In the end, the authors wonder whether a change in the development paradigm can be expected, in which the discourse of growth with negative externalities has been dominant so far, or with the first better season or quarter, everything will be returned to normal? The very appearance of the Corona virus is a direct consequence of land use changes (deforestation, habitat fragmentation and growing agriculture increase contacts between humans and other animals) which are key drivers of zoonotic diseases, the authors point out in the introduction and emphasize that protected areas and environmental laws they must be part of our global strategy to reduce or prevent future disease episodes. Namely, at the global level, there is a noticeable trend of decreasing funding from the state budget, as well as other public sources, with a parallel increase in ticket collection, educational and recreational programs and other facilities in protected areas. Finally, the possibility of relieving the basic tourist attractions through the diversification of the offer and the spatial dispersion of visitors should be emphasized. This is a special opportunity to move towards higher quality products and services, especially in terms of the interpretation of natural heritage, which brings new employment and income. On the other hand, we witness a relatively intensive use of urban green spaces on a daily basis, where it is not possible to achieve the same level of social distancing. This shows that people have an intense need to live in the natural environment, and by reducing the restrictions, the demand for living in nature will spill over into other natural areas outside urban and suburban areas. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism in all types of destinations is in a phase of stagnation or decline, as well as in destinations of protected natural areas that essentially represent a space to stay in a healthy environment with reduced social interaction. Intensive tourism and visiting, which has become very active in some of our protected areas in the last ten years (Plitvice Lakes, Krka, Lokrum, Kornati, etc.), is in itself massive and inadequate in the first phase of recovery of protected areas, because it does not provide social distance. (which will certainly be one of the important safety aspects of the destination when choosing), and again neglects the primary protection functions. Attitudes and thoughts about reducing the use of protected areas due to the pandemic are markedly divided. One group is represented by scientists and experts who emphasize the importance of the primary functions of protected areas; conservation of species and biodiversity, maintenance of ecosystem services and wildlife protection, while the second group is of the opinion that due to the reduction of pressure on protected areas, and due to the intensive reduction of visits to them, it leads to funding issues. Therefore, it is important to see the current crisis as an opportunity to implement existing strategies and plans, but also “reset” tourism in protected areas, from a form of excursion tourism to protected areas, to essential ecotourism, the authors emphasize. The current situation should facilitate communication with stakeholders of all extremes of thought and encourage compromises for a sustainable, ie “middle” path of nature exploitation in tourism. Finally, it is important to point out that the lack of funding can cause a reduction in the number of employees, which would indirectly affect the increase of activities in the field of poaching and illegal logging, illegal waste disposal, endemic harvesting and the like. It can be concluded that the value of tourism in generating revenue for national parks and nature parks to perform conservation science activities is becoming apparent with this crisis. In terms of the above, it is important to consider when and in what form tourism will return to protected areas. In this sense, the potential is represented by selective types of tourism and activities based on the interpretation of science and heritage, such as specialized guided tours, visitor info centers and sites, and volunteer and educational tourism, which involves the tourist in learning and research processes. Photo: NP Krka How the COVID-19 crisis affects the destinations of protected natural areas is the topic of a new joint professional work of experts from the Institute of Tourism, dr.sc. Izidora Marković Vukadin, Ph.D. Hrvoje Carić and mr.sc.biol. & mag.agr. Roman Ozimec This is especially important for Croatia, which for many decades has so far effectively avoided the establishment of meritorious knowledge, informed planning and management, and the sustainable use of natural, human and spatial resources, the authors conclude. Photo: NP Plitvice Be sure to read the entire paper in the attachment. Attachment: Impact and repercussions COVID-19 crisis on destinations protected h natural areas / Izidora Markovic Vukadin, Hrvoje Caric & Roman Ozimec:
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Photo caption/credit: R.S.N. Janjua, ASA/WISHH In-Country Representative for Pakistan, and Dr. Mindy S. Kurzer answer questions during the “Soy in Improving Human Health” seminar at the University of Karachi. Photo credit: ASA/WISHHDr. Mindy Kurzer, professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota, and director, Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute, spent a week in Pakistan speaking on the many health benefits of soy. Over 550 students, academia, nutritionists, food processors and government officials attended six seminars held in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi, where Dr. Kurzer spoke. Other speakers presented on the U.S. soy industry and how to incorporate value-added soy ingredients in food products. David Williams, FAS counselor, attended the seminar in Rawalpindi.Outside of the seminars, Janjua and Kurzer met with food processing companies, university students, professors and government officials. Funding for Dr. Kurzer’s trip was provided by the USDA’s Emerging Markets Program (EMP).