The Management Board of the Public Institution Galicica National Park formally approved the new Management Plan for Galicica National Park, for the period 2021-2030. This step was taken at its meeting of 11 August 2021 and after receiving a positive evaluation by the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning.
The formal approval of the new Management Plan marks the successful completion of the two-year participatory management planning process that was set up and managed by the park staff and with financial support from PONT. In the process, the park staff put to best use their knowledge and experience gained in the preparation and implementation of the first Management Plan (2011-2020), with a modest input from external experts. This has contributed to both significant reduction of the costs for preparing the document, and creation of a deeper sense of ownership.
The key advancement in the new Management Plan concerns the management of forest habitats by limiting wood extraction to supply firewood to socially vulnerable members of local communities only. The extraction of firewood has been the predominant source of financing of park’s operations since its proclamation in 1958, hampering the efforts to improve conservation status of key forest habitats and associated species. By combining the income from non-extractive sustainable uses of park’s natural resources, mostly through visitor fees, with a substantial co-financing from PONT, in 2020 the park management decoupled conservation financing from resource extraction for the first time since 1958. While formally embracing the new financing model, the Management Plan sets out ambitious objectives to advance environmental education and visitor management in the following ten years. The specific actions and measures to reach those objectives are elaborated in separate strategic documents on sustainable tourism and environmental education that are attached to the Management Plan.