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Regional Launching Conference in Slovakia


On the 26th of October 2023, the Prešov Self-Governing Region (PSK) organised GREENHEALTH launch on the 26th of October gathering 55 participants in the magnificent Manor House of Snina.

The event was moderated by Diana Komárová - from Aevis Foundation, promoting the tourism in Poloniny National Park.

Jana Szidorová - GREENHEALTH project manager - highlighted the main activities and goals of the project and introduced the main stakeholders who, together with PSK, participate in the successful implementation of the project.

Panel discussions

1) Health and nature connection - "Sustainable Protected Areas as a key value for human well-being".

Mr. Dušan Daniš from the Department of Planning and Landscape Design at the Faculty of Ecology and Environmental Science at Technical University in Zvolen introduced the science behind biodviersity and human health connections.

Daniela Galandova, development manager of the National Park from the Poloniny provided a perspective from the National Park Administration.

The discussion covered one core project topic "sustainable inclusion", including barrier-free accessibility of the Protected Areas and access for vulnerable groups.

Mr. Begeni - Slovak Astronomical Society at the Slovac Academy of Science - provided an input about light pollution.

The panel discussion continued with the input from by Berta Stašková from Forest Education, who opened the question of the existence of a legislative connection between the topic of nature and health, before talking about forest therapies as a method of treatment and about other plans in this area.

Lastly, the discussion touched on the topic of tourism and health, where the head of the project department at PSGR presented specific project activities related to the construction of the cycling circuit Poloniny Trail and informed the participants about the planned cycling events.

2) "How does it work in Slovakia?"

In the second panel, discussion revolved around the practices in Slovakia. Berta Stašková talked about forest spas and forest therapy and their practical application in the country.

Mr. Mikloš from the Astronomical Observatory in Kolonica spoke about the Dark Sky Park and their upcoming activities for their visitors in this area.

Zuzana Burdová from Aevisa followed up on this topic and mentioned the so called "stays in the dark", which are increasingly popular in Slovakia. The audience also learned about other tourism products in connection with nature and health, such as forest saunas, apidoms, animal watching, etc.

Zuzana Bartušová also briefed the audience about her experiences and knowledge from the 2nd Scientific Congress from the Croatian National Park Krka dedicated to forest therapy, as well as the plans of the Poloniny National Park for the next year.

The second panel discussion was concluded by associate professor Katarína Smatanová, head of the Institute of Urban and Spatial Planning at the Faculty of Architecture and Design at Slovak Technical University in Bratislava, who spoke about the design of public spaces - nature/architecture/landscape creation/health.