Photo: Sami Niemeläinen


4 -5 February 2020

Joensuu, North Karelia Biosphere Reserve (Finland)

To mark the end of the SHAPE project hold a conference on 4-5 February 2020 in Joensuu, Finland. Hosted by our Finnish project partners, the Conference welcomed more than 70 participants from around Europe to discuss our experiences of developing ecotourism initiatives and explore ways of using SHAPE  outputs and experience to inform and support further ecotourism development.

The conference focused on practical ways of developing sustainable ecotourism in rural areas rich in natural and cultural heritage. SHAPE aims to develop tourism that generates local economic value while preserving and enhancing the natural and cultural assets upon which it depends. There is an emphasis in SHAPE on the creation of partnerships that bring together businesses, communities and managers of natural and cultural heritage.

The conference gathered more than  70 delegates from Norway, Sweden, Canada, Iceland, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, France, Ireland, and Finland with a shared interest in ecotourism management and planning as well as researchers and policy makers.

Perspectives and findings from SHAPE were presented during the early part of the conference. This was followed by a range of thematic workshops during which participants were invited to present their own experiences and points of view. The discussions highlighted innovative approaches and best practice, and explored opportunities for future international collaboration on sustainable ecotourism.

To know more about the conference, browse the programme and presentations and read the insights collected in the SHAPE Newsletter #6. For photos of the presentations and activities, browse this photo gallery at the SHAPE Facebook page.

Programme & Presentations