice sites in Slovakia, Norway and Ukraine
enabling professional foresters use the new methodologies for multifunctional forest management based on best European practices and sustainable forest management standards (forest certification) for the benefit of the society
implementation of model activities promoting the idea of forests as a healthy and friendly environment for everyone and anyone without restrictions by the trained foresters, ecologists, students of forestry and natural sciences and other interested stakeholders
creation of demonstration educational and tourism objects (adventure trail, animal feeders, observation towers, bird watching spots, oxygen sport trail, etc.) on the areas of Municipal Forest Enterprise of the Košice city and Pro Propulo Church Forest Enterprise and will be developed in natural areas of Užhorod and in Irshava district as well. Selected tourism infrastructure in forest areas of Slovakia will be built to meet technical standards for the disabled with limited movement abilities and particular facilities will be designated for blind people, as objects will use Braille and guide strips
exchange of experience, knowledge, formal and informal communication, better mutual understanding and initiation of cooperation of main groups in the regions via environmental education in forest summer camps in English for 40 kids, Forest Fest Celebration, international conference, etc.

Implementing organization / institution:

National Forest Centre

Sokolská 2
96225 Zvolen

+421 45 5202 217

Project partners:

National Forest Centrum (Lead partner):
Municipal Forest Enterprise of Kosice city
Church Forest Enterprise PRO POPULO Poprad
Agency for Sustainable Development of the Carpathian region “FORZA"
National Nature Park “Zacharovanyi krai”
Skogbrukets Kursinstitutt Forestry Extension Institute
Vocational Forestry School
National Council of Persons with Disabilities in Slovakia
Transcarpathian Forest and Hunting Administration

Total amount of the project: 597 881 €
Financing institution(s): Others
Name of program(s): SK08 Cross‐border Cooperation Programme of Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009 ‐ 2014