Students of Pskov State University conducted an opinion poll in the villages adjacent to Polistovsky Reserve
In a framework of a joint project of the Public relations department of Pskov State University and Polistovsky Reserve an opinion poll was held in late March in Gogolevo, Sosnovo and Usadba villages. This survey was aimed at collecting sociological information about the peculiarities of life in this area, local community attitude and interaction with Polistovsky Reserve.
The purpose of research is detection of points of contact and conflict between the villagers and the Reserve. The main objectives of the project are: building positive social communication, establishing links between the reserve and local communities in order to develop eco-tourism, as well as the modeling of the preliminary plan of environmental education and interpretation program.
Earlier, in 2014, a similar survey was conducted in Tsevlo village. Survey results allowed the administration of Polistovsky Reserve to learn about the actual problems of the villagers and try to find solutions together. Today Tsevlo residents actively cooperate with the Reserve and participate in work with tourists who come to Polistovsky Reserve excursions as well as to the excursions of Tsevlo residents.
In 2015 Polistovsky Reserve started active development of the tourist sector in Loknyansky district: ecotrail "By the beavers' path" is almost ready, it is planned to reconstruct Reserve's base in Gogolevo village and to construct a new guest house for tourists. Therefore, field practice of students of the department "Public Relations and Journalism" of Pskov State University, who conducted a survey of public opinion about neighborhood issues and cooperation with the Reserve, was very handy.
According to the preliminary results of the survey presumably there is a conflict of interests of the Reserve and locals in Loknyansky District, because cranberry collection is a source of income for local villagers. In this situation, the main task is to find solutions that will take into account interests of locals in the situation of the neighborhood with the National Nature Reserve as much as possible. In this issue we hope for joint development of agro- and eco- tourism, especially since the preliminary results of the survey confirm locals’ interest in it.
Now obtained data is processed by researchers-sociologists, results will be discussed at a future meeting of the Reserve’s administration and residents of Gogolevo, Sosnovo and Usadba villages.