MOSTAR, May 24 (FENA) – European Parks Day is celebrated on May 24, and it is an opportunity, especially in the period of adjusting the functioning of parks and protected areas during the pandemic, to emphasize the need to ensure their stable funding.
Parks and protected areas offer many benefits such as biodiversity preservation, protection of animals and plants habitats, and benefits for local communities and society in general. But it seems that today more than ever is important to highlight how important they are for human health. Spending time in nature is essential for recovering human’s mental and physical energy, and in an ever-more urbanized Europe, we must create more opportunities for citizens to connect and explore the outdoors.
Protected areas throughout Europe, but also in our region, will use the European Day of Parks, May 24, as an invitation for people to return to the parks.
The Covid-19 pandemic posed a number of challenges that even parks and protected areas could not resist.
The manager of the project “Protected areas for nature and people”, implemented by WWF Adria, Marko Pećarević, said that this global crisis could serve as an opportunity to reform the current management of protected areas.
“Only preserved parks and protected areas will continue to provide numerous ecosystem services, which include benefits for human health. Therefore, it is necessary to provide adequate funding, which will then be directed towards improving PA management and developing sustainable activities. One of the possible activities is certainly education because the parks are a, which allows physical distance in a situation where it is still necessary to respect measures to preserve public health,” said WWF program manager for protected areas Marko Pećarević.
The Program Manager of the Dinarides Parks, Jelena Marojević Galić said that some protected areas in the previous period were too oriented to the development of tourism, which resulted in a steady increase in the number of visitors, especially those who come for one-day visits to parks.
“These pressures ultimately had a negative impact on nature protection. On the other hand, protected areas that were not previously focused on tourism were suddenly exposed to a larger volume of visits by domestic tourists and had difficulties with effectively controlling the visitors, and at the same time they did not have developed mechanisms to generate revenue from visits,” said Marojevic Galić.
The European Day of Parks is a commemorative day for Protected Areas across Europe that was launched in 1999 by the EUROPARC Federation to celebrate Protected Areas throughout Europe. It celebrates the creation of the 1st National Parks in Europe – a set of nine parks created in Sweden in 1909, announced WWF Adria.