Date du début: 28 févr. 2003,
Date de fin: 30 oct. 2005
The goal of the project was to support the creation of Kalevala national parks in Suomussalmi in Finland and in Viena Karelia. The national park planned in Suomussalmi would consist of 22 individual areas and total 360 square kilometres. The national park planned in Russia would be 750 square kilometres in size and would be located near the Finnish border in the area between Martinselkonen and Raate. The new national parks would be reinforcement to the existing twin parks on the border between Finland and Russia. The earlier founded twin parks include the Oulanka-Paanajärvi parks located in the north of the Kalevala parks and the Friendship Park -Kostomuksha Nature Reserve located in the south. Simultaneous establishment of the two parks would provide a particularly good opportunity for efficient and goal-oriented park twinning cooperation where the resources can be profitably combined. The goal of the project was not only to support the quick establishment of the Kalevala national parks, but also to create a local model for park twinning cooperation and increase the knowledge and appreciation of the forest cultures and the nature affected by them in Viena Karelia and Kainuu. The goal was also to create an operational model and entrepreneurial network that supports sustainable ecological and cultural values between the Hossa Hiking Area and actors in Russia. In addition, a unique wilderness area was to be created in Kainuu and Viena Karelia and the associated lifestyle was to be made known to the public. Achievements: The projects active interaction across the border created a good foundation for future cooperation. The Kalevala national park areas and the project were actively presented and the general awareness of the parks was increased. In addition, the media expressed regular interest. Interaction between Finnish and Russian entrepreneurs and officials was successfully created during the project. Therefore, future communication is expected to be easier. The appeal of the area as a nature and tourism attraction was also increased during the project. Tourism cooperation was researched in many different ways, including becoming familiar with potential partners and nature tourism products and by learning about the general prerequisites for tourism in the nearby areas. Attractive nature tourism packages can be built based on the Kalevala national park and the local culture in Russia. In addition, the significance of the ability to cross the border via Suomussalmi in order to promote cooperation was brought up in discussions. The foundation for continuing the cooperation in tourism is good, though the entrepreneur network was not completed during the project. The Town of Kostomuksha has actively worked to establish the Kalevala National Park in Russia. The park was, in fact, ultimately established on 3 July 2007. A director has been appointed for the park, and it has an office and limited staff in Kostomuksha. In Finland, the planned national park is effectively a nature reserve already. However, a decision to officially establish the national park has not yet been made by the Finnish Government. According to information received from the Ministry of the Environment, the founding regulation could not be issued until the Nature Conservation Act is amended. The changes in the law are being expedited. Cooperation discussions between parks are held regularly. The cooperation can take place in practice once both parks have been officially established.
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