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2012 | 57 | 2 | 97-109

Article title

Contribution of polish naturalists to the development of the idea of frontier national parks (at the 80th anniversary of the creation of the National Park in Pieniny)

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Scientific foundations of the protection of nature date back to the 19th century and were ever since further refined on the basis of thorough natural research of the most prominent scientists from many countries. Polish scientists stood out with their commitment in shaping and implementation of the protection of nature; here the names of such naturalists as for example Władysław Szafer (1886-1970) and Walery Goetel (1889-1972) should not be omitted. The result of their pioneering activity and many years’ endeavours was inter alia the first in Europe frontier national park in Pieniny created at the beginning of the 30s of the 20th century, at the border of Poland and Slovakia (then Czechoslovakia). However, despite many years of intensive activity of multitude of scientists and defenders of nature at the Tatra mountains, the initiative of creation of the first planned frontier national park there was not realized. Walery Goetel, who took part in setting the Polish-Czechoslovakian frontier and, together with other naturalists, also strived for taking into consideration the protection of nature, was especially committed and full of initiative. Thanks to his exertions, in the so-called Cracow Protocol (which settled the question of borders and borderland of Poland and Chechoslovakia and was finally signed in May 1924) the governments of both countries were advised to settle an agreement concerning national park. It was based on a similar convention made by the United States and Canada. That’s how the long-term exertions to create the National Park in Pieniny mountains enjoyed success, despite the lack of final legal regulations. During the ceremony at Szczawnica on August 31st 1930, Polish Pieniny were announced to become the national park,. Then on June 1st 1932 the regulation of the Minister of Agriculture was proclaimed on the creation of a special entity called “the National Park in Pieniny”. In the same year the activity of the Slovakian Natural Reservation situated on the other side of the border was started. Thanks to these events, on July 17th 1932 the creation of the first European frontier national park was announced.








Physical description


  • Instytut Historii Nauki PAN, ul. Nowy Świat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Polska


Document Type

Publication order reference


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