Slovak paradise gains new partners for protection



Posted on 25 May 2001  | 
Spi�ská Nová Ves, Slovak Republic - Slovensky raj National Park yesterday announced its plan to work towards PAN Parks certification, thereby gaining candidacy in a network of Europe's best wilderness protected areas, and pledging commitment to improving conservation and sustainable tourism management.

Recognising the international importance and unique natural values of Slovensky raj (Slovak Paradise), the international PAN Parks Organisation has nominated the national park as a Candidate PAN Park. This nomination places Slovensky raj amongst the ranks of parks such as Bieszczady National Park (Poland) and Triglav National Park (Slovenia), two fellow Candidate PAN Parks. This positions the Slovak park to become one of the first certified PAN Parks in Europe.

"Slovensky raj is a unique place and I'm pleased that the PAN Parks Organisation recognises the park with this status, " stated National Park Director Dusan Bevilaqua. "We are one of six candidates that have been selected from a group of 30 national parks throughout Europe. This carries a big honour, commitment, and signals a new direction for nature protection in European national parks. The criteria are demanding but I think that a similar opportunity will not arise again, and we have to do everything possible to achieve our goal."

Each of the six nominated Candidate PAN Parks are currently undertaking action to fulfil "PAN Parks Principles and Criteria", a pre-requisite for certification. Slovesnky raj National Park's only obstacles to certification are a zonation system with a minimum 10,000 ha unified core zone and development of a Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy. The PAN Parks Organisation is dedicated to assisting Slovensky raj in fulfilling these criteria.

Slovensky raj National Park, like all Candidate PAN Parks, is a large area of high natural value and strong potential to protect ecological processes. "We believe that in a reasonable scale of time Slovensky raj can fulfil all the necessary criteria," said Vladivoj Vancura, PAN Parks Co-ordinator for Central and Eastern Europe. "Close co-operation is needed from all stakeholders involved, including government and community representatives."

The working objective of PAN Parks is to build support amongst all stakeholders for the full certification of Slovensky raj National Park by 2006.

For further information:
Dusan Bevilaqua
Director, Slovensky raj National Park
mobile: +421 905 350 965,
email: slovraj@spisnet.sk

Vladivoj Vancura
PAN Parks Co-ordinator Central and Eastern Europe
mobile: +421 905 949 606,
email: vlado@aprojekt.sk

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