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Премия рунета 2017


15 october 2018
The local residents of the Komi Region with the support of WWF-Russia adopt the experience of Kenozersky national park on the participation of local communities in nature conservation and tourism development.

The organizers of the rural and natural tourist routes from the Komi Region took part in a four-day workshop "SPNA and local community: creating conditions for the development of sustainable tourism", based on the example of the national park Kenozersky in Arkhangelsk Region. The trip was sponsored by WWF-Russia and The Silver Taiga Foundation for Sustainable Development within the framework of the Barents-Baltic program «Nature and Man».

In the workshop took part local people engaged in the field of rural tourism from Udorsky, Syktyvdinsky, Priluzsky districts, as well as from Syktyvkar. They included owners of rural guesthouses, representatives of territorial public self-government, and employees of cultural and educational institutions creating and developing various (event, environmental, ethnographic) tourist routes. During the trip, they visited the museum complexes of the Kenozersky national park, got acquainted with the center of folk arts and crafts, children's ecological camp "ELK", visited ecological trails, and took part in the workshops.

The guests from Komi were most impressed by the interaction of the national park with the local communities. According to the head of the development department of Kenozersky national park Alexandra Yakovleva, 77 percent of the SPNA employees are local residents. The residents from Kenozersky villages not only work as guards, cooks, and drivers but also as state inspectors, guides, conduct workshops and ethnographic programs, make souvenirs, deliver products from their kitchen gardens to the national park, provide guesthouses for tourists. In cooperation with the local residents, the park implemented 15 ethnographic programs and 16 different workshops.

Workshop in Kenozersky national park
(c) Olga Sazhina / The Silver Taiga Foundation for Sustainable Development

The workshop agenda was very rich and the hosts tried to show all the activities of the national park in four days. And the more impressions the participants got, the more they wished to organize such routes and programs where they lived.

"In Kenozerye, I did not have to strain my imagination to travel back in time. I immediately plunged into the old days. There is no falsehood due to the authenticity of buildings, furnishings, household items, and most importantly, the sincerity of the people who received the tourists. I am building a guest house in the village of Aranets in Pechora district and I hope that I will also be able to make everything authentic," said a participant of the trip Andrey Aksenovsky.
"The experience of the Kenozersky national park convinced me that our district center is moving in the right direction in the development of the rural tourism. I received a powerful boost for my future activities having acquainted with the staff of the national park, and from contacting with the objects of historical and cultural heritage", said the Director of the District Center of Fine and Applied Arts at the head of Priluzsky municipal district Oleg Nikulin.

According to Olga Sazhina, an employee of The Silver Taiga Foundation for Sustainable Development, the rural tourism is developing in the Komi Region, but not as actively as they would like. One of the main reasons is that every organizer of rural tours acts separately, at random, which often results in large losses. Therefore, consulting, informational and educational support are very important for rural tourism enthusiasts.

"Kenozersky national park is a vivid example of successful interaction of a protected area with the local population, support and involvement of residents in nature conservation and tourism. Therefore, the experience of the park is extremely useful for those who want to participate in the sustainable development of rural areas, develop their own initiatives in the field of natural and rural tourism, whether guest houses, production of souvenirs, or excursions and workshops. We hope that the acquired knowledge and practical experience will be adapted by the participants of the trip to their regions," said Nikolay Larionov, project coordinator of the Arkhangelsk office, WWF-Russia Barents Ecoregion Programme.
Headline photo: (c) Olga Sazhina / The Silver Taiga Foundation for Sustainable Development

For additional information please contact
Press Officer of Archangelsk Ecoregional Office