SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 11, April 2016 - Page 113

It would be important that the use of the Svalbard entrance fees and the projects of the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund will be more concretely explained and illustrated to tourists. The authorities behind the Fund could do a better job to increase the transparency of the use of the tourist entrance fee. LT&C could play a facilitation role in this respect to make the Svalbard example even more attractive for replication elsewhere.

The success of the joint action of tourism and conservation on Svalbard was already shared in some way with other Arctic regions when, under the coordination of WWF, a larger group of companies, agencies and experts from both tourism and conservation produced a set of Arctic Tourism Guidelines. They were translated into several languages and distributed in the entire circumpolar Arctic and called “Linking Tourism and Conservation in the Arctic”. For a number of years an award, sponsored by the Finnish conservationist Heidi Andersen, was given to a tour operator, which demonstrated convincing examples of Linking Tourism and Conservation in the Arctic. These guidelines and related activities could be in the future revitalised to produce impact in other parts of the Arctic. Concrete potential for using the Svalbard example can be seen for the neighbouring Russian Arctic National Park, including the Franz Josef Land archipelago. The transparent entry fee system for concert management of the parks could be applied there as well for other parks in the world. Bringing park managers and decision makers to Svalbard could inspire them to learn and replicate elements of the Svalbard LT&C example.