Iceland is a country that is blessed with many natural wonders, from mammoth glaciers to fiery volcanoes and bubbling hot springs. It’s no wonder that our country so well known for its natural beauty has become a travel hotspot. But because Iceland has become a top destination for nature lovers, we’ve also had to be very careful to make sure we have sustainable growth systems in place. Iceland nature protection measures are necessary to ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy Mother Nature’s abundance.
Why Iceland Nature Protection Measures are Necessary
Iceland nature needs to be protected for two reasons, both of which are related.
The first is the tourism boom that has happened in the last several years. We’ve had an influx of visitors from all of the world all wanting to visit our national parks, nature reserves, and other protected areas. This is all wonderful, especially for the Icelandic economy, but the country’s infrastructure wasn’t quite ready. After all, the number of visitors that come to Iceland every year is six times that of the population.
The second reason is that while all these visitors are definitely an upside, there’s a huge downside. Most of the tourists that come here are unaware of many things related to nature conservation and just how delicate Icelandic flora and fauna are. They don’t realize that stomping on our precious volcanic moss will absolutely destroy it. and by that I mean it can take a hundred years to grow back if it grows back at all.
There was actually a huge uproar about this a little while back. Justin Bieber shot his “I’ll Show You” music video in Iceland, which was a boon for tourism exposure. Unfortunately, there’s a section of the video that shows him rolling around on Icelandic moss, and this is a huge no-no.
What Not to Order in Restaurants
There’s also the issue of people eating Icelandic whales and puffins when they come to restaurants. It’s not really something that locals do, but when tourists see it on the menu they want to try it because it’s something new and different. What they don’t realize is that this depletes the natural populations of these gentle animals and puts our country’s ecosystems out of balance.
It’s a quite vicious cycle. restaurants put these items on their menus, so tourists decide to order them. Because the tourists order them, restaurants continue to put them on the menus. The best thing you can do as a respectful, conscientious visitor is to not eat these items when you visit. You can also support restaurants that are whale-free as well as contribute to the “Meet Us Don’t Eat Us” awareness campaign.
What’s Being Done to Protect Natural Resources in Iceland
So what measures are being taken to protect Icelandic nature? In addition to awareness campaigns about protecting our wildlife, there are also other programs in place. Soil conservation and protecting other Iceland natural resources are promoted by multiple entities. The Environment Agency of Iceland and its umbrella, The Icelandic Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources and are two. Their goal is to promote the Protection and responsible, sustainable use Of our country’s precious natural resources.
The Good News
Iceland is a leader when it comes to renewable energy sources, as we have harnessed the power of geothermal energy. In fact, there are cities in Iceland that run entirely on the power produced in geothermal plants. And a large, growing percentage of the country also takes advantage of our natural resources by producing this type of energy.
We will continue to build and grow these types of infrastructure around the country to set ourselves up for future success. Taking advantage of our the heated magma running just below the Earth’s crust of our tiny island
With the effects of tourism becoming more and more obvious from exponential growth, we have to keep up. it’s important to know how to keep sustainable growth so that we can both serve our guests while maintaining our environments intact. Here are some quick tips for sustainable tourism in Iceland to help you be a good visitor.
- Respect the environment and private property. You can’t just camp anywhere and please don’t use the bathroom in the middle of a large field. It could literally be someone’s backyard and they will have to clean up your mess.
- Stay on the marked paths. Off-roading is forbidden in Iceland because it destroys fragile vegetation and will leave destruction long after you’ve left the island and finished your vacation.
- This goes without saying, but please pick up your trash and take it with you. If you don’t do it, someone will have to and you don’t want to spoil the beautiful natural habitat by leaving plastic bags or soda cans lying around.
Iceland Natural Hazards
There’s something that I want to talk about quickly that’s more about protecting you rather than protecting the environment. Iceland is a land of extremes. This means you have to be very careful what some of the activities you do. While everyone assumes risk when visiting an active volcano or hiking a glacier, there’s another hidden hazard that you might not be aware of.
Please be careful when visiting our world-famous black sand beaches like at Reynisfjara. There are sneaker waves that will come from out of nowhere and pull you out to sea very quickly. Some people have lost their lives here. They got too close to the shore and were caught up in the current. This is one of those Iceland natural hazards that surprises a lot of people. But that you need to be aware of it nonetheless.
Iceland Natural Resources
Iceland as a place that we definitely want to take care of. Is it something that will benefit everyone in the future. This beautifully blessed island is heaven on Earth. We should do our part by keeping it that way. If we can just make people aware of the things they can do to avoid Iceland natural hazards and not do damage, we will have accomplished a lot. Please spread the word and be a good neighbor in Iceland by sharing what you know with people.
Just like in New York City, if you see something, say something. It takes a collective effort to preserve Iceland’s natural resources.