The area of Polish-Slovak border, which is the subject of this project, namely the region of Szczawnica and Leśnica, is known for many objects of a broadly defined cultural and natural heritage that may be a part of what makes these lands even more attractive.
However, up till now, this important advantage of Polish-Slovak border has been underappreciated, since all major activities were focused on two main attractions, and that is where tourism movement is present. Thus, such movement spreads unevenly, which makes a sustainability of the entire border impossible. At the same time, local communities are often unaware of all the great things that their cultural and natural heritage has to offer, which in turn leads to a gradual fading of a common cultural identity of these lands. The aim of the project is to educate local citizens, whom the project concerns, as well as tourists, who come from outside the region, about the cultural and natural heritage. The tools to achieve this goal include actions planned through establishment of e-services in the form of a digital visual view system with ICT technologies, which presents a cultural and natural heritage of the borderlands in the region of Leśnica and Szczawnica, through a dedicated website, festivals organized on both sides of the border with participation of Pieniny National Park and Slovak National Park of Pieniny. The aim of the actions that are planned within the scope of the project is to reach the widest audience possible, both the citizens of the border and visitors that come to see these lands, and by that, to preserve the heritage for present and future generations. A significant outcome of the project will be educating the present generation about preserved heritage and by that, preservation of a common identity of the border. Preservation of cultural and natural heritage and education of both citizens and visitors about it will affect positively the attractiveness of the borderlands, also from the economic point of view.
The main objective of the project is for present and future generations to preserve and increase the use of regional cultural and natural heritage in a resort cities of Szczawnica and Leśnica, and to increase awareness of a cross-border cooperation in common Europe. This aim will be reached through actions such as establishment of e-services in the form of common digital system for viewing all attractive locations of cultural and natural heritage, with the use of advanced ICT technologies, and through organization of an event of a promotional and cultural character. The general objective of the project contributes to performance of a detailed objective of the programme, since presentation and establishment of knowledge about cultural and natural heritage of the borderland will lead to increased interest in this region due to newly-created activities in locations covered by the project, based on potentials that have not been made advantage of yet, namely the aforementioned heritage. Performance of the project in the form of e-services and a festival will also make it possible to hinder degradation of natural and landscape qualities.
It will be a result of citizens and visitors increasing their knowledge through outcomes of the project, which leads to raising the awareness of common environment protection. Natural and cultural features of the region that the project recipients get familiar with through performance of the main goal, will be the main incentive for people outside the region to travel there, which would also lead to increase of sustainable use of cultural and natural heritage and to improve attractiveness of the border in the context of economy and settlements. At the same time, since it is impossible for target groups to have a direct contact with cultural and natural heritage of these borderlands, involvement of the community in protection and development of it will increase, which in turn will guarantee an increase of level of its sustainable use.