Ukraine’s first big event in the development of nature interpretation – A round-table "Outlook of Natural and Cultural Heritage Interpretation in Ukraine" – brought together a whole range of people. Find out how and why.

The events of recent years in Ukraine radically changed Ukrainian society. These changes demanded new approaches in tourism, hospitality and recreation industry. Interpretation is an innovative and challenging approach for former USSR countries. Guides still provide a lot of factual information in the form of monologue instead of involvement with audiences, provocation of people’s thoughts and bringing about behavioral changes. As an answer to these challenges, the round-table "Outlook of Natural and Cultural Heritage Interpretation in Ukraine" was organized by the NGO Ukrainian Environmental Club, "Green Wave". Green Wave worked in partnership with the US Forest Service and the National Association of Interpretation (NAI).

Besides discussions on the approaches of natural and cultural interpretation and comparison of national and international experiences, many strategic questions were raised. Of particular interest was the development of an Association of Interpretation in the country. The round-table also discussed how to build a network of experts and how to raise the profile of interpretation as a profession.

The resolutions passed by the round-table, included the following:

  • to establish a Ukrainian Association of Interpreters;
  • to initiate dialogue between public and governmental agencies for the development of the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage;
  • to involve all possible stakeholders in further dialogue; and
  • to establish partnerships with the UK’s Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI) and the USA’s National Association of Interpretation (NAI).

As a next step, the advocates of heritage interpretation in the country received professional training. The experts of NAI provided two training sessions on heritage interpretation for 50 employees of protected areas, museums and NGOs. As a result, 15 participants in the training received NAI Interpretive Guide Certificates.

Nataliia Gudkova is an Associate Professor of the State Ecological Academy of Postgraduate Education and Management (Kyiv, Ukraine). You can get in touch with her at:
Tetiana Karpiuk is an ESD Officer for WWF-DCP, Kyiv (Ukraine) and a Junior Research Scientist at the Institute of Botany of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. You can get in touch with her at:
Olena Tarasova-Krasiieva is the WWF Country Coordinator. You can get in touch with her at:

To cite this article:
Gudkova, N., Karpiuk, T., Tarasova-Krasiieva, O. (2016) ‘Nature and cultural heritage interpretation in Ukraine’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 4-2016, 16

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