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Tourism companies for sustainable management of Estonian forests

Public appeal of tourism companies to the Environmental Commission of the Parliament of Estonia and the Minister of Environment concerning sustainable management of Estonia forests.

Current forest policy and forest management practices in Estonia do not take into sufficient consideration the needs of tourism sector. Increasing forest cutting conflict with internationally formed opinion about Estonia's untouched nature and protected forests. In theory 26% of forests are under protection, but in actuality logging is routinely going on in national parks. Such contradiction has strong negative impact to tourism enterprises of Estonia and implicitly to the economy and reputation of the country generally.

Tourism sector is one of the cornerstones of Estonian economy, its GDP is with similar order of magnitude, as that of logging sector. The number of foreign tourists visiting Estonia is constantly growing. Forest is very important asset and resource of tourism industry. Unfortunately no representatives of tourism sector have been involved in decision making, concerning forest management trends and orientations.

Pursuant to the aforementioned we submit our proposals:

  1. Retain the forests in protected areas in natural condition and therefore earn long-run economic profit from tourism industry;
  2. Consider the interests of the tourism sector in forest policy and make the amendments in relevant acts;
  3. Involve the representatives of tourism sector in the institutions, evolving forest policy in Estonia.

Estonian Nature Tourism Association

Estonian Rural Tourism Organisation

Estonian Spa Association

West Estonia Tourism NGO

North Estonian Tourism Foundation

South Estonian Tourism Foundation

Visit Saaremaa

Valga County Development Agency

Võru County Development Agency

Põlva County Development Centre

Viljandi County Development Centre

Jõgeva County Development and Business Centre

Läänemaa Tourism NGO

Viljandimaa Tourism NGO

Tartumaa Tourism NGO

Ehedad Elamused Lahemaal NGO

Visit Soomaa

Visit Peipsi

Visit Setomaa

Kumari Reisid OÜ / Estonian Nature Tours

Reimann Retked OÜ

360 kraadi OÜ

Loodusturism OÜ

Matkajuht OÜ

Viitong Reisid OÜ / Heritage Tours

Estonian Nature OÜ / Estonian Wildlife Tours

Urban Pirate OÜ

Naturumi OÜ

Kaks hunti OÜ / Capture Estonia- Photo & Nature Tours

NaTourEst OÜ

Viis Aastaaega OÜ / Soomaa.com

Teadlikud Elamused MTÜ / Experiest


Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) Laos ...
Ears have Walls, Walls have Ears
 

Comments (2)

  1. Antonis Petropoulos

Thank you Aivar, this is a very interesting initiative, illustrating that genuine Ecotourism is always on the side of conservation. Do you have any logging / deforestation data in Estonian National Parks? Is this a legal practice? If not, do you...

Thank you Aivar, this is a very interesting initiative, illustrating that genuine Ecotourism is always on the side of conservation. Do you have any logging / deforestation data in Estonian National Parks? Is this a legal practice? If not, do you have any plans to take legal action?

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  1. Aivar Ruukel

It is actually not really a new problem. Already in 2010, the National Audit Office stated the unsustainable forestry in state forests, see:

It is actually not really a new problem. Already in 2010, the National Audit Office stated the unsustainable forestry in state forests, see:
http://www.riigikontroll.ee/Suhtedavalikkusega/Pressiteated/tabid/168/ItemId/567/amid/557/language/en-US/Default.aspx

The pressure from timber markets is increasing every year. The Tourism sector is now actively participating in discussions towards more sustainable forest management.

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  Comment was last edited about 1 month ago by Antonis Petropoulos Antonis Petropoulos
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