Kick- off seminar of the Project KA5033 «Sustainability Under Pressure» (SUPER)

9 november 2018

The project SUPER started with the discussion of environmental degradation issues in cultural and natural heritage areas and instruments of dealing with them.

Kick- off seminar of the Project KA5033 «Sustainability Under Pressure: Environmental Resilience in natural and cultural heritage areas with intensive recreation (SUPER) » of the ENI CBC «Karelia» Programme was successfully held on 7 November, 2018.

The two-year project is to deal with weak or uncertain environmental resilience of the chosen target areas – protected territories with intensive recreational load. These territories are: Kizhi State Open Air Museum and its buffer zone with more than 20 villages, Vodlozersky national park, North Karelia biosphere reserve and Rokua Geopark. The high recreational load makes these objects vulnerable to such negative factors as the waste dumps, wearing out of the surroundings and vegetation, eutrophication of water.

The partners of the project are: Association «Centre for Problems of the North, Arctic and Cross-border Cooperation» (North-Centre); Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Kizhi State Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture and Ethnography; FSBI National Park «Vodlozersky»; Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu; Forest Administration Metsähallitus, National Parks Finland; Centre for Economic Development, transport and the Environment for North Karelia.

The kick-off seminar started with the welcome words of Alexey Pavlov, Acting Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic of Karelia and Yuri Zaika, Vice-President for Science of KarRC RAS.

The program began with the speech by Ivan Kiprukhin (The Ministry of Nature Management and Ecology of the Republic of Karelia), who told the public about Protected Areas legislation issues and the new type of territories - Natural Recreational Areas.

The director of Association «North-Centre» Alexandra Smirnova emphasized the problem of intensive recreational load of the pilot areas and announced the plans to improve the situation within the project implementation.

The Head of the Department for International Cooperation of KarRC RAS Pavel Petrov emphasized the active part of the Centre in the SUPER project implementation, particularly the environmental monitoring of Kizhi Open Air Museum and National Park «Vodlozersky».

Pekka Rossi, researcher from Water Resources and Environmental Engineering research unit of the University of Oulu devoted his speech to water resources research and groundwater studies in environmental management on the Rokua geopark territory. During her report about Kizhi’s waste management experience the Head of Conservation and Monitoring of the Natural Heritage Department of Kizhi Open Air Museum Tatiana Pavlova urged the participants to «think globally and act locally». Alla Gudym, Director of National Park «Vodlozersky» told about tourism opportunities and recreational load of the park, the special attention was given to the need of separate waste collection implementation, as well as workshops for local citizens and education about efficient eco-management. The representative of the Centre for Economic Development, transport and the Environment for North Karelia Timo Hokkanen reported about national parks management peculiarities in Finland and the implementation of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.

The seminar was also attended by Natalia Ripatti, project expert from Environmental School of Finland SYKLI, who spoke about the value of ecological experience exchange and professional training.

During the final discussion the SUPER partners highlighted the general directions of the project, noted the Russian and Finnish pilot territories similarities and the need for target groups education and training. The participants of the kick-off seminar expressed their intent for efficient cooperation not only during the project implementation, but also after its completion.

The working meeting of the project partners was held on November 8. There the participants discussed the plans and further implementation of the project.