Presenting results and sharing knowledge
All the SHAPE partners were present at the 5th Partner meeting in Norway in June. It was finally time to present the first results and sharing experiences based on implantation of the ecotourism initiatives that have been developed.
By: Kjersti Isdal – Region Nordhordland
Sharing experiences also means sharing knowledge of the assets and challenges in each of the SHAPE partner regions. This was apparent in the 5th partner meeting in June where representatives from Iceland, Scotland, Finland and Canada met their Norwegian hosts on the island of Fedje at the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean. The group experienced the warm welcome of a small community, excellent local food and clear views of the Norwegian coast – but also pouring rain and a freezing gale.
The small village in the ocean
Fedje is a small community of about 550 people on the Western coast of Norway. It is a central part of the Nordhordland UNESCO Biosphere (Accepted into the MAB program just weeks after the partner meeting), and a typical example of coastal living in Norway. The participants in the partner meeting experienced this through visits in the area, meeting representatives from the municipality and through sampling local delicacies like whale meat.
Having worked for several years on different ecotourism initiatives, it was now time to present and get feedback from the other partners. – This is maybe the most important part of the SHAPE project, says Kari Natland, project leader in Nordhordland. – Through discussing with our partners in the other SHA’s we see what we do right and what can be improved, she says. We present the different initiatives in this and in the following issues of the SHAPE newsletter.
Planning for the future
There is less than a year left of the project period, and an important part of the meeting was deciding on how to make sure the project results are disseminated in the best possible manner. – The e-service in an excellent tool and we have to make sure that it will be used also after the project ends, says Project Coordinator Diana Valero. – Nordhordland hosted a very successful meeting. The SHAPE team enjoyed productive discussions and the opportunity to visit the new biosphere reserve. Much progress has been made on the development of the ecotourism initiatives in each Sustainable Heritage Area, so the updates were received with much enthusiasm, says she.