The establishment of the Natura 2000 network in Poland since the beginning has caused controversy. Unreliable information about the network and the insufficient degree of public participation in the implementation of Natura 2000, after accession to the EU caused a lot of misunderstandings and conflicts. Despite large number of  advertising campaign , in opinion of a large part of society, as well as the local government , Natura 2000 is still perceived as an obstacle for economic development. An important problem is still the lack of access to information. This is particularly evident in the lower organizational levels such as local governments. In many offices of the communes appropriate  informations are still missing. Residents of protected areas show incompetence and lack of initiative to work together. While investors are discouraged by the long and unclear procedures. This approach makes it difficult to ensure socio-economic development of these regions and to protect valuable natural areas and their biodiversity. As a result, in many places across the country to implement the Natura 2000 is still opposed to the local community. In recent times, this concerns in particular the process of preparing plans of protection tasks for the Natura 2000.

On the other hand, there are many examples showing that it is possible to change the approach to the project Natura 2000. “The Nature pays back” project carried out by the Society of the Earth in the years 2010-12 managed to convince 13 local governments which with the Society of the Earth has taken action to use of the potential in the area of Natura 2000. 13 local governmants, which initially strongly opposed to the creation of Natura 2000 in the belief that pressure can bring tangible benefits for the commune.

In this “The Nature pays back again” project we intend to take similar actions, and this time the following 10 municipalities are included. The representatives of Długosiodło, Kobylnica, Miechów, Oświęcim (rural commune), Przygodzice, Rząśnik, Spytkowice, Turawa, Urszulin i Zarszyn communes have signed a formal declaration of cooperation with TNZ – environmental NGO- and the involvement (including financial) to the project. Already this indicates a significant change in the approach to the topic and general issues of protection.

We hope that the project will transform initialised action. We look forward to support from communes in the implementation and emissions in TVP2 series consisting of 10 episodes of 25 minutes. Which promotes the areas covered by the project, comprehensive expert assistance (depending on the needs of the community), issuing maps in individual communes, study visits with the participation of citizens in various communes in areas where the implementation of the Natura 2000 network has brought measurable advantages, participation in events nationwide release DVD movies that promote the municipality, placing the film on the channel "Nature pays back" The offer is addressed to individual commune it will be tailored to the needs of the community and set out in detail after consultation and analyzing the local situation.

The goal of the project is to raise the level of environmental awareness on biodiversity and promote the rational attitude to the resources of the Natura 2000. The specific goals are: Environmental education  for sustainable development in the areas of the Natura 2000 through the issuance of TV series, strengthening the positive image of the Natura 2000 ; Increasing access to information on the network among  local communes covered by the project; Exploiting the potential of individual refuges Natura 2000 for local development; Initiate and promote new activities, projects related to the use of the benefits posed by the presence of Natura 2000 ; promotion of ecotourism.

The target group of the project are: local communities and local authorities of 10 selected (recipient's direct-medium-sized promotional activities and information, participants of the study visits, receiving tools to promote their region), tourists (access to information, maps), the general public (customer’s cycle in TVP2 ), decision-makers at various levels (learn how to use the existence of Natura 2000 sites, familiarize themselves with positive experiences in this respect), the Ministry of Environment, GDOŚ, RDOŚ (support activities for the implementation of the Natura 2000).

After completion,  the project will be presented on television. Shall be given promotional materials - information will go to each commune participating in the project with the possibility of use in tourism, education, promotion. All materials published within the project will also be posted on the project website, with the possibility to download. There will be implementation of new projects by the communes, which will be created with the support of experts. The communes and authorities will take  actions and use of positive examples and opportunity for a sustainable development of the municipalities covered by the project. Increasing tourist attractiveness of the communes involved in the project. We release maps and promote the project.

The project is implemented under the Programme PL02 - "Protection of biodiversity and ecosystems" co-financed by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein as part of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014 (1 621 380,33 PLN donation, 2 000 000 PLN project value). Educational activities co-financed Regional Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in Krakow.


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