Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity through Sound Tourism Development in Biosphere Reserves in Central and Eastern Europe.

The main   entrance to the Baradla cave is a landmark. Photo: Sándor Rózsa

Project Summary

The GEF Supported project will strengthen protection of globally significant mountain ecosystems in selected Biosphere Reserves of Central and Eastern Europe. This will be achieved through the development of new and innovative management systems with a special focus on tourism-related uses of these sites. Concurrently, awareness raising and capacity building systems will be developed and implemented, to ensure long term sustainable impacts. Tourism model initiatives and activities will be initiated to ensure distribution of returns for conservation purposes as well as to local stakeholders.

Project Objectives

The overall goal of this project is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity through the development and implementation of sustainable tourism practices in the 3 participating Biosphere Reserves. The project goal consists of four parts:

  1. Support to the development and implementation of tourism management plans in relation to biodiversity objectives.
  2. Create and strengthen an enabling environment for combining sustainable tourism development and biodiversity conservation.
  3. Support international cooperation among the participating countries, especially with regard to trans-boundary cooperation, to enhance knowledge on tourism and biodiversity.
  4. Facilitate a consultative process with key stakeholders (in the public and private sectors) to ensure their active participation and influence in the development of public policies for sustainable tourism development and management in vulnerable mountain and forest

The GEF supported project "Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity through Sound Tourism Development in Biosphere Reserves in Central and Eastern Europe",  focused on sustainable tourism management planning and biodiversity including research about ecology, land use history, tourism impacts and the potential for tourism.  Under this project, a number of guidance documents, studies and training materials were produced and translated into local languages and used for training courses.

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