BROWN BEAR QUALITY LABEL Certification and promotion of bear friendly products and services

Sustainable development, among others, addresses the balance between an area’s natural assets and human activities. Towards this direction, within the framework of Action A4 of LIFE AMYBEAR, a study was developed to establish and promote the “Brown Bear Quality Label”.

The “Brown Bear Quality Label” was developed for the promotion of the high-value environmental assets of the area of Amyntaio, mainly focusing on the Brown Bear (*Ursus Arctos) which is the species targeted by LIFE AMYBEAR. The “Brown Bear Quality Label” makes use of the brown bear habitat in Amyntaio along with the distinctive products and services produced in the area and make the match to develop certified bear friendly products and services for the sustainable development of the Amyntaio area, promoting the human – bear coexistence.

The “Brown Bear Quality Label” will be issued directly by the Municipality of Amyntaio through a significant certification and evaluation procedure as described in the study developed within the framework of the A4 Action of the LIFE AMYBEAR project.

This study identified the main economic activities of the Municipality of Amyntaio in order to define those which are directly interfere with the brown bear and those considered suitable to promote human-bear co-existence and could contribute to the creation of a new sustainable tourism product for the area.

Economic activities that identified to often interfere with the brown bear or/and are directly related to the protection of the brown bear and the conservation of their habitat are the farmers, beekeepers, livestock-farmers, forest services, environmental organisations, local craftsmen, veterinarians and hunters. Thus, it is significantly important for these activities their products and serviced to receive the “Brown Bear Quality Label” in accordance to the requirements set in the study.

Other economic activities, which could receive the “Brown Bear Quality Label” are mainly related to tourism and main agricultural activities in the area of Amyntaio. These are hotels and other accommodation facilities, restaurants, agricultural associations, wineries and light industry businesses. The certification of these activities aims to the creation of a new sustainable tourism product totally friendly to the brown bear habitat.

Economic activities that are eligible to apply for the “Brown Bear Quality Label” should meet the following certification standards:

  • they operate within the project area: Municipality of Amyntaio
  • they operate legally
  • they use damage prevention measures for the elimination of human – bear interference
  • they implement management procedures that contribute to the natural environment protection
  • they provide information material regarding brown bear protection actions
  • staff has been informed about the “Brown Bear Quality Label”, its requirements, LIFE AMYBEAR’s activities and has received training on bear incident handling

The requirements for the certification of a business with the “Brown Bear Quality Label” are the following per economic activity category:

Agriculture, farming, hunting and other primary sector’s activities:

  • have received training on bear incident handling (necessary condition for all applicants)
  • own guarding dog(s) and participate in the network for exchanging livestock guarding dogs, (necessary condition for livestock-farmers)
  • have obtained an anti-poison first-aid kit for the protection of the shepherd and hunting dogs (necessary condition for livestock-farmers and hunters)
  • use bear-proof refuse container(s) (necessary condition for applicants which use outdoor containers)
  • install electric fence (necessary condition for beekeepers)

Heavy and light industry:

  • use bear-proof refuse container(s) (necessary condition for applicants which use outdoor containers)
  • provide information to their customers that they apply all necessary procedures for the protection of the brown bear

Local cuisine restaurants and shops:

  • have been labeled for applying all necessary procedures for the protection of the brown bear
  • use bear-proof refuse container(s) (necessary condition for applicants which use outdoor containers)
  • use local products and materials for meal preparation as well as promotion of local products (promotion through the menu or through the staff by informing the clients, information material etc)

Accommodation facilities:

  • use bear-proof refuse container(s) (necessary condition for applicants which use outdoor containers)
  • have been labeled for applying all necessary procedures for the protection of the brown bear
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