A survey of locals has started near the borders of Land of the Leopard in order to learn how people feel about the national park and find new ways for mutually beneficial cooperation and joint development in the southwestern Primorye Territory. The project was developed by Vorontsov Land of the Leopard employees together with sociologists from Far Eastern Federal University.
When compiling the survey, they considered local specifics: people living near the habitats of rare animals. The survey is anonymous, which makes it possible to better learn what people think about the national park's work and bring to light existing problems.
"In many aspects, the survey is designed to help us find ways to forge mutually beneficial cooperation between the national park and people. We know from the experience of other large Russian and foreign national parks that successful protected areas create many opportunities for people to earn an income and to improve the socioeconomic situation and environment. Right now it is quite important for the Khasan District," said Viktor Bardyuk, director of Land of the Leopard.
It is expected that additional environmental events will be held based on the analysis of the gathered data. The national park is also ready to help the two districts solve pressing problems such as fires, forest clearance, water pollution and illegal dumping.
The national park is interested in cooperation with the locals in order to hold tours for tourists, provide accommodation at guest houses, sell souvenirs and locally produced foodstuffs as well as develop transport and other services.
The survey will be primarily conducted on 13-15 March in the villages of Zanadvorovka, Bezverkhovo and Primorsky where free passes are issued to the national park.