1st Science-Industry platform on expedition cruise tourism in Svalbard

M.A.J. Lamers, J. Olsen, G. Hovelsrud, I. Lang, F. Jorgensen

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

Abstract

The interest in Svalbard as a cruise tourism destination has increased gradually over the past decades, leading to a range of opportunities and challenges for marine and terrestrial ecosystems, communities, and regulatory systems on Svalbard and elsewhere in the Arctic (e.g. Greenland, Iceland, Russia). At the same time the Arctic region is affected by global environmental change and consequently increasing interests from other industries, such as oil and gas exploitation, fisheries, and marine transport. The current wilderness management scheme of Svalbard has the potential to alleviate impacts, but whether the increasing and combined local and global impacts will pose challenges for the conservation of the Svalbard wilderness, still remains unanswered. Research efforts are undertaken but in a fragmented manner (e.g. tourist landings, shipping emissions), by researchers and institutes from different countries, funded and supported from different sources. To avoid duplication of research and achieve a more effective use of research funding, to increase the quality and usefulness of research results, to gain an integrated understanding of the interactions between global, regional and local impacts and policies, and to strive towards a sustainable Arctic cruise tourism practice, polar tourism researchers and the Arctic expedition cruise tourism sector have decided to join forces for the development of a collective approach. This report presents the results of a joint science-industry workshop, organised on 2-3 October 2013 in Oslo and funded by the Svalbard Science Forum, which brought together a range of industry leaders and experts. The workshop aimed to collectively identify the main industry challenges, the associated knowledge needs, and potential joint strategies to address these challenges. The workshop particularly highlighted the importance of understanding the governance challenges of operating and improving expedition cruises, the costs and benefits of expedition cruising for nature and heritage conservation and communities, and the risks involved in current and future operational practices in Svalbard and the European Arctic. Next to a joint research agenda, the workshop resulted in strengthened connections between members of the science and industry, and a shared conviction that a joint approach is mutually beneficial. 2The interest in Svalbard as a cruise tourism destination has increased gradually over the past decades, leading to a range of opportunities and challenges for marine and terrestrial ecosystems, communities, and regulatory systems on Svalbard and elsewhere in the Arctic (e.g. Greenland, Iceland, Russia). At the same time the Arctic region is affected by global environmental change and consequently increasing interests from other industries, such as oil and gas exploitation, fisheries, and marine transport. The current wilderness management scheme of Svalbard has the potential to alleviate impacts, but whether the increasing and combined local and global impacts will pose challenges for the conservation of the Svalbard wilderness, still remains unanswered. Research efforts are undertaken but in a fragmented manner (e.g. tourist landings, shipping emissions), by researchers and institutes from different countries, funded and supported from different sources. To avoid duplication of research and achieve a more effective use of research funding, to increase the quality and usefulness of research results, to gain an integrated understanding of the interactions between global, regional and local impacts and policies, and to strive towards a sustainable Arctic cruise tourism practice, polar tourism researchers and the Arctic expedition cruise tourism sector have decided to join forces for the development of a collective approach. This report presents the results of a joint science-industry workshop, organised on 2-3 October 2013 in Oslo and funded by the Svalbard Science Forum, which brought together a range of industry leaders and experts. The workshop aimed to collectively identify the main industry challenges, the associated knowledge needs, and potential joint strategies to address these challenges. The workshop particularly highlighted the importance of understanding the governance challenges of operating and improving expedition cruises, the costs and benefits of expedition cruising for nature and heritage conservation and communities, and the risks involved in current and future operational practices in Svalbard and the European Arctic. Next to a joint research agenda, the workshop resulted in strengthened connections between members of the science and industry, and a shared conviction that a joint approach is mutually beneficial.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen UR
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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    Lamers, M. A. J., Olsen, J., Hovelsrud, G., Lang, I., & Jorgensen, F. (2014). 1st Science-Industry platform on expedition cruise tourism in Svalbard. Wageningen UR.