EU-funded FLEG II Program has completed in February 2017. Learn more about the Program and its results, read the final reports, or contact us.
ADA-funded FLEG II Program has completed in December 2017. Learn more about the Program and its results, read the final reports, or contact us.
As increasingly more tourists visit Pskovskaya Oblast for Christmas holidays, local residents see additional benefits from the sustainable use of local forests
Pskovskaya Oblast, RUSSIA— This Christmas and New Year holiday, many Pskov villages will be filled with the aroma of cinnamon and cloves and the warmth of handmade wool, as local residents look to traditional honey cakes and wool crafts to help bolster local ecotourism businesses near Polistovsky Nature Reserve in northwest Russia.
Local residents in forest-dependent communities in Pskovskaya Oblast and the Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Program (FLEG II) have been working to develop ecotourism as a legal and sustainable alternative to illegal logging in forest-dependent communities.
To help local residents diversify their local souvenir production skills, create additional jobs in the slower autumn and winter seasons and cash in during the upcoming holiday season, the FLEG II Program conducted two master classes this autumn in these traditional Russian arts and crafts.
Three craftswomen taught fifteen residents of the arts of matting wool and making traditional northern cinnamon-honey cakes called “Kozuli”. Elena Kondrashova and Yulia Orlova from St. Petersburg brought bags of colored wool and taught different techniques of working with it: wet and dry matting and creating beads, washcloths, toys, slippers, hot pads, brooches, earrings and key chains. All participants could take home the souvenirs they made, and by the next day, some had already made an agreement with the local sheep owner to purchase wool for the new souvenirs. Such agreements broaden markets for the local citizens and involve even more households into the developing ecotouristic network.
Katya Belikova from Pskov conducted a master class in baking “Kozuli” cinnamon-honey cakes, beginning with the preparation of the fragrant dark brown dough and ending with adding colorful icing. Belikova provided a cultural history of honey cakes in northwest Russia, templates of traditional honey cake molds and many secrets of the recipe for baking these ancient sweets.
“Both master classes turned out to be very fascinating and where enjoyed by all. The moderators were successful in creating an artistic and relaxed atmosphere. There was a lot of laughter, good vibes and interesting discoveries,” said Nadezhda Nikolenko, the Deputy Director of the Polistovsky Nature Reserve.
After participants expressed interest in studying, in greater detail, the various techniques and types of wool matting and wool and fabric coloring with natural dyes, Polistovsky Reserve staff together with FLEG II experts decided to continue the practice of such master classes and training seminars.
Story based on the report of N. Milovidova and N. Nikolenko published at polistovsky.ru.