Project E! 2408 on Arctic Tourism had the ambitious target of mapping the effects tourism has already had on Arctic areas and pointing the way to tourism development without threatening the delicate ecosystem. Four widely differing locations within the Nordic Arctic region showed traditional reliance on just a few economic activities, making them vulnerable to unemployment. Project results demonstrate that tourism can offer a new source of local jobs in the Arctic region, provided it is developed with regard to sustainable use of resources, including the environment and wildlife.
This EUREKA project, involving collaboration from Denmark, Iceland and Norway, focused heavily on influencing the progress of tourism to ensure socioeconomic benefits to the local people involved. As well as financing, project leaders took inspiration and access to very varied viewpoints through being part of the EUREKA Network. Although the four areas had significant differences, the experience gained led to the development of common guidelines for managing the delicate balance between sustaining the economy, the culture and the Arctic environment. Important lessons emerged from the work, despite some initial reluctance to adopt a new approach. It became clear that tourism can offer a new source of local jobs in the Arctic region, provided it is developed with regard to sustainable use of resources, including the environment and wildlife. This should reduce the dependency of the traditional society on the few other sources of income. At the same time, generating tourism involves co-operation between many different types and levels of stakeholders, at both the local and national level.
The project, coordinated by Kåre Hendriksen, at the time a consultant for the Danish project coordinator Ramboll, set out to plan the rehabilitation of damaged areas (at two locations in Greenland, plus one each in Iceland and Norway). Now new initiatives are helping encourage eco-friendly visitors, generate new local jobs and revive pride in traditional culture and occupations. Stig Hirsbak from Ramboll explains: “The project was trying to encourage people not only to prevent degeneration of the environment, but to recover from damage already done, and also to create some revenue”. And all on a budget of €0.86 million. Hirsbak continues, “It’s easy to talk about sustainability at the desk level, but much harder to make it work.” The key is preventing further damage, otherwise increased tourism would only be short-lived.
Catherine Shiels | alfa
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy