Green Light For National Park In The Highlands & Vatnajökull, Questions Remain - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Green Light For National Park In The Highlands & Vatnajökull, Questions Remain

Published January 31, 2018

Alice Demurtas
Photos by
John Rogers

After several high-profile campaigns in recent years from Icelandic celebrities and environmental agencies—including the Björk and Andri Snær Magnason-fronted ‘Protect The Park’—the Icelandic government has set up a council to found a new National Park in the Highlands.

The park would include the area of Vatnajökull, and is set to open in 2020. This is great news for the environment, but may disappoint entrepreneurs. In fact, talks of developments, including the building of a highway right through the Highlands, have been ongoing for a year.

The committee will soon pinpoint the boundaries of the park, as well as the conservation areas that will be included. Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson called the Highlands National Park Iceland’s “greatest contribution to nature conservation so far.”

This issue has been hotly contested between the two camps of environmentalists and industrialists. How much of the Highlands and Vatnajökull are protected in the face of certain pressure from entrepreneurs and industry will be interesting indeed.

Read more Grapevine news and travel stories about the Highlands here.


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