Kaliningrad – Rominter Heath (Romincka Forest)


In the year 2007 a German-Russian co-operative project aimed at the development of an international large-scale reserve in the Rominter Heath (Romincka Forest) began. This prospective three-phase project is sponsored by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Foundation for the Environment, DBU).


Phase one, concluded in 2008, encompassed a feasibility study for the establishment of an international large-scale protected area, including eco-tourism oriented development, in the Romincka Forest. This study showed the area’s outstanding suitability for such an undertaking; at the same time, it also documented the high level of interest in this project by the local administration in Kaliningrad as well as regional and local decision-makers.


Purpose and Occasion

The second phase of the project deals with the establishment of a detailed protected area and development concept for the Russian part of the Romincka Forest. This area, located in the border region between Poland, Lithuania, and Russia, represents an undivided expanse of forest of Europe-wide importance. The Polish part is preserved as a Landscape Conservation Park; the Lithuanian part belongs to the Wystiter Regional Park. The Russian part of the Romincka Forest has limited access due to its location in the border region and currently enjoys no special protection status. This project aims to establish the basis for an ecologically sound valorisation of the Russian portion of the Romincka Forest in conjunction with the Russian authorities and civilian parties. Like the feasibility study, the current project phase is sponsored by the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU). Upon completion of the current project, a third phase, whose application is still pending, will include the establishment of a nature reserve and the development of its infrastructure with the support of an EU measure. The long-term goal of this project is the development of the entire Romincka Forest into one large-scale, trans-boundary protected area between Russia, Poland and Lithuania.


Implementation and Co-operative Partners

The implementation of the project is conducted in close co-operation with the relevant Russian authorities. The leading partner is the Michael Succow Foundation for the Protection of Nature. In addition, the following co-operative partners support the implementation:

  • The Ecological-historical Museum Wystiter Lake, Kaliningrad, Russia
  • BTE Tourism Management Regional Development, Berlin, Germany
  • Park Krajobrazowy Puszczy Rominckiej, Zytkiejmy, Poland
  • Educational Association “Work and Life” (Arbeit und Leben e.V.)
  • E.C.O. Institute for Ecology Jungmeier Ltd., Klagenfurt, Austria

Time Frame and Project Steps

The official opening of the project took place during the German-Russian Seminar for Environmental Education (September 16-17, 2009). The proposed running time for the project is two years (July 2009 through June 2011). During this time the following steps are planned:

  • Intensive ecological and socio-economic studies and evaluation of land use practices, development potential, and potential utilisation conflicts in regards to the planned large-scale protected area
  • Analysis of the socio-economic effects of the establishment of a protected area and an estimate of its employment potential
  • Establishment of development goals and measures
  • Development of a concept for ecologically sound forest use and ecologically oriented hunting
  • Development of a detailed zoning concept for the protected area
  • Conceptualisation of the required protected area administration
  • Development of a tourism concept for the protected area (e.g., development of a road system and visitor guidance, planning of a visitor information centre, concrete development of synchronised tourism activities)
  • Conceptualisation and initial implementation of environmental education measures
  • Establishment of a project budget for the initial implementation of some aspects of the tourism concept

The results of these steps will be incorporated in the development plan for the Kaliningrad protected area region, thus contributing to an ecologically sound and sustainable development of the region.





Project coordination:

Stefan Schwill, email: stefan.schwill(at)succow-stiftung.de


Contact in Russia:

Dr. Alexej Sokolov, 238023 Kaliningradskaja oblast, Nestrovskij r-n, pos. Krasnolesje, ul. Sosnova, 5-A, Ecological-historical Museum Wystiter Lake, Mob. 007 – (8) 9062 126823, email: wystynez@bk.ru