On 25-27.04.2019, in Pestkownica (Krzyż Wlkp. Commune), a conference entitled “Limiting human pressure by building infrastructure in the Drawa basin and its impact on the development of kayaking tourism ” was organized by the Local Tourist Organization Around the Drawa together with the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Szczecin, Marshal’s Office of the West Pomeranian Province and the Provincial Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in Szczecin.

The conference was attended, among others, by: Deputy Marshal of the Westpomeranian Province, the heads of departments of the Marshal’s Office of the West Pomeranian Province, the mayors of communes – partners of the project “Papal Kayaking Trail of the Drawa and the Korytnica as a chance for development of the region”, research workers of universities, employees of Drawa National Park and the Polish State Forests, councilors of communes and districts, members of the Local Tourist Organization Around the Drawa and local residents.

This year’s conference was one of the periodically organized meetings that the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Szczecin supports once again within the framework of activities for river ecosystems’ protection of the LIFEDrawaPL project.

The conference was opened by Ms Aleksandra Stodulna – Regional Director for Environmental Protection in Szczecin and President of LOT Around the Drawa – Mr Andrzej Górski.

The Director summarized the current achievements of the LIFEDrawaPL project. The results of the project presented by the Field Coordinator Mr Artur Furdyna aroused great interest among the guests and a lot of positive emotions.

Mr Damian Greś – Director of the Department for Territorial Cooperation and Tourism of the Marshal’s Office of the West Pomeranian Province discussed the possibilities and the need to create a tourist product such as kayaking on the Drawa in connection with tourism-related services.

Mr Paweł Bilski – Director of the Drawa National Park presented  the tourist infrastructure of the Park to the participants, as well as the needs and plans for its development. As part of the discussion, a joint application was developed connected with the need to improve the kayaking infrastructure and educational base on the area of the Park.

Mr Andrzej Górski – President of LOT Around the Drawa presented the idea of the Drawa management and rivers in its basin as part of the project entitled “Papal Kayaking Trail of the Drawa and the Korytnica as a chance for development of the region ” as an action limiting human pressure. The tourism management project obtained funding from the Regional Operational Programme of the West Pomeranian Province within 4.9 action Development of endogenous resources of the region. The project is complementary to the activities of the LIFEDrawaPL project.

In the next part of the meeting, co-beneficiaries of the above project, i.e. the mayors of: Czaplinek – Mr Marcin Naruszewicz, Drawno – Mr Andrzej Chmielewski and Mirosławiec – Mr Piotr Pawlik discussed actions aimed at achieving the objectives, responding to the needs of tourism development in their communes.

Dr Wojciech Zbaraszewski – Faculty of Economics of the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, discussed issues related to socio-economic development in the protected areas.

At the end of the meeting, dr Zbigniew Mieczkowski discussed the economic, social and historical importance of the River Drawa.

On the second day of the conference, a trip led by Mr Marek Leda was organized, who showed to the participants some places particularly attractive for tourism:

  • Człopa: modernist architecture in the region on the example of the church’s body and the construction of the viaduct;
  • Tuczno: church in Tuczno – the pearl of sacred architecture, Tuczyński castle and a chocolate factory;
  • Kamienna: hydroelectric plant with a fish-pass built as a part of the LIFEDrawaPL project. While visiting the object there was a possibility to observe some fish in the fish-pass crossing the threshold of the power plant. A big attraction in this place was information provided by dr Zbigniew Mieczkowski about the history of Głusk development and its surroundings, as well as the power plant itself.

 

In the afternoon part of the meeting, the LIFEDrawaPL team representative, dr hab. Mariola Wróbel led a discussion on the possibility of protecting biodiversity by the local community. At the end of this part, waste bags for tourists were handed out. Mr Zbigniew Mieczkowski presented to the participants the history of “Kayaker” Karol Wojtyła, who provides patronage for the local kayaking trail.

The third day of the meeting was used to discuss issues related to obtaining external funds for projects in the field of sustainable development in the region. The possibilities of obtaining funds for this purpose were discussed by Mr Wojciech Łebiński – Director of the Department of Implementation of the Regional Operational Programme of the Marshal’s Office of the West Pomeranian Province.

The conference was summed up and closed by Aleksandra Stodulna, the Director, along with the president of LOT around the Drawa, Mr Andrzej Górski.