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The Polish Ecotourism Certificate

CURRENTLY CERTIFIED NETWORK MEMBERS

The following network members are currently certified with the Polish ecotourism label:


Organic Farm and kayak rental „Bielińska Góra” (in Brańszczyk village)

"Agroturystyka u Kaflika", kayak and bike rental (in Brańszczyk Village)

Agrotourism and fish ponds  „Stary Młyn” –„Old Mill” (in Ołtarze Gołacze, Nur commune)

Agrotourism „Dom nad Wierzbami” – „House under the Willows” (in Jackowo Dolne, Somianka commune)


Kuźnia Kurpiowska – Izba Regionalna – „The regional museum and Workshop place „Kurpie Forge” (in Pniewo, Zatory coomune)

The education and horse farm „Stajnia Kaliska” (in Kaliska, Łochów commune)

This places fulfill over 100 specific criterias related to environment protection and ecotourim principles. Among them :

  • The offer must be transparent and clear,  the hosts and guides have appropriate knowledge about the local environment, culture and history.
  • The proposed activities focus on nature and culture and respect of the natural and cultural heritage. Priority is given to protection and promotion of the wild nature, protected species and areas. Local traditions are cultivated.
  • The minimal food provenience requirements:

- at least half of the food products is local, and often  comes directly from the farm
- at least half of the fruits and vegetables is not imported from other countries
- organic and fair trade products are proposed at least as a choice
- regional and vegetarian dishes are proposed
- eggs never come from battery cage farming (and preferred are from free range local)

  • The place has implemented ways of minimising the environmental impact as :

- measures for saving water and Energy
- the heating system must not be based on coal
- minimum of 12% of the energy used must come from renewable sources
- at least 80% of the cleaning products used has an eco-friendly label
- the toilet paper comes from recycling or is not chlorinated
- waste is sorted, and organic waste is composted
- non biodegradable single use dishes and wrappings are not used
- no chemicals are used in the garden
- motor transport during excursions is organized in a way to minimize it

  • If the place leads and agriculture production, it has to be organic or at least sustainable farming.
  • Guests have the possibility to learn and/or participate in environment protection projects/activities.
  • Hosts support the local economy by buying local products, cooperating with local guides and service providers, selling locally produced souvenirs, taking part in local events and organisations and by promoting other organic farms and ecotourism places.
  • Attention is given to preserving the landscape, the aesthetics of the environment and the traditional architecture. Plastics siding is prohibited, as well as bright inscriptions or colours, and the heights of the buildings must be lower than surrounding trees.
  • Biodiversity is protected. Native plants are planted in gardens, as well as traditional varieties of polish fruit trees.

Full list of criterias available on demand

 

About the Polish ecotourism certification system

 

The first Polish ecotourism certification label was created in 2010 by the Social Ecological Institute. It was inspired by existing in the EU ecotourism labels from countries like Norway, Estonia or Romania. It also takes in account standards promoted by  The International Ecotourism Society (www.ecotourism.org)  and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (www.gstcouncil.org) criterias.

The label has been created form small tourist businesses/agrotourism farms, especially in rural and high nature value areas. The label could be given to farms, small hotels, other accommodation places, but also to other tourist service providers like shops, art galleries, museums and so on. Accommodation places have to stay small size and have no more than 25 rooms.  

Goals

The goal of the Polish Ecotourism Certificate is to implement and promote world ecotourism principles and high environmental standards in Polish agrotourism and rural tourism.

Conditions

Only places/services providers that fulfill a list of criterias related to environment, management, impact on nature, environment protection, promotion of local culture, input in the local economy can receive the certificate. The full list of  103 criterias must be completed in order to be eligible.

The label is given for one year after an external audit and a decision of the Certificate Council, chosen by the Board of the Social Ecological Institute (independent non-profit organization). It has to be renewed every two years, by voluntary application and audit review.

 

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