Peter Repka, Department of Biology and Ecology in University of Matej Bel in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia) (974-01 Banská Bystrica, Tajovského 40 St., Slovakia).
Beata Barabasz-Krasny, Department of Botany of the Institute of Biology Pedagogical University (Podchorążych 2 St., 30-084 Cracow, Poland).
Katarzyna Możdżeń, Department of Plant Physiology of the Institute of Biology Pedagogical University (Podchorążych 2 St., 30-084 Cracow, Poland); e-mail:
Peter Urban, Department of Biology and Ecology in University of Matej Bel in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia) (974-01 Banská Bystrica, Tajovského 40 St., Slovakia).
Juraj Švajda, Department of Biology and Ecology in University of Matej Bel in Banská Bystrica (Slovakia) (974-01 Banská Bystrica, Tajovského 40 St., Slovakia).

Reference to article

Repka P., Barabasz-Krasny B., Możdżeń K., Urban P., Švajda J. 2017. Environmental awareness of students living near selected national parks in countries of Visegrád group. Nature Conservation Research 2(Suppl. 2): 56–65. DOI: 10.24189/ncr.2017.035

Section Resarch articles

The aim of this study was to evaluate environmental awareness of young people and effectiveness of education used by national parks. The research occurred in the period from 2012 to 2014. The Veľká Fatra National Park (Slovakia), Bohemian Switzerland National Park (Czech Republic), Bieszczady National Park (Poland) and Bükki National Park (Hungary) as parks of countries of the Visegrád Group were analysed. The study was focused on the target group of students of gymnasiums and secondary schools in the regions where national parks are located and outside these regions. In all the analysed countries we used a questionnaire, which was distributed among 1301 students. For each respondent, answers were entered in a spreadsheet and statistically analysed. The following non-parametric statistical tests were used: Kruskal-Wallis, Friedman, Wilcoxon and parametric ANOVA. The best results were noted among students from Poland and the Czech Republic. In other countries of the Visegrád Group therefore it is appropriate to introduce actions aiming at increasing the ecological awareness of students, according to the models of education functioning in national parks and schools in Poland and the Czech Republic. It is also necessary to revise the ways in which national environmental education exists in all studied countries, as well as to strengthen volunteer activities.


environmental awareness, national parks, students of gymnasium and secondary schools, Visegrád Group

Artice information

Received: 12.04.2017

The full text of the article

Ardoin N.M., Wheaton M., Bowers A.W., Hunt C.A., Durham W.H. 2015. Nature-based tourism's impact on environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behavior: a review and analysis of the literature and potential future research. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 23(6): 838–858.
Bauer N., Wallner A., Hunziker M. 2009. The change of European landscapes: Human-nature relationships, public attitudes towards rewilding, and the implications for landscape management. Journal of Environmental Management 90: 2910–2920.
Bennett N.J., Dearden P. 2014. Why local people do not support conservation: Community perceptions of marine protected area livelihood impacts, governance and management in Thailand. Marine Policy 44: 107–116.
Bizubová M., Nevřelová M. 2006. Význam náučných chodníkov v krajine a jej ochrane. Acta Environmentalica Universitatis Comenianae (Bratislava) 14 (2): 5–10.
Boyd S., Butler R. 2009. Tourism and the Canadian National Park System: Protection, Use and Balance. In: W. Frost, H. Hall (eds.): Tourism and National Parks. London: Routledge. P. 102–113.
Brechin S.R., Murray G., Mogelgaard K. 2010. Conceptual and practical issues in defining protected area success: The political, social, and ecological in an organized world. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 29(2–4): 362–389.
České Švýcarsko N.P. 2015. Administration of Czech Switzerland National Park. In: Yearbook 2014. Year report. Krásna Lípa (VA). The manuscript is available in the library of the Czech Switzerland National Park.
Dearden P., Bennett N.J. 2015. Parks and protected areas. In: Resource and Environmental Management in Canada. 5th edition. Chapter 13. Oxford: Oxford University Press. P. 318–344.
DeFries R., Karanth K.K., Pareeth S. 2010. Interactions between protected areas and their surroundings in human-dominated tropical landscapes. Biological Conservation 143(12): 2870–2880.
Dudley N., Stolton S., Belokurov A., Krueger L., Lopoukhine N., MacKinnon K., Sandwith T., Sekhran N. (eds.). 2010. Natural Solutions: Protected areas helping people cope with climate change. Gland, Switzerland; Washington DC and New York, USA: IUCN-WCPA, TNC, UNDP, WCS, The World Bank and WWF. 130 p.
Eagles P.F.J. 2009. Governance of recreation and tourism partnerships in parks and protected areas. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 17(2): 231–248.
Górecki A., Nieszporek K., Ostruszka A., Skolarczyk L., Wójcik M. 2007. Świadomość ekologiczna młodzieży zamieszkującej okolice wybranych parków narodowych. Roczniki Bieszczadzkie 5: 283–302.
Haas M., Ondrová E., Švajda J. 2008. Environmental education. Žilina: Institute of High Mountain Biology; University of Žilina Press. 132 p.
Hibszer A. 2013. Parki Narodowe w świadomości i działaniach społeczności lokalnych. Katowice: University of Silesia. 358 p.
Karanth K.K., DeFries R. 2010. Nature-based tourism in Indian protected areas: New challenges for park management. Conservation Letters 4: 137–149.
Kolasiсska A., Adamski P., Ciapaіa S., Švajda J., Witkowski Z. 2015. Trail management, off-trail walking and visitor impact in the Pieniny Mts National Park (Polish Carpathians). Eco-mont. Journal on Protected Mountain Areas Research Management 7(1): 26–36.
Lockwood M. 2010. Good governance for terrestrial protected areas: a framework, principles and performance outcomes. Journal of Environmental Management 91: 754–766.
McCool S., Hsu Y.C., Rocha S.B., Sœþórsdóttir A.D., Gardner A.L., Freimud W. 2012. Building the capability to manage tourism as support for the Aichi Target. Parks, the International Journal for Protected area Managers 18(2): 92–106.
Monz C.A., Cole D.N., Leung Y.F., Marion J.L. 2010. Sustaining Visitor Use in Protected Areas: Future Opportunities in Recreation Ecology Research Based on the USA Experience. Environmental Management 45(3): 551–562.
Mose I. 2013. Societal research perspectives on protected areas in Europe: priorities for future research. In: 5th Symposium for Research in Protected Areas (10–12 June, 2013). Mittersil. P. 527.
Możdżeń K., Możdżeń E., Barabasz-Krasny B., Sołtys-Lelek A. 2016. Świadomość ekologiczna Młodzieży ponadgimnazjalnej. In: D. Żołnierczuk-Kieliszek, M. Janiszewska (eds.): Zdrowie, psychologia, społeczeństwo – przegląd wybranych zagadnień. Tygiel, Lublin, Polska. P. 199–215.
Neufeld D. 2012. Indigenous peoples and protected heritage areas: acknowledging cultural pluralism. In: K.S. Hanna, D.A. Clark, D.S. Slocombe (eds.): Transforming parks and protected areas: policy and governance in a changing world. New York: Routledge. P. 181–199.
Powell R.B, Stern M.J., Krohn B.D., Ardoin N. 2011. Development and validation of scales to measure environmental responsibility, character development, and attitudes toward school. Environmental Education Research 17(1): 91–111.
Považan R., Getzner M., Švajda J. 2014. Value of ecosystem services in Mountain National Parks. Case study of Veľká Fatra National Park (Slovakia). Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 23(5): 1699–1710.
Repiský Ľ., Švajda J. 2012. Hodnotenie webov národných parkov Slovenska. In: Enviro-i-fórum 2012: zborník príspevkov konferencie, odborné fórum o environmentálnej informatike. Slovenská agentúra životného prostredia Zvolen. P. 75–78.
Stern M.J. 2010. Payoffs versus process: expanding the paradigm for park/people studies beyond economic rationality. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 29(2–4): 174–201.
Stern M.J., Wright M.E., Powell R.B. 2012. Motivating participation in national park service curriculum-based education programs. Visitor Studies 15(1): 28–47.
Stern M.J., Powell R.B., Hill D. 2014. Environmental education program evaluation in the new millennium: what do we measure and what have we learned? Environmental Education Research 20(5): 581–611.
Stronghill J., Rutherford M.B., Haider W. 2015. Conservancies in Coastal British Columbia: A New Approach to Protected Areas in the Traditional Territories of First Nations. Conservation and Society 13: 39–50.
Švajda J. 2009. Contribution for Improvement of Visitor Monitoring in the Tatra National Park. Eco-mont. Journal on Protected Mountain Areas Research Management 1(2): 13–18.
Švajda J., Fenichel E.P. 2011. Evaluation of Integrated Protected Area Management in Slovakian National Parks. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies. 20(4): 1053–1060.
Švecová M. 2008. Skúsenosti z krajín EÚ. In: M. Švecová, K. Sásiková (eds.): Výchova k udržateľnému rozvoju v podmienkach škôl a jej manažment. Banská Bystrica: Fakulta prírodných vied UMB. P. 131–142.
Urban P., Bitušík P. 2015. Výučba ochrany prírody na Katedre biológie a ekológie FPV UMB v Banskej Bystrici a jej úskalia. Quaestiones rerum naturalium 2: 89–100.
Weiland I.S., Morrison J.A. 2013. The Integration of Environmental Education into Two Elementary Preservice Science Methods Courses: A Content-Based and a Method-Based Approach. Journal of Science Teacher Education 24(6): 1023–1047.
Voll F., Luthe T. 2013. A systemic perspective on sustainable governance of protected areas. Eco-mont. Journal on Protected Mountain Areas Research Management 6(1): 15–22.
von Ruschkowski E., Mayer M. 2011. From Conflict to Partnership? Interactions between Protected Areas, Local Communities and Operators of Tourism Enterprises in Two German National Park Regions. Journal of Tourism and Leisure Studies 17(2): 147–181.
Żeber-Dzikowska I. 2012. Projekty edukacyjne – propagowanie ochrony przyrody i turystyki. Edukacja Biologiczna i Środowiskowa 4(44): 123–131.