Holuhraun Eruption and Northern Lights, Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland, August 12, 2014. Photo: Peter Prokosch
The Vatnajökull Nation Park covers about 1/3 of the pristine wilderness of the entire Icelandic Highlands
The Vatnajökull National Park, established in 2008, includes all of Vatnajökull glacier as well as the national parks previously existing at Skaftafell in the south and Jökulsárgljúfur in the north, so that today’s national park covers 14% of Iceland (about 13.920 km2 as of June 2014) and ranks amongst Europe’s largest. In general, national parks are protected areas which are considered unique because of their nature or cultural heritage. Theunique qualities of Vatnajökull National Park are primarily its great variety of landscape features, created by the combined forces of rivers, glacial ice, and volcanic and geothermal activity.
The establishment of the Vatnajökull National Park is a result of a major national environmental movement in the 1990s to protect the Icelandic Highlands as one of Europe’s largest wilderness areas against physical fragmentations such as dams, power lines and roads. There are today increasing discussions, whether the present protection area of the national park need to be extended over the entire highlands in order to cope with these continuous threats. Continue reading
The Eleventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP11) will be held in Quito, Ecuador, from 4 to 9 November 2014. The COP will be preceded by a High Level Ministerial Panel and regional coordination meetings on 3 November, and held along with meetings of the CMS Standing Committee on 2 and 9 November. Continue reading
The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 is a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Congress will share knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Building on the theme “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions”, it will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda. Continue reading
The Galápagos Archipelago, located on the Equator. about 1000 km west of the Latin American contient, consists of about a dozen major and more than 100 smaller islands. The 7,880 km2 of land and the over 45,000 km2 of surrounding ocean have been better preserved, are closer to what they looked like before Europeans settled there, than any other comparable Archipelago in the world. Continue reading
Humans and the rest of biodiversity are critically linked and interdependent. The need for the conservation of diversity of natural habitats and ecosystems on earth is supported by the United Nations through the development of a complete and well-managed network of protected areas by the year 2020 (CBD Aichi 2020 target 11). This goal is achievable with the support of tourism.
Svalbard is the cradle of LT&C. The following description is the story of an impressive example that highlights how cooperation between tourism and conservation resulted in an increase of well-managed national parks and other protected areas.
Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C) was established February 2014 as a globally operating NGO in Norway. LT&C made itself public March 10, 2014, in Madrid at the German-Spanish Conference, “Connecting – Natural World Heritage – Sustainable Tourism – How can sustainable Tourism contribute to the conservation of nature reserves?” The European forum was hosted by the German Tourism Board in Spain, the German Embassy in Spain and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, with involvement of UNWTO, UNESCO World Heritage, Lufthansa and others. In the context of the conference focussing on Spanish and German World Heritage Sites and national parks, the concept of LT&C became a center point. Please see the LT&C presentation for more information.