Forests for society - forests without barriers: we achieved a lot, but even more is ahead

In the last days of April the partners of the "Forests for society - forests without barriers" project summed up the results of several years of cooperation in overcoming barriers between the borders and making foresters closer to the public in the border areas of Slovakia and Ukraine.
Presentation of the eco-tourism and forest pedagogy Infrastructure that was established in the project framework by main Ukrainian project partners - NGO "FORZA" and “Zacharovanyi Kraj” Park; and by Slovakian project partners – Košice urban forests and PRO POPULO church forests from Poprad– proved that these organizations had made great efforts to establish the attractive objects aimed at more comfortable environment for visitors of the forest.
The speeches of representatives of NGOs that protect the rights of disabled persons, activists of Košice NGO "Koshakt" from Slovakia; Transcarpathian regional environmental and educational center and children-participants of forest camps from Ukraine – they all had shown one more time that the objectives were achieved, the project is important to the public, and the project results will be used in the future.
The focus of the final conference was not only to present the results and achievements of the project (there are a lot of them!), but also it was very important to establish the grounds and discuss frameworks for future cooperation. Cluster "LIS", that has been established by the project with participation of 19 different organizations from Ukraine and Slovakia is very useful platform for further exchange of information, elaboration of mutual projects of cooperation, exchange of experts and mutual studying of the existing experience in various aspects of forest management.
The public opening ceremony of the recreational area "Furcha Forest Park" took place on the second day of the conference with the participation of the deputy of the Košice city in European Parliament, Deputy Mayor of Košice city, foresters and public representatives. This area has been specially created by Košice urban forests according to the requirements of accessibility and the needs of disabled people for the city area with population of about 25,000 people. Pergolas, fitness areas, areas for picnics. and sanitary zones now are even more accessible for people on wheel-chairs, mothers with children, cyclists and skaters.
The importance of the project theme for the society and continuation of the cooperation has been demonstrated again due to the participation in the conference of nearly 80 participants, in particular – high rank officials - heads of the General Directorate of Forests of the Slovak Republic and the National Forest Center, the representatives of the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Embassy of the Norwegian Kingdom in Slovakia, as well as by signing of the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the State Agency of Forest Resources of Ukraine, Directorate of Forests of the Slovak Republic and the National Forest Center.
Short video about meaning of the words “Forests for society - forests without barriers” for different persons can be seen here:
We are sincerely grateful to all partners for effective and efficient cooperation, positive emotions and good memories and look forward for further cooperation in sustainable forestry development in our countries.
We express our special gratitude to journalist Roman Novikov for the excellent pictures that you can see at the link