The landscape of fire, ice and lava suffers from increasing popularity among tourists. With the Destination Management Plan a sustainable Katla UNESCO Geopark is developed in which ecology, economy and cultural history flourish.
Katla Geopark is known for its moss-covered lava fields, glaciers, dynamic rivers, pseudo-craters, volcanoes and black beaches. The growing number of tourists is increasingly causing irreparable damage to the landscape. The current tourism infrastructure is unable to handle the constant flow of people. And a short growing season for vegetation and the arctic climate make the landscape highly susceptible to erosion.
As an approach, the “Recreative Environmental Framework” has been developed; a spatial and organisational structure that provides coherence in recreational experience, nature protection and interpretation of roles and responsibilities. Within this structure, experience passports were developed for different visitors on a spectrum from “urbanists” to “wildernists”. Specific areas and attractions have been identified for different target groups. These focal points, such as a viewpoint or special geological landmark, help channel the flow of tourists more and reduce the impact of tourism on nature. This was further developed into an action plan and some conceptual designs.
Type: landscape, leisure, architecture
Client: Katla UNESCO Global Geopark
Size: 10,000 km2 (as large as the Dutch provinces of Gelderland, Utrecht and Overijssel combined)
Status: Destination Management Plan adopted
More info through the Katla Geopark website