May 21, 2021
The international environmental project SUPER, in which Karelian scientists assessed the ability of the environment to withstand high recreational pressure in natural and cultural heritage sites, has come to an end. The project has also built waste management infrastructure in the pilot areas and organized lots of educational events.
The project “Sustainability Under Pressure: Environmental Resilience in natural and cultural Heritage areas with intensive recreation” (SUPER) was implemented within Karelia CBC Program in 2018-2021. Its aim was to improve the environmental resilience of UNESCO natural and cultural heritage sites exposed to high recreational pressure.

Karelian Research Centre RAS, together with the North-Centre Association and other organizations, was a partner in this international environmental project.

The project’s pilot areas in Karelia were the Kizhi Open Air Museum and villages in the Kizhi Skerries area, Vodlozersky Biosphere Reserve and National Park, including Village Kuganavolok, and in Finland – North Karelia Biosphere Reserve and Geopark Rokua.

Activities in the project included surveys of waste sites for heavy metals, invasive plant species, sanitary characteristics. Water was tested for macro- and microplastics content. The condition of tourist stopovers was assessed. All these observations are needed to understand what would happen to the ecosystems under these types of human pressure.

The project also created some infrastructure for waste management (waste separation, storage, post-composting), and a multitude of information signs and other materials for visitors of the protected areas.

A third important action field for the SUPER project was education and awareness-building.

Videos made by the project tell more about the results and the recommendations produced by scientists. They are available online in the project’s VK community, and Karelian Research Centre’s YouTube channel.

Synthesizing the results of the research, the project produced a report based on DPSIR model, which is a framework for describing causalities in the relationships between people and the environment. It’s available via this link.

See also:

April 30, 2021
A new international project entitled “Wolf: Barents predators – managing large carnivores in the Barents region” started at KarRC RAS. In the project, scientists from Karelia and Sweden will share expertise and research results regarding wolf populations.