Developing a transboundary network of protected areas to improve nature experience

Published: 22 November 2016
Last edited: 02 October 2020
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The main aims were to create a lasting network between protected areas to achieve a better understanding of protected areas among locals and visitors, and to create awareness of the parks’ value for quality of life and local economy in West Pannonia at the border between Austria and Hungary. Intending the creation of a transboundary gateway to a sustainable nature experience, the project provides the development of tourism offers supporting nature while contributing to regional development.


West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness


Lake Neusiedl, Austria | West Pannonian Region


The project achieved the intended transboundary development of nature tourism and environmental education to provide an improved nature experience. This contributes to a more sustainable tourism and a raised awareness of natural processes and conservation among visitors. The targeted cooperation of protected area administrations persists also after the end of the project. The project also raised awareness for regional stakeholders and policymakers regarding potential benefits from transboundary cooperation and enhancing personal contacts especially in the field of nature tourism. Raising awareness enables further coordination and thus improvement of nature tourism and nature protection in the area. This improved cooperation allows for enhancement of the nature experience in an efficient way through creation of joint tourism activities. Furthermore, regional-development stakeholders in the West Pannonian region gained for the first time an insight in the characteristics of the ecosystems in the respective neighboring countries. A better bilateral understanding of the administrative structures and decision levels in the respective neighboring countries is an important added value of the project.

Contributed by

Sophia Fettinger University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna