|Natura 2000 has been established as the world largest network of protected areas to halt biodiversity loss in Europe, mainly by promoting sustainable use of semi-natural ecosystems. However, in many cases,the implementation of sustainability goals has beenlimited to its environmental dimension. This is evident especially in Central and Eastern Europe where residents reported significant social and economic costsof Natura 2000 (ref. Grodzinska-Jurczak, Cent 2011). Nature conservation authorities and some NGOs often proposeecotourism to respond to the residents’ concerns about negative local-scale economic impact of the Natura 2000 program. However, it can be misleading since an ecotourism potential is not solely created byenvironmental assets concentrated in Natura 2000 sites. Thus, inthis study, we focus more closely on social aspectsof ecotourismand provide insight into 1) community values towards nature, 2) stakeholders’ attitudes towards ecotourist path of development and 3) local environmental knowledge of the stakeholders. We arguethat only after learning these aspects and gaining an active support of wide array of stakeholders’ towards the ecotourist initiatives, the process can trulyaddress local-scale social and economic needswhile contributing to nature conservation (ref. Western, Wright 1994).