Final seminar on the project KA5041 NatureBest took place on 21th of September 2021

Submitted by KA5041 on
NatureBeST final webinar

On September 21, 2021, the final seminar on the project of the Karelia Cross-Border Cooperation Programme KA5041 "Green Nature Based Solutions in Tourism to reduce negative impact on the environment (NatureBeST)” was held at  Peter Inn Hotel and gathered  78 participants from Finland (online) and Karelia (in person) – representatives of tourism sector, partner organizations and students of PetrSU.

During the seminar, Russian and Finnish partners presented mechanisms and technologies for energy and resource conservation in the tourism sector tested within the framework of the project.

VisitKarelia CEO Auli Kauppinen in her speech stressed the importance of cross-border cooperation and sustainable development in the tourism sector.

NGO EEC coordinator Alexandr Berdino presented to the seminar participants an overview of “green technologies” at tourist sites in Karelia within the framework of various international projects with financial support of Karelia CBC Programme and NEFCO.

Professor of St. Petersburg State University of Economics Vadim Chekalin revealed the secrets of energy and resource conservation in tourism, based on economic calculations and practical results. He also summarized the results of the innovations in the framework of the presented project.

The project manager Sergey Koshelev said that in the Urozero educational and health center of PetrSU, before the work was completed, electricity costs exceeded 2 million rubles per year, and in the first year thanks to innovative solutions within the framework of the project, savings amounted to 800,000 rubles. In the Segezha hotel, energy costs amounted to 2,500,000 rubles per year. Thanks to the project, savings will amount to about 35% while increasing the level of comfort for guests. The head of the Segezha Hotel, Elena Preminina, is satisfied with the results of the project and is ready for further cooperation. Both pilot sites are fairly typical representatives of recreational tourism in Karelia with similar problems, and the green technologies introduced at these sites can serve as an example of effective and affordable technical solutions.

Entrepreneurs from the Finnish tourism sector who took part in the project also expressed satisfaction with the quality and results of the work carried out at pilot sites in North Karelia, where solar panels, a mini hydroelectric power station were installed, and dry toilet maintenance was improved.

Demonstration videos about the work carried out at pilot facilities both from the Russian and Finnish sides, clearly demonstrated to the participants of the seminar all the advantages of the applied technical solutions: from an integrated approach in the educational center "Urozero" of PetrSU and the Segezha Hotel to point solutions in Erä-Eero, Laitalan Lomat and Kolin Keidas.

Anne Holma from SYKE presented best practices of their services in the field of green technologies.

Moderator Timo Hokkanen, former North Karelia Biosphere Reserve coordinator, and  current coordinator Vilma Lehtovaara from CEDTENK emphasized the importance of green technologies for reducing the negative impact on the environment.

From participant feedback:

«The final seminar and the trip to Urozero showed what “green technologies” are and gave food for thought. I am satisfied with the time spent and I am grateful to the project.»

«The project is very important for the environment, "green technologies" is a step forward for the development of resource-saving technologies»

«Green technologies ”are expensive, but with their long-term use they pay off and bring material benefits, but most importantly - benefit the environment.»

«The project has shown the importance of "green technologies" that contribute to the environment.»