On the occasion of the World Day of the Earth's Planet at the Visitors Centre in Mitrovica on the Tara River, a new educational exhibition "Bear’s corner" was opened, created jointly by WWF Adria and the manager of this protected area, the Public Company "Tara National Park"…
The “Bears’ Corner” is a modern educational and interactive setting that will be the most beneficial to young visitors of the Tara, to get acquainted with the characteristics of the brown bear, why it is a protected species in our country and how to treat the forests that represent its habitat.
“Opening of the Bear’s Corner, is part of a larger project on which we work together with the WWF, which is aimed at the development of the local population. The goal of the project is to create more tourist attractions on Tara, but to emphasize the importance of nature protection. 20-30 years ago, the role of people living in protected areas was completely different, while today we are working to make them the ones who will implement tourist activities”, said Tara National Park Director Dragiša Karaklić said.
"The new setting is part of a wider effort to protect the brown bear. The facts and beliefs about the bear are passed down from one generation to another, and we are often witnessing the prejudices of people about this species. We hope that through this presentation, children, locals, as well as domestic and foreign tourists, will be informed about characteristics of brown bear, start to love the forest as its natural habitat, and understand the importance of preserving this species for today's and future generations”, says Vesna Maksimović, coordinator of field project in Serbia.
The World Nature Organization dedicated this year's Planet Earth Day to promote the Tara National Park in which it implemented the “Protected Areas for Nature and People” program. Within it, a new tourist package is designed, based on observation of wild animals and the promotion of preserved nature, while the local community participates in the design and implementation of activities. In this way, residents have direct financial benefits, unlike mass tourism that does not involve the local population and can have a negative impact on nature.
“One of the important activities within the project - Protected areas for nature and people - is the establishment of a Council of Beneficiaries, which enables successful long-term cooperation of the Public Enterprise, Tara National Park, and local communities. The goal of the Council of Beneficiaries is to preserve the national park and sustainable use of natural resources. As a very important activity, it is recognized, nature is close tourism, which is primarily based on preserved nature”, said Duška Dimović from WWF Adria.
This type of tourism turns into an economic alternative for locals sharing a living space with a brown bear, and is based on getting to know the characteristics and bear habit and coexistence with this species. The opening of the “Bear’s Corner” was made possible with the support of the Swedish Development Agency (Sida).