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motion of Nature Tourism in Oulanka and Paanajärvi National Parks (Promotion of Nature Tourism in Oulanka and Paanajärvi National Parks)
Start date: Dec 31, 2001, End date: Dec 30, 2004 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The Oulanka National Park, which is located in Kuusamo and Salla municipalities, shares a border in the east with Paanajärvi National Park in the Republic of Karelia. Oulanka National Park fulfi ls the requirements set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and has been included in the European Pan Parks network. Paanajärvi National Park, located in the northwestern region of the Republic of Karelia, is approximately four times the size of Oulanka National Park. Due to its inaccessibility, the park has been preserved to such an extent that the area is without comparison elsewhere in North Europe. Th e cooperation between Oulanka and Paanajärvi national parks is based on an agreement between the nations. Th e nature in the wilderness area is unique and the twin park is internationally a signifi cant wilderness entity and an important nature tourism destination. Th e product selection of the area has been homogeneous in relation to demand. Tourism and traditional lifestyles/ values have been in confl ict with each another. Similarly, the goals of tourism and nature conservation have been partially in confl ict. Th erefore, the tourism appeal of the area has been at risk. Th e aim of the project was to promote sustainable nature tourism in the Oulanka and Paanajärvi national parks and, on the other hand, promote their economic sustainability. Th is would secure the socio-economic benefi t of the areas in the long run. Th is was striven towards by diversifying the tourism product selection (culture tourism, tourism products suitable for protected areas, high-quality and diverse nature information services) and by improving the tourism appeal of the area. Achievements: The project conducted research on the history of human activities in the Oulanka National Park. In addition, the reconstruction plan for the Paanajrvi Arola Farmhouse was created and maintenance work for the traditional scenery environment implemented. The opportunities in using protected areas for tourism were made known and this way also promoted to entrepreneurs in the industry. The quality and diversity of the nature information was improved by producing a nature and hiking guide for the Oulanka and Paanajrvi national parks, training personnel at the parks, planning an informative website, and modernising the audiovisual equipment at the Oulanka Visitor Centre. A new exhibition was also implemented at the Oulanka Visitor Centre. In addition, new signage was placed in the wilderness area and new routes were planned. A land use plan was created for the east end of Paanajrvi National Park. The nature and hiking guide produced in the project can also serve visitors in that area. The project created and strengthened relationships between individuals and organisations and connected Paanajrvi National Park more closely to the international nature conservation effort. The project was responsible for establishing a good framework for the continuation of productive local cooperation. Within the framework of the project, a significant number of procedures that benefi ted Paanajrvi National Park were completed by combining various funds. The area was seen to still require confidential and productive cooperation across the border. Therefore, the activities were continued with the Oulanka-Paanajrvi - Wilderness, Experiences, and Well-Being project. Paanajrvi National Park has later (in 2005) been approved for inclusion in the Pan Parks network. Additional information at: /oulanka,, and

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  • 85.8%   251 479,80
  • 2000 - 2006 Euregio - Karelia  (FI-RU)
  • Project on KEEP Platform

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