SUPER:Sustainability Under Pressure: Environmental Resilience in natural and cultural heritage areas with intensive recreation (KA5033)    



     Our project focuses on unique natural and cultural heritage sites found in the boreal landscape of Karelia and Finland:

                              • Kizhi State Open Air Museum and its buffer zone with more than 20 villages (UNESCO heritage site);
                              • Vodlozersky biosphere reserve and national park, including Kuganavolok village (UNESCO heritage site);
                              • North Karelia biosphere reserve (NKBR) in Finnish – Russian border region (UNESCO heritage site);
                              • Rokua Geopark located 100 km from Oulu in the region of Oulu and Kajaani (UNESCO heritage site).   
The sites are attractive and visited by numerous tourists, making them vulnerable, and threatening their conservational values and capacities to handle the side effects of tourism (i.e. management, wearing out of the surroundings and vegetation, eutrophication of waters). Proper environmental management and development of waste management capacities are needed to reduce these negative impacts and maintain areas attractive also for tourism.

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The main idea of the project is to deal with weak or uncertain environmental resilience of the chosen target areas – protected territories with intensive recreational load.      

         Identified problems to be solved:

  • Lack of knowledge to reasons for environmental degradation and poor knowledge of risks related to the future status of the environment;
  • Insufficient environmental knowledge base and management practices also related to waste treatment/management and traditional landscapes support;
  • Low awareness and educational level of the target groups in sustainable development management practices;
  • Poor infrastructure & visibility to deal with the waste and other contaminants.

        The expected changes:

The project will create better conditions to improve environmental resilience of the target areas. This means that socio-ecological systems of the area will be more robust to answer to growing pressures.

  • Best available practices and solutions to environmental problems are adopted at the target areas of the project. It will result also in increasing the efficiency of the environmental monitoring and management framework in the targeted areas.
  • Demonstration projects established and supported with practical infrastructural & visibility items. It will provide better conditions for well organized and functioning waste and water management, treatment and recycling, abilities for common adaptation of best practices and involvement of local residents and visitors.
  • Increased awareness by regional and local stakeholders on sustainable environmental management for the protection of land and water resources. This will also involve the willingness of the target groups to take part in maintaining the best environmental practices achieved through capacity building programmes.
  • Development of the strengthened structure for the cooperation of technology and experience exchange between Finnish and Russian nature and culture heritage areas by creating new co-operational groups and information exchange habits between relevant site managers and other partners.


Lead partner/Association "Centre for Problems of the North, Arctic and Cross-border Cooperation" (North-Centre) :

Alexandra Smirnova

Alexandra Efimova

Partners contacts:

Kizhi State Open Air Museum of Wooden Architecture and Ethnography:

Tatiana Pavlova

Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

Pavel Petrov

Federal State Budget-funded Institution National Park "Vodlozersky" (FSBI National Park "Vodlozersky"):

Alla Gudym

Water Resources and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu:

Alexey Shveykovskiy

Metsähallitus, National Parks Finland:

Kyösti Tuhkalainen

Centre for Economic Development, transport and the Environment for North Karelia:

Timo J.Hokkanen