Grasshopper no 5, Winter '94
Editor's note: Every year the Conservation Foundation from London together with UNESCO and the Ford Motor Company organize the competition for best projects in nature protection in Europe. This year one of two first awards was given to the project "Eco Tourism in the Polish-Ukrainian Protected Zone". Below we publish information about the this project.
A protected transcontinental (Trans-European) belt has been suggested. The belt will include the tracks of forest and low hills of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe which are the most well-preserved and valuable from the point of view of conservation. The proposed belt is a spatial 1inear combination of regional landscapes including the existing protected areas within France, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, and Ukraine. There is the Central Massif of France in the West and the Canyon of the Dniester (Ukraine) in the East. The belt will include several highlands in the East: the Gołogóry, Roztocza, Tatry, Świętokrzyskie mountains, the Kraków-Częstochowa Highland, and mountainous structures west of the Sudety: the Rudny Mountains, the Shwabska Yura, Swarzwald, the Central Massif, and some parts of the Dniester, Wisła, Warta, and Rhein valleys as well. Work on developing a transborder protected zone Roztocza with the function of ecotourism between Ukraine and Poland is underway. A first step for such Pan-European co-operation should be the creation of a data base on protected areas in Europe according to GIS standards.
A protected belt (PB) is a system of protected areas (such as national parks, landscape parks, and reservations) 1ocated along the orohydrographical and geobotanic elements. Protected belts are subdivided into regional, transregional, and transcontinental belts. A protected zone (PZ) is a territorial pooling of protected areas in order to fulfill various functions (ecological, cognitive, recreational). Protected zones are subdivided according to location into national and cross-border zones. The proposed Trans-European protected belt project includes the following tasks: 1. creation of a Trans-European system of protected areas with its structure and functions; 2. representation of the geological and botanical diversity of Europe's landscapes; 3. formation of ecological "corridors" for the migration of animals; 4. playing of one of the most important roles in the system of ecotourism routes. Protected zones are to be ecological corridors joining extensive systems of neighbouring countries. These areas should have a status similar to that of landscape parks. The parts of a PZ on the territories of each of the neighbouring countries should be made up of designated functional areas. One of the main purposes of creating cross-border protected areas is the development of environmentally-friendly forms of tourism, as well as the drawing up of programmes common to neighbouring countries for the construction and development of tourist infrastructure and for the joint organization of tourism.
According to the principle of ecological corridors, the proposed trans-European Belt is to link the Eastern European system of protected areas with the protected areas in the neighbouring countries of the West and central Europe along the orohydrographical structures. The preliminarily-designated belt represents all types of landscapes in Europe and is arranged in a distinct "ecological stretch." Found within this belt-like stretch are the majority of existing and proposed large-scale protected areas.
The project of the Eastern Chain of the Trans-European Protected belt is now underway. It includes the highlands and valleys of the Ukrainian and Polish rivers with the highest concentration of protected areas (national and landscape parks, reservations, and preserves). The components of its background on Polish territory are the landscape parks of the Kraków-Częstochowa Highland, Świętokrzyski National Park, Vistula Park, Roztocza National Park, Szczebrzeszyn Landscape Park, Krasnobrod, and South Roztocza Landscape Parks. On Ukrainian territory the components are the "Roztocza preserve and the protected national park and two landscape parks, extensive reservations in Gologory"; the "Medobory" reserve in the Tatras, the "Dniester Canyon" landscape park on the Dniester River.
Protected zones are to be ecological corridors joining an extensive system of the neighbouring countries. They are the elements of the trans-European belt. In the course of drawing up spatial management plans, it is necessary that several structures of different status be distinguished within PZ: 1) a structure of strict protection - including the areas most valuable for nature: Strict Reserves and National Parks, or parts of the same. There should be a complete ban on economic activity in these areas, and only tourism of a specialist nature should be permitted; 2) a structure of landscape protection - including the areas most valuable in terms of landscape. Forestry management should be permitted in these areas, along with traditional forms of management. This zone would be ear-marked for qualified tourism: on foot, by water, by bicycle, and on skis; 3) a recreational and economic structure including the edges of the most valuable areas, as well as some settlement enclaves in the interior. Various forms of economic activity would be permitted here, as long as they are in accord with the principles of eco-development (harmonious co-existence between human activities and the functioning of nature).
The area lies on the border between Poland and Ukraine. On the Polish side it would embrace Roztocza National Park, Szczebrzeszyn Landscape Park, the Solska Forest Landscape Park, and the Krasnobrod and South Roztocza Landscape Parks. On the Ukrainian side it would include the "Roztocza" Zapovidnyk, the proposed "Roztocza" National Park, the proposed Potielieckij and Niemirivskij Landscape Parks, and adjacent areas.
Terrain of outstandingly valuable nature and landscape, its attractiveness is increased by the proximity of valuable groups of historical buildings (Zamość, Zovkva, Lviv), which make it possible for various forms of tourism to be enjoyed here.
To make the nature in Europe an integral ecological system it is also important to create inter-continental ecological corridors, such as cross-border protected areas and trans-European nature protected systems. The basis for such an all-European cooperation should be the creation of a data base called "Protected areas in Europe" according to GIS standards. The main aim of creating such a data base is as follows: 1. to create an all-European data base for protected areas and their status; 2. to work out all-European standards for the status of different types of protected natural areas; 3. to produce a basis for the creation of cross border international protected areas systems; 4. to work out the models and proposals for the use of European protected areas for the development of international ecotourism and environmental education. The creation of a data base for protected areas in Europe will require the cooperation of national and international organizations dealing with nature protection. The most important thing is to gain information about existing protected natural areas in European countries. Such information should comprise the following data: the status of the protected area, its location, size, the year the protection was established, a description of the main ecological values, and a map of the area. The existing Polish-Ukrainian protected natural areas database was already used for constructing proposals for the creation of three cross-border protected areas on the Polish-Ukrainian border (Rakowski,1993), as well as Polish-Ukrainian and trans-European protected areas belts (Zinko et al., 1993). The Ukrainian-Polish protected areas database could easily be turned into an Eastern/Central-European regional database, and it could serve as a model for the GIS "Protected areas in Europe" database. It could help us to solve the essential and practical problems connected with the creation of such a database.
Zinko Y., Kravchuk Y., Boguckyj A., Brusak V., Gnatiuk R. (1993), Problems of the formating the Roztocza-Gologory-Krzemieniec belt of protected nature (in Polish). In: K.H. Wojciechowski (ed.), Edukacja Ekologiczna i Ochrony Środowiska na Pograniczach, pp. 14-18, Towarzystwo Wolney Wszechnicy Polskey, Lublin.
Rakowski G. (1993), A system of cross-protected areas (TOCH) with leading tourist function in the eastern border region of Poland, Institute of Environmental Protection, Institute of Tourism, Warsaw.
University of Lviv, Geographical Faculty
Institute of Environmental Protection
I am pleased to send you the documents of the international seminar, held in Kosiv, 16-19 December. I participated in this seminar together with Natalia Shovkoplias.