LT&C-Workshop on the Icelandic Highlands National Park Plans

Photo: Steinar Kaldal

May 28, 2017, together with the Iceland Nature Conservation Organisation (INCA) and Landvernd, LT&C is planning a Workshop on the topic „The Icelandic Highlands – one National Park? How can tourism support this idea?“. In her opening speech Iceland’s Minister of the Environment, Björt Ólafsdóttir, will update us on the present status of plans from the Government of Iceland to protect the Highlands. Already in 2008 the Vatnajökull national park, as part of the Highlands, was established and is presently in discussion to become a World Heritage Site. The establishment of this national park, which covers mainly the Vatnajökull, Icelands largest glacier, was already a part-success of a longer lasting campaign, in particular of INCA, to get actually the entire Icelandic Highlands protected as one large national park. Several important supporters of the national park initiative for the entire Highlands will be present at the workshop, among them key tourism-representatives of Iceland. The workshop may provide an opportunity to witness further cooperation of conservation and tourism and an important step within the realisation of this great plan. See below programme (see also on LT&C-Calendar):

Programme for the Workshop  

 Highland National Park: 

Opportunities to Link Tourism and Conservation


May 28, 2017, 13:00-18:00 

 Hrauneyjar Guesthouse at the entrance to the Icelandic Highlands

(GPS coordinates: 64°11´47.20“ N and 19°15´55.90“ W)

Language:   English

Expected Participants:  LT&C-Members, Conservation NGOs/Experts, Tourism Business/Experts, Representatives of the Government of Iceland and Representatives of Political Parties in Iceland

Participation by invitation only.

 Moderator: Peter Prokosch

 Questions the workshop attempts to answer 

(presenters will provide a short, ca 10 minutes, introduction and leave about 5 minutes within their slot for discussion):


13:00 – 14:30

Opening Speech:

What is the present status of plans from the Government of Iceland to protect the Highlands?

Björt Ólafsdóttir, Iceland’s Minister of the Environment


 What is LT&C and what do we want to achieve with the workshop?

Peter Prokosch, LT&C


How did we get here?

A short summary of the long winding road towards a national park.

Arni Finnsson, Icelandic Nature Conservation Association (INCA)


 Does protecting the Highlands support the nomination of Vatnajökull National Park for a World Heritage Status?

Snorri Baldursson, Chairman of the Board of Landvernd


14:30 – 15:00

Coffee/Tea Break

15:00 – 17:00


How does the Icelandic Travel Industry look at the plans for a Highland

National Park?

Einar Torfi Finnsson, Chairman Environment Committee, Icelandic Travel       Industry Association    


Nature based tourism in the highlands – how do we best protect the   nature now and in the future?

Kristín Linda Árnadóttir, General Director, Environment Agency of Iceland


Why we are engaged to support the conservation movement in Iceland

and in particular the protection of the Highlands as national park.

Lilja Pálmadóttir, Pálmi Jónsson‘s Nature Conservation Fund


Socal Media and it’s influence, effects, and utility in the Brand of a Nature    Based Tourism industry and how to use it to protect the future.

Oliver Luckett, Efni


What is the view of people, communities and business, which are closely   connected to the Highlands ?

Ágúst Sigurðsson, Mayor of Rangárþing ytra municipality


Bridging the gap between laissez faire attitudes to proper planning.

Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir, Professor of sustainability science, Faculty of  Earth Sciences, at the University of Iceland.


What is the view of members from the Icelandic Parliament about the Highland national park concept?

Kolbeinn Óttarsson Proppé, MP Green Party,

Birgitta Jónsdóttir/Halldóra Mogensen, MP Pirate Party

(+NN invited from other parties)


17:00 – 18:00

Plenum discussion and summarizing for common ground


Other Participants (LT&C-members):


         Ottar & Kirsten Nakken, Norway

         William & Alison Dick, UK

         Jim Wilson, Norway

         Peter Mäder, Switzerland

         Siegmund Pfingsten, Germany

         Willfried & Susanne Chivell, South Africa

         Elise Sijthoff, Norway & Netherlands


(green marked: participation confirmed)




If you are planning to join the AGM and/or Workshop on May 28 you should inform us as soon as possible, so we can secure the right amount of places:

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