Wednesday 11. June 2014

Ecotourism in Hornstrandir

Two international students at University of Iceland, Matthias Kühn and Victor Pajuelo Madrigal, are presently working on a research project at the UW on ecotourism in the Westfjords, with focus on the Hornstrandir-nature reserve. On Thursday, June 12, they will present their project to stakeholders and others interested in tourism development at the Hornstrandir area.

The growth of ecotourism in the Westfjords not only brings new ways of economic revenue but also potential threats for the fragile wildlife within the area, especially in biodiversity reservoirs such as the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. The economic value of this reserve lies partly in its wildness and remoteness, which serves as the good that is being sold to tourists. Therefore, managing tourism becomes extremely important in order to ensure the quality of this good for both tourists and local residents. An unmanaged approach to tourism can lead to undesirable economic, social and ecological impacts, which can be avoided by having a proper management plan.

Two master students from Háskóli Íslands are working on a project this summer for addressing those issues which has been funded by the “Student Innovation Fund” from Rannís. The project aims to identify the actual impact of different tourism activities within Hornstrandir, in order to assess which behaviors should be addressed and managed. In order to ensure sustainable tourism within the area, stake- and shareholders should be included in the management of tourism industry. Therefore, the project also aims to create a tool to manage tourism approaches and particular tourist behaviors that can harm the environment and its society, with the consequent impact on the economy, through a participatory process of all the involved actors.

Time: Thursday, 12.06.2014, 12:10-13:00. The talk will be in English. Guests are welcome to come with their lunch or buy a sandwich at UW.