At today’s meeting the Directorate of the Association of local self-government authorities of Kharkiv region, which was held by Sergii Chernov, President of the Association, Chairman of Kharkiv Regional Council, discussed organization and activity issues of the first geopark in Ukraine – Public Union “Kharkiv Geopark Verkhnie Prydontsovia in 2020.

Geopark “Verkhnie Prydontsovia” is aimed at creating comprehensive tourist product that can make Kharkiv region more attractive for domestic and foreign tourists and increase its competitiveness in national and international scales and increase investment attractiveness of member-communities.

According to Oleksii Kiriukhin, Executive Director of the Public Union, an active work is being held regarding conclusion of partnership agreements with leading institutions of the region and country, also communities are being invited for participation in the preparation and implementation of the comprehensive recreational and educational product on the territory of the region.

“Geopark consists of the Non-governmental organization “Slobozhanski Strategii”, tourist complex “Sim Vitriv”, we are also working on involving the Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, which has a training and research proving ground in Izium region that will also be included in the geopark. Work on a comprehensive recreational and educational product is expected to last for two years.

We are still working on preparation of relevant cooperation agreements with the European Network of Geoparks, which includes 81 geoparks. European geoparks operate under the auspices of UNESCO. This interaction is important for us", Oleksii Kiriukhin said.

Mykola Titov, First Vice-President-Executive Director of the Association of local self-government authorities of Kharkiv region, suggested for the Geopark “Verkhnie Prydontsovia” project to participate in the competition of the Ministry of Regional Development, which is supported by the European Union since it will help attract additional funds to increase the recreational and tourist potential of the member-communities, namely Chuhuiv, Stara Saltivka, Pisochyn and Izium.

"This is one of the many initiatives that we are the first ones to implement in Ukraine. In the next two weeks, we will fight for the Geopark “Verkhnie Prydontsovia” project to win the competition of the State Fund for Regional Development. Territorial communities and the regional council will be involved in the project implementation.

The next step is for the first geopark of Ukraine to get in touch with the relevant institutions of the European Union, conclude agreements that will create opportunities for the restoration and maintenance of historical and cultural sites, especially the ones of local significance, tourism development, environmental protection. The road map of the project is ready, I hope that we will get a positive reaction in Kyiv and in the European Union," Sergii Chernov, Chairman of Kharkiv Regional Council, said.

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