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May 29, 2017

Networking of Biosphere Reserve NGOs

Suported by the Nordic Council of Ministers program for networking of NGOs, 5 people from Hiiumaa and Saaremaa came to Blekinge Biosphere Program Area to refresh contacts and to learn the method of management of nature and hisotric value areas. Blekinge BPA is situated in the southern part of Sweden, in the Karlskrona and Ronneby commune territory. The area size is 210,000 ha, with 156,000 hectares of sea and 54,000 hectares of land. BPA combines culture ühet Reserve - Ronneby Brunnspark, 37 nature reserves, 72 Natura 2000 area. In the region lives 85 000 inhabitants, of whom about 4,000 live in the archipelago, where some islands are, however, connected to mainland via bridges. Locals are proud of Blekinge Institute of Technology where it is possible to study the master's program for the sustainable development magement . Blekinge BPA consideres as its main brand value the coastal fishing and small farms, where traditional skills such as boatbuilding; landscape values, small islands and bays, which create a unique sea views, have been kept alive.

Visited places and met people:

16.05     Ronneby - Introduction programme and Presentation of Blekinge Arhipelago Biosphere Reserve by Heleen Podzedkowska the coordinator of Blekinge BR. About Leader programme in Sweden and in Blekinge – Ursula Hass the vice chairman of South East Leader group Nature reserve. Wämö park and Kaffestugan, about Project „Biosphere Ambassadors“ by Morgan Rennemark. Skärva, history and nature by Morgan Rennemark

17.05     Saxemara Shipyard and Sailing muuseum, meeting Niklas Nyström, Villa Vassen, presentation of the Project „FiskOnline“ by local coastal fishermen Bengt Larsson and Glenn Fridh, Villa Vassen, presentation about development of „Seal safe fishing gear“ by Peter Ljungberg from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ronneby harbour - fishing boat, seal safe gears and cold store

18.05     Göholm and Äggaboden, about local food Network in Blekinge, Anna-Lena Fransson and Christel Hammar, Local art, historical heritages, horse breeding, by artist Susanne Demåne.

The main observations:

We were very impressed by the coastal fishery Project – FiskOnline. This example need to implement in our West-Estonian islands.

Excellent presentation from Peter Ljungberg (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), very serious research has been done by scientists to develop seal safe fishing gears.

Small cold storage with facilities to make ice and fillet is very handy to have in small harbours.

There arised a good idea to organize similar Project in our islands as Blekinge has – coastal roads. We have many different festivals, fairs, ohter events in our islands, that could be connected to promote our local food, handicarft, art, traditions, history, nature values, people.. etc.

Our biosphere areas are both archipelagos, so  there are lot of possibilities to develop diferent co-operation: coastal fishing, boat building, local food, handicraft and art, nature tourism.

We should think about common activities to make our biosphere areas more visible and more attractive. Would be good to discuss together, how to do it.

The Project „Biosphere ambassadors“ is really inspiring!

We met extremely passionate people who does their work with great dedication in Blekinge!

Study-tour to Blekinge Archipelago Biosphere Reserv, SWEDEN from 16th to 18th of May 2017


Jan Ignahhin – NGO Hiiumaa Cooperation Network, member of the board

Els Ulman-Kuuskman – NGO Islands Fishery, partner

Mihkel Undrest – NGO Islands Fishery, member of the board

Heino Vipp – NGO Islands Fishery, executive manager

Lia Rosenberg – Environmental Board, West-Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Programme area specialist


Supported by the Nordic Counsil of Ministers 

Study tour to Blekinge was one of many activities supported by the project: last year partners held a conference Community implementid UNESCO MAB Biosphere program, in Kärdla. The following meeting will be in Latvia, Vidzene BPA to study their interaction with local community,