Promotion Nature by training Nature Interpreters
Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013, Leonardo da Vinci – Transfer of Innovation
The Public Institution Nature Park Goričko and its partners were awarded a grant for implementation of the project Promoting nature by training nature interpreters. The total project costs of this two-year project are 106.285 EUR of which 79.711 EUR shall be co-funded by the EU.
Project background: Around 35% of the Slovene territory is included in Nature 2000 sites and more than 12% of the territory belongs to nature protected areas. Guiding visitors in the nature protected areas differs from classic tourist guiding. Beside raising awareness about nature, promotion of healthy life style is gaining more importance. In most European countries the visitors of nature park areas and visitors centers are guided by trained nature interpreters.
Nature interpretation is based on learning about nature through direct experience and is much more attractive for the visitors than classical interpretation. Nature interpretation is well developed in Austria and Germany; it contributes significantly to large numbers of visitors in nature protected areas, many alternative offers for small groups, the nature interpretation centers are well visited and there is an effective promotion of a healthy lifestyle. In both countries there are nature interpretation training programmes available to guides. In Slovenia, such training offer is not yet available.
The aim of the project is to transfer good practice in nature interpreting training from Europe to Slovenia and to contribute to improvement of the quality of guiding in nature, development of new tourist products and promotion of healthy lifestyle. It will also contribute to increase of the number of individual visitors of nature protected areas and its nature interpretation centers in Slovenia. By training the nature interpreters, who primarily should be locals, the care of the local population about nature protection, sustainable development and healthy lifestyle will raise as well.
The main project outcome is curriculum for training nature interpreters and healthy lifestyle promoters complemented by handbook for nature interpereters and trainer’s manual. A pool of potential trainers will be identified, who will implement trainings in the future. Possibilities for certification of the training programme or developing vocational qualification will be examined.
The following partners cooperate in the project:
- Centre for health and development Murska Sobota,
- Association of Austrian Nature Parks,
- Association of German Nature Parks,
- Nov’na development, Development of local communities Ltd.,
- Maribor development agency,
- Soline salt-making company Ltd.