Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund (SEPF) announced that AECO was among the applicants that had been granted funding in this year’s second allocation. The new funding will to used for three projects related to responsible Arctic tourism.
AECO had submitted funding applications for three different projects, all of which were granted at total of NOK 530,000 (USD 62,000).
The first project consists in the development of vegetation guidelines and guidelines for historical sites. These guidelines will be used by the tourism industry to ensure that flora and cultural remains are not disturbed during excursions.
Secondly, AECO will create yacht guidelines and information package to private yachts. The number of private yachts visiting Svalbard is growing, and AECO will target these vessels with information about environmental protection, safety and regulations.
The third project is a collaboration with Visit Svalbard to survey economic value of cruise tourism in Svalbard.
AECO’s executive director Frigg Jørgensen is very pleased with the allocation and the recognition of AECO’s work.
“We look forward to developing new guidelines that will contribute to protect vegetation and cultural remains. We will also develop guidelines that can contribute to bringing information about considerate travel and necessary precautions to those traveling on private yachts. Together with local travel industry organization Visit Svalbard we will also contribute to more knowledge about the economic value of cruise tourism in Svalbard. It is very positive that Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund supports these important initiatives to ensure responsible and sustainable tourism in Svalbard,” says Jørgensen.
Over the past eleven years, AECO has secured around 7.8 million NOK in funding from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund. In the last decade, AECO’s members paid around 18 million NOK in fees to the fund.