Valdai National Park

Capacity-building, Sustainable Tourism, Nature-friendly Forest, and Local Involvement.

Valdai lies within a famous natural forest area rich in cultural elements and in ancient and modern history. The area was managed as a combination of commercial forests and partly protected areas. These have been unable to survive the economic transition due to the failure of regulatory and incentive systems (as with illegal logging). The area features particularly low incomes amongst local people and substantial emigration amongst young people. The natural environment is the only sustainable source of local incomes, as Soviet-era industry has declined. Establishment of a national park was seen as a way of improving management and boosting local development. The project was designed to support this.

The project used participatory processes to gather stakeholder contributions to local development: primarily tourism attractions and services. Forest management strategies were developed alongside economic, cultural and social objectives as expressed by stakeholders, The result was a set of guidelines for nature-friendly forestry, and its practical implementation. As one element, an application was made for Valdai national park's designation as a Man and Biosphere Reserve. Other elements included strategies and information systems for tourism development, and institutional building among national park staff. A small innovative grant scheme for private businesses was used to harness and use stakeholders' involvement in nature interpretation activities and tourism development.

Services provided by DFE staff:

The design and implementation of management systems and supporting data systems. Capacity-building among national park staff. Advice on purchase of forestry equipment, management of pilot areas based on the concept of nature-friendly forestry. Training and stakeholder involvement especially related to the elaboration of an application for having Valdai national park registered by UNESCO as a Man and Biosphere Reserve.

Leaving dead wood in the forest improves biodiversity and does not need to conflict with economic objectives, if planned carefully.



Karsten Raae

Karsten Raae

Forest Supervisor - Senior Consultant

Mobil +45 25 55 42 00

Chresten Møller Petersen

Chresten Møller Petersen

Forest Manager

Mobil +45 20 23 63 33

Danish Forestry Extension
Rolighedsvej 23
1958 Frederiksberg C

CVR-nr. 25096045

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