The Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization

The basis characteristic and aims of the partner

Country: Poland
Offices in Warsaw and Kraków

The Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization in the Polish Academy of Sciences (IGSO PAS) is a Polish state learned institution conducting research in national and international scientific cooperation. The institute has over one hundred employees in three offices located in Warsaw, Kraków and Toruń.

The Institute gathers leading scholars and researchers supporting national and regional actors and policy makers as an important scientific advisory body in Poland. The practical applications are also developed through the participation of the IGSO PAS experts in commissions conducted by the Ministry of Regional Development, Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ministry of the Environment.

The Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences (IGSO PAS) is a project partner in CesR project responsible for scientific supervision, identification and transfer of good practices.

The Małopolska region as a leading tourist destination in Poland was selected for further studies within CesR project.

General information about the Małopolska regionPoland

The Małopolskie voivodeship is situated in the southern Poland and covers more than 15 000 sq km. Małopolska is inhabited by 3.4 mln of people which places the region on the 4th position among other Polish regions.

The most important tourist attractions comprise the highest mountains in Poland (Tatry), the capital city of the region (Kraków) with about 1.100 objects classified as monuments, the historic Salt Mine in Wieliczka (the only mining site in the world functioning continuously since the Middle Ages), the other natural amenities (e.g. Pieniny mountains, karst plateau), religious and wooden architecture (e.g. the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Sanctuary) as well as ski and spa centers (e.g. Zakopane).

Significance of the rural area and tourism

About a half of the population in Małopolska lives in rural areas and since the beginning of the 20th century, their share continues to grow. In the same time, approximately 23 % of population inhabits Kraków. The land use structure of Małopolskie voivodeship also reflects this diversity of rural areas: agricultural lands constitute 61 % of the area, forests approximately 30 % whereas built-up lands less than 6%. The farms are the smallest in Poland (around 2,3-2,8 ha) but it might be perceived as a potential which together with favourable natural conditions and rich socio-cultural traditions contributes to the development of ecologic production.

In 2010, Małopolskie voivodeship hosted about 8,7 mln of tourists (including 2,3 mln of foreign tourists). The number of beds in collective tourist establishments exceeds 68 thousands places. The tourist potential of Małopolska is impressive: five out of 13 places in Poland registered as UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage are located in Małopolska while around 47 000 objects are classified as monuments by Regional Conservator. In addition, more than a half of the Małopolska territory is registered as protected areas: there are 6 national parks and two of them are considered UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.