In the beginning of the 2007, Tatra National Park in Slovakia took the first steps towards gaining PAN Park status. At that time, a letter of intent committing the park to working towards verification was signed by Tomas Vancura, the previous Director of Tatra NP. Since then, political changes in the State Nature Conservancy of Slovak Republic have taken place and it seems that the objective to achieve verification by the end of 2008 is now at risk.
The global ecotourism conference was held from 16-19 of May in Oslo, exactly 5 years after that the UN declared 2002 the International Year of Ecotourism. At that time, a declaration was written that outlined the potential and challenges of ecotourism in contributing to sustainable development. It made recommendations to governments, the private sector, international agencies, and local and indigenous communities.
The 2007 conference was the follow-up to this conference. The recent conference's goals were to:
The training programme - Management Plans for Ramsar Sites in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe – is aimed at current Ramsar site managers and staff, as well as STRP of Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. The five-day course, from October 18 – 22, 2007 in Isle of Vilm, Germany, will be taught in English, and led by Tobias Salathé from the Ramsar Secretariat and Stephan Amend, a specialist in management planning issues. The International Academy for Nature Conservation is overseeing the training sessions.
The PAN Parks Foundation and Large Herbivore Foundation have taken a major step forward for collaborating over herbivore issues in protected areas. On March 2 the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to strengthen their conservation work. Large herbivore related conservation issues exist almost in all certified PAN Parks.
WWF Netherlands organised a major donor trip to Fulufjället National Park in Sweden earlier this year. The trip was an opportunity for 28 major donors of WWF NL to experience some of the benefits that PAN Parks and WWF had brought to the area through their support of the first certified park. The trip was paid for by the participants and was co-ordinated by our international business partner SNP. All local logistics were arranged by Fylufjalletbyn and other local PAN Parks partners.
Following an exploratory visit by PAN Parks conservation manager Vlado Vancura, Rodna Mountains National Park in Northern Romania has signed a letter of intent to join the PAN Parks network. A meeting with all 18 park employees and the head of Romanian Protected Areas within Romsilva, Mircea Verghelet, took place to explain the PAN Parks verification process and explore the potential for Rodna to join the Network. Vlado said "this was an exceptionally useful meeting.
PAN Parks is an official conference partner of the Global Ecotourism Conference taking place in Oslo, Norway later this month. The conference is being organised by The International Ecotourism Society and organised in conjunction with Ecotourism Norway and UNEP. This is the inaugural Global Ecotourism Conference, which TIES, in partnership with a national or regional ecotourism association, will be organizing every five years.
In the lead up to the Global Eco-tourism Conference, Zoltan Kun will present the cooperation with PAN Parks Accommodation at a workshop looking at the topic of linking tourism and conservation to develop financing models for protected areas. Workshop findings will be presented at the Global Ecotourism Conference 2007 to be held in Oslo, Norway May 14-16. This conference is hosted by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), Ecotourism Norway and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
From May 7-11 2007, IUCN-WCPA is holding a major meeting on the IUCN Protected Area Management Category system in association with the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation and the IUCN Programme on Protected Areas. The Categories Summit is sponsored by the Consejería de Medio Ambiente de la Junta de Andalucía in collaboration with la Fundacióon Biodiversidad.
Metsähallitus, Natural Heritage Services, Ostrobothnia and Oulu University of Applied Sciences will organise a training course for nature guides in the framework of the Interreg Project Oulanka-Paanajärvi - wilderness, experiences and well-being (part of the Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme). The course will take place between May and October of 2007 and will consist of lectures, field trips and independent work by participants. The participants are nature guides working in companies that have a cooperation agreement with Oulanka National Park.