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A collaboration council was established in Alutaguse National Park

Flying squirrel lives in Alutaguse. Photo: Harum.koh
Flying squirrel lives in Alutaguse. Photo: Harum.koh

On 8th January, the newly established Alutaguse National Park hosted the first meeting of the community and interest groups, which was attended by representatives of local government bodies, tourism associations, museums and nature preservation agencies committing to the development activities of this new national park.

The Environmental Board has founded a collaboration council in all Estonian national parks to better involve the local community and interest groups. Its most important task is to exchange information and co-operate in organizing the protection activity of the national park. At the first meeting of the collaborative council at Iisaku Nature Center, it was discussed that the local community as the heritage bearer, has a responsibility to preserve and promote its cultural heritage.

At the meeting, it was highlighted that in Alutaguse not only the nature shall be under protection, but also its cultural heritage. Moreover, introducing the regional nature and cultural heritage to the general public is a great opportunity to promote the uniqueness of Estonia's eastern corner to the whole wide world and, on the other hand, enhances the local tourism industry. National parks are internationally well-known and recognized tourist destinations, which provide an advantage to the tourism companies operating within, and through this also to the entire regional economy,” said Maret Vildak, the Senior Nature Conservation Specialist at the Northern region of the Environmental Board.

In addition to tourism and cultural heritage issues, at the meeting was discussed the development of a national park protection procedure and the preparation of a protection management plan, which is an important base document for conserving the national park's natural and cultural heritage and advocating visitations and environmental education.

In order to promote a wider discussion and co-operation, three working groups were formed at the Alutaguse National Park collaboration council: the conservation policy and protection management plan, the visitation management and environmental education and cultural heritage working groups. The operation of the working groups is coordinated by the experts of the Environmental Board and it is planned to summon them in the near future.

“The Environmental Board is inviting everybody who wants to contribute to the development of Alutaguse National Park to participate in the working groups. Feel free to contact us and share your best ideas and suggestions on how to establish a truly representative and substantial national park for Alutaguse,” said Maret Vildak.

More information:
Maret Vildak
Senior Nature Conservation Specialist at the Northern region of the Environmental Board
e-mail: maret.vildak@keskkonnaamet.ee
telephone: 5544 646

Sille Ader
Spokesperson for the Environmental Board
e-mail: sille.ader@keskkonnaamet.ee
telephone: 5745 0332

Alutaguse National Park
• The Alutaguse National Park was founded on 24th November 2018 to protect the swamps, forest landscape and coastal areas and their heritage of East Estonia.
• The National Park has a surface area of 44,331 hectares.
• Extensive swamps (54%) and forest landscapes (42%) comprise the core of the National Park.
• The largest swamp in Estonia is the Puhatu Swamp, situated in this National Park.
• The only continental dunes in Estonia are situated in the Agusalu and Puhatu swamps.
• Estonia's longest sandy coastline and dunes are situated on the northern coast of Lake Peipus.
• In the landscape with the highest density of lakes in Estonia – the Kurtna kame field, there are approximately 40 lakes.
• One of the highest gully in Estonia is the Iisaku gully, of which the highest peak is the Tärivere hill (94 m).

The webpage of Alutaguse National Park - https://www.kaitsealad.ee/eng/alutaguse-national-park


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