The GEOSTORIES OF THE UNESCO GEOPARK project
The Geostories of the UNESCO Geopark project KK.06.1.2.01. is one of the most important projects implemented by Papuk Nature Park. The project developer is the public institution Papuk Nature Park and its project partner is the Virovitica-Podravina County Road Administration. The project was applied under the call “Promoting the sustainable use of natural heritage in national parks and nature parks“ of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, and was approved for co-funding from the Operative Programme ‘Competition and Cohesion 2014-2020´. The total project value with ineligible cost is HRK 90,090,587.54. The total eligible costs amount to HRK 77,238,120.20, where 85%, i.e. HRK 65,652,402.17, will be funded with EU grants. The period of project implementation runs from the start of the activities, i.e. 9 March 2016, until the completion of project activities, i.e. 31 March 2020.
The Geostories of the UNESCO Geopark project includes investment on several locations which thematically make one unit – the category of investment. With regard to the visitor infrastructure and content, the project plans include the construction and furnishing of the Voćin Geo-Info Centre, reconstruction and furnishing of halls in the House of the Pannonian Sea, mounting of equipment at Duboka Adventure Park, reconstruction of the Slatinski Drenovac – Jankovac – county border road and the construction, extension and furnishing of 6 lookout stations. In addition, the project includes the preparation of the visitor management study and the construction of capacities related to visitor safety. The Education and Interpretation category of investment includes the preparation of educational and presentational material, educational workshops for preschool and elementary school children, education of guides and the use of information and communication technology. Activities planned within the Promotion and Visibility category include the creation of the marketing plan, visual identity and tourism product of a UNESCO Geopark, communication tools such as GEO events, participation in fairs, geo travels, preparation of promotional materials, organization of events that promote the UNESCO Geopark’s heritage, and creation of presentation tools.
After the project activities are completed, all new content and products will be available to visitors, which will help maintain or increase the quality and diversity of offer and have a positive impact on the interest of both old and new visitors, as well as on the increase of revenue over the years.
The main objective of the project is to increase the sustainable attractiveness of the public touristic infrastructure by increasing the number of targeted daily visits and improving visitor management that will consequently improve the touristic potential of continental Croatia and contribute to positive effects on the local and regional economy. The specific objective of the project is to improve the touristic infrastructure by introducing innovative ways of presenting the historical, cultural, geological and biological riches and an enhanced visitor management system in order to increase the number of visitors to Papuk Nature Park, extend their stay and achieve a sustainable social and economic development.
Based on the fossils from the lake sediment discovered at Poljanska site and the analogy of living conditions with present-day plant species, the conclusion is that the climate patterns in the Papuk area at that time suggested a tropical to subtropical climate.
Vranić geological site is located on the southern slopes of Papuk. Numerous remains of fossilized vertebrates have been discovered within the sand deposits formed by the erosion of older, predominantly Paleozoic metamorphic rocks, as well as within Miocene deposits.