"Educational Corner of the National Park Biogradska Gora" opened today (5 November 2019) in Kolašin on the premises of administrative building of the park.
The opening of this corner is part of the project "Bear Observation in the National Park Biogradska Gora" which is dedicated to the development of nature-oriented tourism with the promotion of measures to protect and improve bear habitat and prevent illegal hunting.
Director of the Public Company for National Parks of Montenegro (NPM), Mr. Elvir Klica said, at the opening ceremony, that apart from promoting the natural and cultural values of the area, a large part of the activities implemented by the NPM relate to the strategic development of the tourist offer. He reminded that this year about 20 % more tourists, or about 70 000 visitors visited the National Park Biogradska Gora, which is evidence that this park is significantly participating in the tourist offer of Kolašin and Mojkovac.
“This corner will contribute to the city of Kolašin, in addition to its own and the offer of the Ski Resort of Montenegro, to enable tourists to find out more information about the National Park Biogradska Gora. Tourists who stay here during the winter season will be able to inform themselves about the park in this corner”, Klica said.
He extended special gratitude to the students of the Primary School “Risto Manojlović” for their contribution at the event and stated that the NPM will continue to cooperate with schools in order to raise awareness among young people about the importance of nature protection.
Klica added that a significant project was implemented at the beginning of the year in National Park Biogradska Gora, which aims to reduce the carbon impact on this park, and within which the park received two small tourist trains.
“Unfortunately we did not manage to start the construction of the parking lot by the end of the season. We hope that this part of the project will be implemented early next season. We will then complete the entire project, all with the aim of reducing the number of cars in the heart of the national park”, Klica said.
Mr. Zoran Mrdak, Executive Director of the Parks Dinarides, said that over the past four years, innovative projects have been made in five parks in the region with the aim of raising expertise related to protected areas, and in the case of the National Park Biogradska Gora the emphasis has been placed on observation of large mammals, i.e. brown bears.
“Also, the aim of the project was to increase the interaction between the protected area and the local community. In the case of the National Park Biogradska Gora, I think we have succeeded in that. Much has been done, for the first time quality monitoring of a brown bear has been established, a quality marketing plan that can continue to serve NPM has been developed, and the community has accepted this project as its own”, he added.
Representative of the NGO “Parks Dinarides”, Ms. Jelena Marojević Galić, presented the results of the project at the event, and the educational film “The Undiscovered World of Biogradska Gora” was screened.
“Opening of the Educational Corner is the final phase of the project "Bear Observation" at the National Park Biogradska Gora, launched by the Parks Dinarides in March 2016. The aim of the project was to initiate the development of sustainable tourism based on nature observation and the development of local products, to establish monitoring of bear population, but also of other living world in the area of the National Park Biogradska Gora and to improve the management of this species in Montenegro. Therefore, in the previous period, camera traps were installed in the park, a feeding facility was established and we had the first successful capture of a bear and its marking with a telemetry necklace”, said Marojević Galić.
In addition, the promotion of brown bear management in Montenegro was initiated through the project, and as a result of international conferences organized in Montenegro on this topic, the Council for Management of Large Beasts was established to prepare a Brown Bear Management Plan for the coming period.
The Educational Corner of the National Park Biogradska Gora is intended primarily for school population, local community and visitors, who will be given the opportunity to further educate themselves on values in protected areas, and thus actively participate in the development of ecological tourism based on observation of the wildlife of this park.
At the ceremony it was announced that the newly opened space in Kolašin will be of additional interest because of the rich library of the Vincek family, which will be part of the educational corner, and a souvenir shop with products and handicrafts from the population from the area will be opened.
The educational setting was created by the Parks Dinarides, in cooperation with WWF Adria, the National Parks of Montenegro and the National Park Biogradska Gora, which are partnering to implement a bear observation project in the National Park Biogradska Gora. The project is part of the program "Protected Areas for Nature and Humans" funded by the Swedish International Development Agency - Sida, implemented by WWF Adria and Parks Dinarides.