Plitvice national park
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HUMANITA

Project overview

Human-Nature Interactions and Impacts of Tourist Activities on Protected Areas

Tourism in protected areas is a sensitive issue. It is sometimes hard to find the right balance between preserving these and opening them up to visitors. The HUMANITA project develops evidence-based and participatory management tools that allow regions to better monitor and evaluate the impact of tourism in protected areas. The partnership involves tourists and local communities in the development of their solutions, which helps to collect data, create more awareness and change behaviour.

2,40m €

Project Budget

80%

of the Budget is funded by ERDF

Layer 1

5

Countries

9

Regions

11

Partners

5

Pilots

Duration

Start date

End date

Project progress

43%

About the project

HUMANITA project was built on longstanding work and effort in addressing the human-nature interactions and impacts of tourist activities on protected areas. Namely, it was identified that with a growing number of visitors and visitor activities, protected areas in Central Europe experience an increase of human-nature conflicts. Recreational activities like hiking, mountain biking or skiing, lead to various environmental impacts on physical and hydrological processes, as well as on ecology and wildlife. Having this in mind, scientists and professionals from five (5) countries in the European Union decided to address this challenge and its solutions using a scientific and methodical approach. After much time, effort, preparation and passion dedicated to this initiative, HUMANITA project will bring together 11 partners from Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Italy and Slovakia with the purpose of engaging scientists with specific expertise and thematic experience to work together to develop and test innovative solutions to assess the impact of tourist activities on nature, with the objective to assist managers of protected areas to safeguard the environment. Additional 14 associated partners are involved in the project to contribute to the management of human-nature interactions and impacts of tourist activities on protected areas. To ensure its importance, impact and long-term sustainability, the HUMANITA project aims to: (1) Test and produce innovative solutions to assess the impact of tourist activities on nature; (2) Assist managers of protected areas (PA) to optimize them with nature protection; (3) Involve tourists and local communities in participatory monitoring to bring awareness-raising, trust-building and behavioural change; (4) Enhance the protection of natural heritage, ecosystems, and valuable areas; (5) Develop “common heritage” narrative for pilot sites. We invite you to join us on this road and jump with us into the sphere of research and development in order to create a better world, a healthier and protected environment, and a brighter future.

Project partnership

Project partners

Slovensko (SK)

Lead partner

University of Žilina

Department of Geotechnics
Address
Univerzitná 8215/1
01026 Žilina
Country
Slovakia (SK)
Web
https://www.uniza.sk/index.php/en/

Project partner

Institute for Regional Development
Address
Viale Druso 1
39100 Bolzano
Country
Italy (IT)
Web
https://www.eurac.edu/en
Total partner budget
267,606 €
Address
Via Università 12
43121 Parma
Country
Italy (IT)
Web
www.unipr.it
Total partner budget
301,807 €
Address
Horvaćanska 174
10000 Zagreb
Country
Croatia (HR)
Web
www.notitia.hr
Total partner budget
213,620 €
Engineering & IT
Address
Europastraße 4
9524 Villach
Country
Austria (AT)
Web
https://www.fh-kaernten.at//
Total partner budget
307,240 €
Address
Hauptplatz 7
9135 Bad Eisenkappel/Železna Kapla
Country
Austria (AT)
Web
https://www.geopark-karawanken.at/
Total partner budget
214,000 €
Department of projects
Address
HRNČIARSKA 197
013 03 Varín
Country
Slovakia (SK)
Web
www.npmalafatra.sk
Total partner budget
213,240 €
Address
Széher 40
1021 Budapest
Country
Hungary (HU)
Web
https://www.ceeweb.org/
Total partner budget
137,550 €
Project department
Address
Selo 120
52100 Pula
Country
Croatia (HR)
Web
www.kamenjak.hr
Total partner budget
176,643 €
Address
Via Comunale 23
54013  Sassalbo di Fivizzano (MS) 
Country
Italy (IT)
Web
http://www.parcoappennino.it/index.php
Total partner budget
204,763 €
Department of Project Management
Address
Sánc utca 6
3300 Eger
Country
Hungary (HU)
Web
https://www.bnpi.hu/en/hirek
Total partner budget
134,568 €

Roadmap

1

Challenge

With a growing number of visitors and visitor activities, protected areas (PA) in Central Europe (CE) experience an increase in human-nature conflicts. Recreational activities like hiking, mountain biking, or skiing, lead to various environmental impacts on physical and hydrological processes, as well as on ecology and wildlife.

2

Key project message

A key project message is the importance of better managing visitors today so that tomorrow’s visitors can also experience quality sites, their conservation values, and the livelihood and well-being of local communities are supported as well.

3

Approach

HUMANITA focuses on the joint development of new complementary tools and methods of tourists’ impact assessment based on transnational exchanges of experiences to better evaluate environmental conditions and trends, take explicit managerial responses and actions, and develop information for national and EU policymakers, and the public. The project aims to assist PA managers in CE in evidence-based and participatory management (still insufficiently present in practice), helping them put the right measures in the right places, make smarter decisions, prevent negative impacts and human-nature conflicts, and reduce risk using an incremental approach.

4

Joint preparation of 5 pilot actions

Site-specific analyses at 5 pilot sites outline tourism impact-related problems to be addressed in pilot actions. Partners develop a common transnational monitoring strategy and select monitoring indicators for each pilot site taking into account their policies' relevance; analytical soundness; measurability, and practical usage, with a focus on comparability among countries and jointly developed solutions.

5

Solutions

Partners together develop and test innovative complementary monitoring methods at pilot sites to refine and deepen their ability to detect environmental/biotic/abiotic variables utilized in monitoring, including both, instrumental and methodological approaches. Jointly developed solutions assess the impact value of different types of tourist activities on nature, and therefore provide information for the detection of changes and trends in the condition of the environment, using artificial intelligence to evaluate mutual relationships and correlations from datasets for predictions.

6

Participatory monitoring

The involvement of tourists and local communities in project activities, including participatory monitoring not only produces new valuable data but also brings awareness-raising, trust-building, and behavioral change. For individuals, this is a learning activity, when they can critically analyze the world around them and identify practical actions to protect the environment.

7

Five local action plans

For each pilot site, an action plan is developed to monitor human impacts, further engage local people and tourists in monitoring and nature protection, and properly manage human-nature conflicts while respecting the local context and legal framework.

8

Transnational recommendations

Partners reflect existing narratives and together create new ones for the development of the ‘common heritage’ narrative and its ability to support policymaking. Jointly developed project outputs and final recommendations are shared among relevant stakeholders, and policy makers through accompanying communication activities.

9

Join us!

We invite you to join us on this road and jump with us into the sphere of research and development to create a better world, a healthier and protected environment, and a brighter future.

News

Events

Pilot actions

Outputs

O1.1. Jointly developed transnational monitoring strategy

Jointly developed transnational monitoring strategy sets the framework for the development, testing, and evaluation of a monitoring system that supports visitor management activities of pilot sites within the INTERREG Central Europe project HUMANITA. It sets also the framework for pilot actions, based on the report on best practices and gaps to monitor environmental impacts of tourism and report on tourism impacts at pilot sites. Indicators and methods were be selected by relevance, validity, practicality, clarity, credibility, and public interest.
Type of output: Strategies and action plans

O2.1. Jointly developed pilot actions testing new innovative monitoring methods and approaches

Five (5) pilot actions testing new methods and approaches to collect information on chosen indicators that provide a strategic and accessible overview of the impact of different tourist activities on natural values in protected areas, following the approach of the Jointly developed transnational strategy.
Type of output: Solutions
In development

O2.2. Jointly developed solutions assessing the impact value of different types of tourist activities on nature

Jointly developed innovative solutions (technological, methodological) to assess the impact of tourist activities on natural values, with the aim to provide complex information on changes and trends in the condition of the environment, for the purpose of meeting the visitor management use requirements in the protected areas.
Type of output: Solutions
In development

O3.1. Local action plans to monitor and resolve human-nature conflicts in pilot sites

Action plans for pilot sites that provide a framework for the protected areas to monitor human impacts, further engage local people and tourists into monitoring and nature protection, develop proactive programs for managing ecosystems and their use by visitors, and properly manage human-nature conflicts respecting the local context and legal framework.
Type of output: Strategies and action plans
In development

HUMANITA

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Project on social media

Project Contacts

Project Manager

Dana Sitanyiova
Phone: +421415135761

Finance Manager

Renata Kaisova
Phone: +421415135506

Communication Manager

Lana Frkovic
Phone: +385916844777