MAREK KUCHCIŃSKI

MEMBER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF RP - DISTRICT 22

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Marek Kuchciński: Funding for national parks should be increased

During the committee meeting Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestrych Marek Kuchcinski made suggestions for the 2022 budget for national parks - primarily increasing employee salaries and reducing the financial disparities of the parks themselves.

He stressed that in the context of what is happening in Poland and in the world today - that on the one hand we have the effects of a pandemic, and on the other a noticeable change in the direction of Poles' travels from abroad to their home country - the importance and value of areas with interesting landscapes is growing. Clean air and natural environment give a substitute of normality to the mentally tired society. This is extremely important at this time.

According to the Marshal, the best solution would be to make employment financing (posts with derivatives) in national parks dependent on budget subsidies, which should be increased. The salaries of the employees of national parks should be finally equalized with the salaries of the State Forests (a small group of 1.5 thousand people earn on average only about 50% of what the State Forests earn - 25 thousand people).

The parks receive over 15 million visitors annually and the impact on this small area, yet very unique in terms of nature, is growing. Polish parks have a much smaller area (1%) compared to, for example, Slovakia (6.5%), Hungary (5%) or the Czech Republic (2%).

From the economic and development policy point of view, we can put forward a thesis that national parks enhance the development of regions, attracting capital to their vicinity. It has been proved that every dollar spent on this form of nature protection by a given country paid back even a hundredfold in the enrichment of local communities. However, the number of tasks carried out by the parks is increasing significantly, which also means that the costs are rising considerably. Some parks have revenues. Some do not. And this is the basic problem, i.e. disproportions.

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