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Fennoscandian Green Belt – Welfare from Sustainable Cross Border Nature and Culture Tourism (FGB) KA 546
Funded by Karelia ENPI 2007-2013

Objective of the project

Overall objective of the project is to safeguard unique natural and cultural values of protected areas located in Karelia region which benefits both high-quality international nature and culture tourism and raise wellbeing of local residents. Specific objective of the project is to improve facilities of protected areas located in Karelia region in order to serve visitors better and to give opportunities for developing international tourism. The facilities should meet constantly rising requirements of international tourists and be in accordance with sustainable development.

Main activities

Measures in Finland: • Revamping of exhibitions at the visitor centres of Oulanka and Koli National Parks and at Nature Information Hut at Petkeljärvi National Park. • The infrastructure (such as the hiking trails, their structures and the signposts and information boards provided along the trails) for nature-based tourism are revamped. • The accommodation and service buildings at Oulanka Camping Ground are modernised in order to better serve the disabled. The area’s sewer networks are repaired. • The signposts along the Karhunkierros Trail are improved, a new campfire site is built by the Kiutaköngäs Rapids and other structures along the trail are repaired. • Duckboards and signposts are improved on the Itäraja Hiking Route in Kalevala Park, Hossa. • A new winter outdoor trail is established in the Friendship Park, Kuhmo, close to the border between Finland and Russia. Measures in Russia: • The exhibitions provided by the visitor centres of Paanajärvi National Park and the Kostomuksha Strict Nature Reserve are revamped. • Duckboards in Paanajärvi National Park in the areas of Kivakkatunturi Fell and the River Astervajoki are renovated. • The main building (destroyed in the war) of the former Finnish farm Arola is rebuilt. • A new service building is constructed by the park’s main gate. • The Fairytale Forest Trail in the Kostomuksha Strict Nature Reserve is renovated. • New campfire sites are built along the Peddlers’ Trail, by Lake Kivijärvi, at the Akonlahti cultural heritage site and in a local park in the town of Kostomuksha. • The first signposted hiking trails and campfire sites in the history of Kalevalsky National Park are scheduled to be implemented in the landscape of the Kalevala in the area of Venehjärvi. The information boards are written in the metre of the Kalevala.


Facilities of visitor centres of protected areas located in Karelia region are uniform and modern and meet the high standards of international nature and culture tourism Nature trails and cultural heritage sites of protected areas located in Karelia region are customer friendly and support nature and culture tourism and sustainable development. By taking these measures, readiness for cross-border twin park cooperation is developed following the principles of sustainability, and growth opportunities for the existing international tourism brands in the area will be improved. Consequently, twin park cooperation will enable the integration of cross-border natural features, the culture of the Kalevala and the area’s history into practical wellbeing and experience tourism products in this unique environment, simultaneously creating growth opportunities for the local economy on both sides of the state border.

Basic information



2012-09-25 - 2014-12-24

Total Budget / Programme funding

2 533 000 € / 2 186 071 €

Lead partner

Metsähallitus, Natural Heritage Services, Ostrobothnia
Lead partner web-site


Metsähallitus, Natural Heritage Services, Southern Finland
Paanajärvi National Park
Kalevalski National Park
Kostamuksha Zapovednik