Centralparks training in Poland

A training on "effective communication between protected areas and local communities in the Carpathians", organized by the Ekopsychology Society, was held in Muszyna - Złockie (Poland) from 22nd to 24th September 2021. 

Aims of the training

This event was attended by 13 trainees and marked the next phase of implementing the pilot action, which aims to test the usefulness of the "Guidelines on communication between protected areas and local communities in the Carpathians". These were elaborated in 2019-2020 by the relevant multinational expert group (Thematic Transnational Task Force on Communication) established under the Centralparks WPT1. 

The main objective of the training was to raise the capacities, knowledge and skills of Carpathian PA managers and regional nature conservation authorities for effective communication with their local communities and stakeholders. The following thematic blocks were discussed: 

  • the Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians
  • stakeholder mapping
  • convictions that strengthen communication
  • communication tools
  • preparation of a letter to future generations concerning the idea of protecting biological and landscape diversity in the Carpathians.

Communication with the local stakeholders should be further strengthened under the Carpathian Convention. The involvement and closer cooperation at a local and regional level is not only encouraged by Decision COP6/2, paragraphs 1 and 2, but has also been declared as one of the two priorities of the new Polish Presidency of the Carpathian Convention in 2020-2023 (Decision COP6/24, paragraph 1).

Event success and acknowledgements

Trainees included representatives of the Regional Directorates for Environmental Protection in Katowice, Kraków and Rzeszów, Babiogórski National Park, Gorczański National Park, Magura National Park, Pieniny National Park and the Board of the Landscape Park Complex of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. Participants had the chance to practice new skills and share their experiences from past communication activities and campaigns. They assessed the event as practical and found it was conducted at a high professional level and in a friendly atmosphere. 

The Ekopsychology Association would like to thank both the participants and the team of communication experts: Alina Marek, Agata Leśniara and Agata Ćwik, for their commitment. Monika Ochwat-Marcinkiewicz (psychologist and trainer) and Zbigniew Niewiadomski co-led the training on behalf of the Association.

*Leader of the Centralparks thematic work package No 1 “Integration of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Carpathian Region”