|Landscape of the Year 2010/11: Slovak Karst Aggtelek Karst|
The NFI presidents' conference has designated the karst region in the borderland of northern Hungary and southern Slovakia the „Landscape of the Year 2010/11 – Slovak Karst – Aggtelek Karst".
The idea is to intensify the cross-border dialogue between the local population and the stakeholders on both the Slovakian and the Hungarian side with a view to crafting common strategies for sustainable development and, in particular, for promoting sustainable tourism in the region.
The Landscape-of-the-Year project is supposed to trigger effective long-term processes, designed to help preserve the natural and cultural landscapes irrespective of political boundaries, to enhance local identity and to create local sources of income.
Landscapes of the Year – bridging Europe
Since 1989, NFI – the international umbrella organisation of the Naturefriends movement – which boasts more than 500 000 members worldwide, has worked towards networking cross-border regions throughout Europe. What these regions have in common – apart from their scenic beauty and their rich cultural heritage – are both opportunities and problems: As a rule, the regions are structurally weak, but have the potential for an economic upswing, if offered the benefit of sustainable regional development. A salient element in such a development is an environmentally and socially compatible tourism linked up to other business sectors.
Such regions are designated “Landscapes of the Year” by NFI and supported by way of activities, professional tourism and regional development consultancy, media and public relations.
Perspectives in tourism and in cross-border communal life
In terms of content, the promotion of sustainable tourism and the protection of nature, landscape and biodiversity by way of environmental education and awareness raising are among the priority objectives pursued with the Landscape of the Year 2010/11 – Slovak Karst - Aggtelek Karst. Further, regionally specific priorities may emerge from the cooperation with local stakeholders – associations, authorities, initiatives and NGOs. By means of intensive public relations work, Naturefriends spread the word about the region at national and international level. The official kick-off event is scheduled for 21-24 May 2010.
The Landscape of the Year 2010/11 Slovak Karst - Aggtelek Karst holds the prospect of drawing on existing projects and initiating new ones, in an effort to come up with a jointly developed cross-border strategy for sustainable development that will be actively implemented.
NFI is the lead partner; the implementing partners in the region are Slovenských Turistov (KST) and Magyar Természetbarát Szövetség (MTSZ). Additional project partners are, to date, the Aggtelek National Park/HU, Domica Resort/SK and the City of Stadt Roňava/SK.
Pictures: NF Slowakei, NF Ungarn, NFI, Nationalpark Aggtelek, Jaroslav Stankovič, Štefan Kesi, Jaroslav Tomko, Martin Markušovský