Juraj Svajda is the new Country Coordinator Slovakia

I am assistant professor at Matej Bel University in Slovakia, where I specialise in teaching and research related to nature conservation and management of protected areas, including ecosystem services and human dimensions of natural resources management.
I believe that a theoretical knowledge and previous experience in conservation of heritage, and also a connection between nature and culture and interpretation, together play an important role in society. During my research in Slovak protected areas, I have found that the quality of interpretation of the natural heritage – if it exists at all – is very weak compared to other countries. However, if we are unable to communicate the meaning and value of protected areas to visitors and to mediate scientific information to the public, we are unable to change their behaviour and attitudes. Typical examples are educational trails and the interpretation of natural disturbance – e.g. bark beetle infestations – in national parks.
Therefore, my main goal and motivation is to start a systematic and coordinated approach to better planned interpretation in Slovakia and create a network of people who will work on it.

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