RMK and the Estonian Health Trails Foundation signed a cooperation agreement to foster the promotion of recreational sports 05.12
According to the cooperation agreement signed today, RMK and the Estonian Health Trails Foundation (SA Eesti Terviserajad) shall cooperate together in order to renovate and complete the construction of health trails located in state forests. There are 44 health trails, covering more than 300 kilometres, located in state forests across Estonia.
According to Aigar Kallas, Chairman of the Management Board of RMK, it is one of the priorities of RMK to offer the people of Estonia healthy leisure activities, and the cooperation agreement signed today serves as the basis for the better organisation of recreational sport in the state forest. “According to the agreement, RMK will begin to perform forestry works that are required for the construction, enlargement or renovation of health trails that are located in the state forest, but have not been created by us,” said Kallas, and added that, in order for the agreement not to remain simply on paper, the organisation of work between the parties had already been determined along with contact persons for each trail, who are responsible for defining the volumes and possibilities of the work required.
According to Jaak Teppan, the newly appointed head of the Estonian Health Trails Foundation, they have been looking forward to concluding the cooperation agreement for a long time. “First and foremost, it gives the managers of the health trails assurance and common principles for further activities for maintaining and developing the trails, in order to ensure the good health of all of us,” said Jaak Teppan.
The Estonian Health Trails Foundation consolidates under one trade mark more than 80 health trails all over Estonia, located on nearly 800 kilometres in total, and managed by different local governments, non-profit organisations and private persons. The network of health trails has been brought to life by Eesti Energia, Merko Ehitus and Swedbank to ensure that all people of Estonia have the possibility to take part in free, year-round recreational sports in nature. Almost half of the health trails are either partly or completely located on state land.
The objective of the foundation is to support the full development of health trails in Estonia, to ensure the opportunities for and accessibility of free, year-round recreational sports for everyone. Since 2004, more than EUR 22 million have been invested in the development of health trails in Estonia, including the resources of local governments (EUR 7.7 million), the state (EUR 5 million), the European Union (EUR 6.5 million) and Estonian Health Trails Foundation (EUR 3.2 million).
RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. RMK grows reforestation material, organises forest works, carries out practical nature protection works and is engaged in forest management and timber sales. In addition, RMK creates opportunities for hiking in nature and forest recreation on recreational areas, in Estonia’s five national parks and 40 other protected areas, and shapes nature awareness. The total length of hiking and nature trails managed by RMK is nearly 2000 km. RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.