…says Iceland Magazine. This is great news and the outcome of a recent conference in Reykjavik of the two main conservation organisations in Iceland, our member INCA and Landvernd. Protect the entire Icelandic Highlands as National Park ! Support the Conservation Movement on Iceland ! is one of the first project initiatives LT&C is involved in. That already the Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF) is supportive to it, is a major step forward towards a real LT&C-Example, where tourism is supporting the establishment of a national park. It now will be crucial to get more tour operators and larger parts of the entire tourism industry positively involved. That should convince the Icelandic Government to put the entire Highlands under national park protection. It will become a win-win for both tourism and conservation, and there maybe then even a chance to apply for UNESCO World Heritage status.
The reading of Iceland Magazine is as follows:
“Local nature conservation organisations, the Icelandic Travel Industry Association (SAF), and a number of hiking and travel groups have announced their desire to work together in order to turn Iceland’s interior into a national park. The aim is to preserve the area’s delicate flora and fauna for the enjoyment of the general public.
Hopes are that by establishing the central highlands as a national park the area will be left unspoilt for future generations. All expected development (such as hiking huts, sanitary facilities and transportation) must meet strict regulations. The park would include an area 40 thousand square kilometres (15,444 sq miles) in size. 40% of that area is Vatnajökull National Park in Southeast Iceland.
“Protecting the central highlands is crucial to nature conservation in Iceland. This is a great leap in the right direction,” said Árni Finnsson, chairman of the Icelandic Nature Conservation Organisation.
As Iceland Magazine reported in March 2015, the majority of Icelanders support the idea. A survey conducted by Gallup for the Icelandic Environment Association last year, revealed that 61.4% of Icelanders back the idea.”