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Vatnajökull National Park Nature Based Tourism 3. April 2003 Edda R.H. Waage.

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Presentation on theme: "Vatnajökull National Park Nature Based Tourism 3. April 2003 Edda R.H. Waage."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vatnajökull National Park Nature Based Tourism 3. April 2003 Edda R.H. Waage

2 An overview of the presentation The ongoing preparation for the establishment of the proposed park A cooperative research project –Vatnajökull National Park: Conservation and community development Results based on interviews with farmers south of the glacier

3 Vatnajökull National Park First proposal in 1999 by the Minister for the environment Establishment was to take place in 2000 –Postponed to 2002 –Now... as soon as possible The reason for delay –Mainly due to dispute about ownership of land

4 Vatnajökull

5 The research project A cooperative research project –Vatnajökull National Park: Conservation and community development Managed by dr. Karl Benediktsson Started in 2001

6 The research project (cont.) Questionnaire Interviews with local politicians and business owners in tourism Interviews with local inhabitants in rural areas

7 Local inhabitants in rural areas When:June 2002 Where:Rural Hornafjörður Who:Farmers How:Unstructured interviews Why:To explore their expectations and possible reservations To understand how they form their opinions towards the park

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9 Social construction of the park Peoples background in Rural Hornafjörður –Agricultural society –Diminishing job opportunities –Depopulation Something has to be done to change the course that is causing more and more farms to be deserted

10 Social construction of the park (cont.) Material used for the ongoing construction –Ideas of nature –Debates in newspapers –Information provided by the authorities –Conversations Result in different views towards the project

11 Peoples stand towards the park Expectations Increased employment Personal gain Nature conservation Reservations The states operating ability Debate about ownership of land Use of land Harassment by tourists

12 An example of positive assessment Expectations Increased employment Personal gain Nature conservation Reservations The states operating ability Debate about ownership of land Use of land Harassment by tourists I think that if this will come true and organized tourism will increase here within the municipality, then that is the only hope for continuing residence.

13 An example of negative assessment Expectations Increased employment Personal gain Nature conservation Reservations The states operating ability Debate about ownership of land Use of land Harassment by tourists One is left to understand that this land is to be expropriated for the sake of the national park.

14 An example of mixed feelings Expectations Increased employment Personal gain Nature conservation Reservations The states operating ability Debate about ownership of land Use of land Harassment by tourists This beautiful nature has always been here and what difference does it make, I mean, even though we label it as 'Vatnajökull National Park'? As if the tourists would just pour in and we would do nothing else but to receive them and become filthy rich!

15 What about nature conservation? Different understanding of the concept: –Forbidding peoples actions –Land set aside for pleasuring people Different nature of Vatnajökull: –External nature I find it odd to construct a national park out of snow –Intrinsic nature How on earth are they going to protect the glacier? By forbidding volcanic eruptions, or the floods?

16 Final comments Vatnajökull National Park is first and foremost seen as measures to strengthen the local economy Nature conservation plays a minor role in the ongoing the construction


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