My name is Piotr Neubauer. I am a manager in the Regional Directorate of the State Forests (RDoSF) in Gdansk being responsible for the development project coordination as well as the international cooperation.
Sitting in the EU financed projects for over 15 years now, I am personally convinced that the most relevant issue here, is to build the multidimensional relations, both between the institutions and what is even more important between the people. All in all, it is the people who create success.
What has been valuable or what was the greatest asset for you as a person to be a part of this project?
The interpersonal contacts between the partners (employees) that are not only professional but just personal. It’s been already 10 years of cooperation between the RDoSF in Gdansk, and the Swedish Forest Agency and the contacts are now being continued as kind of relay race between the people on the professional level but also on the so to say matey level. We meet not only for the work reasons but for the personal too.
What have you discovered from working with other nationalities?
The cooperation is already a long term one. At first, there were lots of misunderstandings and cultural differences (i.e. Swedes do not use stamps and Poles love them). On the other hand, it is true that we learn from each other and there is a diffusion of habits and activities between us like the Swedish order flowing to us and Polish or Lithuanian spontaneity going north.
What has your organisation gained from the project?
The RdoSF in Gdansk having a long tradition of international cooperation gains something that cannot be directly counted in the cash terms. It is a possibility to look at your challenges through the eyes of a person that may be facing them to but propose a different solution.
Have you experienced any successful spinout of your project /added value?
Yes of course. The first international project ”Hardwoods Are Good” brought in years 2013 – 2015 an internal project financed by the State Forests concerning the building of the forest contractors standard of the reliable services. The current project is expected to develop the offer of our organization within the field of tourism especially in terms of making our beautiful forests more available to the public.
Within our partnership, it is a crucial thing to state your opinions in a clear and straightforward way to avoid misunderstandings. Understatements and mental shortcuts can significantly affect even the best cooperation.
How has the project made an impact on your area?
We have chosen three interesting areas. The project development opened our units (the Forest Districts in Gdansk, Elblag and Wejherowo) to the challenges connected to the tourist interest not only during the spring and summer period but also in the other months. This is to say that we are developing our offer according to the real needs of the people. People that want to spend their free time out in the woods but also are interested in some infrastructure and eager to share their experiences through social media.
Has your project had an impact at the policy level?
In the instance of the Ecotourism Strategy, the project strives to bring the common solutions to the particular countries and with the use of this document to have an impact on the positive change within the field of ecotourism in the South Baltic Region.
What has improved thanks to your project?
As said above the tourist offer of the State Forests together with the Pomeranian Tourist Board is being now developed and highly improved. As well as the offer of the respective demonstration areas where we want to introduce a constantly focused offer connected to the different nature aspects.
Tips & tricks
- Be positive and always, always truthful within the partnership.
- Do not try to hide the problems nor think that you are there for yourself.
- In the partnership, you are working for the common good, and you all share both good and bad things.
- Remember that the communication and willingness to cooperate is the most important and key factor of the success.
- Last but not least do what you promise to do and do not avoid taking responsibility.
- All in all, we all learn from each other, and we all want to send in a good report as well achieve excellent results that will grow into a success story.
How would you encourage newcomers to go into partnerships?
- First, check if you are able (the financial and organizational issues) and eligible to be a partner.
- If you are sure, you can then try to meet people from other organizations.
- Try to build on the personal, friendly relations not only on the papers.
- For me, it was always first the person than the paper.
- If you gain trust, you will benefit your organization directly from the particular project and personally as you will meet the fantastic people from around our region or Europe.
Check more info about our project!
Download full project factsheet here: Success story – Attractive hardwoods – project description
More information about the project on the official website: https://www.skogsstyrelsen.se/en/attractive-hardwoods/