Šumava National Park

Public usage of the National Park

Public usage of the national park territory for ecological education, as well as for environmentally-sustainable tourism and recreation, is one of the missions of a national park and is included in the laws of the Czech Republic.

One of the main aims is to contribute to the establishment of a sustainable balance between man and nature, to inform inhabitants and visitors about the aims and mission of the national park, and to strengthen the feeling of solidarity between local inhabitants and visitors and the National Park.

A National Park, as the largest category of large–scale specially protected areas in the Czech Republic, provides an ideal opportunity for enlightenment and education. Enlightenment and education are not the targets, but are the means of achieving a higher level of understanding of nature, and not only within the National Park. This activity is closely connected to tourism and recreation on the NP territory, and affects the relationship of the NP with the local inhabitants and informs the public about the scientific and professional tasks carried out by the NP. Communication with the public does not only concern the NP and its territory, but relates to the whole territory of the Biosphere Reserve (NP and the surrounding PLA). The public activities of the NP Administration are aimed towards 2 basic target groups – visitors and local inhabitants. The special requirements of visitors are: an undisturbed, but also ‘beautiful’ nature in which they can relax, and an information service which offers programmes and infrastructure on the NP territory. In contrast to this, the requirements of the local inhabitants are: development of the area, freedom in their decision making concerning their property and surroundings, employment and the possibility to partake in entrepreneurial activities, free-time activities and a healthy environment. The different needs of these target groups require different approaches from the NP Administration.