Announce ISK 3.5 Billion for Nature Conservation Infrastructure
Minister for the Environment Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson and Minister of Tourism Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir announced today extensive plans to build up tourism infrastructure at 130 popular nature sites across the country. The two announced the allocation of ISK 3.5 billion ($28.8m/€25.5m) over the next three years in order to protect Icelandic nature and cultural heritage.
This is the second time the two ministers present jointly on the allocation of funds towards tourism infrastructure. Since last year, infrastructure has been improved at many increasingly popular sites, including Dynjandi waterfall in the Westfjords and Þingvallahraun on the north site of Þingvellir National Park.
The ISK 3.5 billion investment is an increase of more than ISK 1 billion ($8.2m/€7.3m) in funding from last year’s plan. The new plan does not only focus on individual locations, instead taking a holistic approach to nature conservation across areas.
It is estimated that about ISK 1.3 billion ($10.7m/€9.5m) will be devoted specifically to staffing land protection over the next three years. These funds will go toward the recruitment of full-time wardens as well as additional staff during high season at popular tourist sites and protected areas.
“Tourism is one of the foundations of the Icelandic economy, and it all depends on us preserving the magic of Icelandic nature,” stated Þórdís Kolbrún. “Together we will ensure that Icelandic nature and tourism can flourish side by side.”