Local participation in the management of protected areas: Protected areas as a resource for local communities

The seminar on "Local participation in the management of protected areas – How can protected areas become a resource for local communities?” took place in Dovrefjell – Sunndalsfjella National Park in Norway on August 18-21, 2008. Approximately 40 persons from Latvia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Russia and Great Britain took part.

"For life in nature and nature in life” is more than a motto of Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management. It relates to anyone of us. It is very important for everybody to know real value of nature. The aim of this seminar was to promote the exchange of experience of how to involve local communities in management of protected areas. How to combine aims of nature protection with practical needs and esthetic values of local inhabitants.

One of the topics discussed was how to preserve and improve communication between nature and human and to preserve the meaning of protected areas. Many presentations during the seminar demonstrated examples from activities of protected areas in different countries. Also we heard a lot about nature protection, management and traditions in Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park. Participants of seminar discussed about presented thesis and exchanged with their own experience.

After the official part of this seminar, the organizers guided excursions to Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park. It was a great chance to see the beautiful nature of Norway! During the excursions we saw the great values of the National Park: Snøheim – one of the most popular heads of the mountains in this National park, local farms with agriculture in the protected area. We visited a wild reindeer exhibition and nature trail (about 10km long). During the excursions we learnt about how preservation and protection of nature values, tourism development and the use of local resource of protected area are combined in Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park. And we saw many examples of how local participation promotes sustainability in this National Park. Also, we had a unique chance to see the symbol of this National park – the Musk ox.

In the end of the seminar a workshop was organized and participants of this seminar presented the most important, useful information and ideas that every participant could bring home.

The seminar was organized by EUROPARC Nordic-Baltic Section and the administration of Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park. The organization of this seminar was excellent and also the weather was really nice.

  • Download the programme and presentations in the right hand side column.

Title by Photographer