Iceland is among the last places of Europe, where large piece of wilderness with undisturbed, very fragile ecosystems can be found. The delicate northern environment of Iceland is very sensitive and any, even small, disturbances are healed for decades and can have irreversible impact.

Having recognised the importance of wilderness areas in Iceland, PAN Parks Foundation and the Icelandic Nature Conservation Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to further enhance wilderness protection. The MOU aims to open up opportunities to Icelandic wilderness areas to join The Million Project and exchange best-practice experience with other practitioners. It also results in a more unified voice of the NGO sector for the enhanced protection of wilderness. For instance North of Vatnajökull glacier is one of the biggest unspoiled areas in Europe. Since its establishment in 1997 INCA has campaigned for the conservation of this area, which will hopefully be soon realised due to this partnership.

"The growing pressure of recent development searching for energy resources is threatening the uniqueness and ecological integrity of Iceland. Ongoing development and large scale plan of utilizing energy sources can result in irreversible damage to the unique natural heritage of Iceland." says Arni Finnsson director of INCA. "Therefore our partnership with PAN Parks in order to implement The Million Project is a very logical step."

As first action within the framework of this partnership, PAN Parks Foundation expresses its support to INCA’s position during the discussion about Iceland’s Master Plan for Hydro and Geothermal Energy Resources. The recent research of PAN Parks on creating a European wilderness register proved that Iceland is Europe’s wilderness capital, and probably has the largest wilderness area in our continent, which is unfortunately too often not recognised yet by most of the Europeans.

“The recent work of PAN Parks Foundation supported by European Wilderness Working Group under the umbrella of European Commission proved that wilderness is extremely scarce resource in the European network of protected areas. There are also various researches in our Wilderness Resource Bank proving that wilderness is critically important to support biodiversity conservation and simultaneously provide a very unique opportunity for people to experience the spiritual quality of nature.” adds Zoltan Kun, director of PAN Parks. Protecting Iceland’s wilderness heritage is not only important for local people, but also for Europeans living far away from the area.

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June 4, 2012
Árni Finnsson
Árni Finnsson „Stuðningur frá Pan Parks Foundation við náttúruverndarbaráttu á Íslandi“, Náttú June 4, 2012 URL: [Skoðað:Feb. 5, 2023]
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