Coastal areas between Russia and Norway will be included in a new natural park, aimed at protecting local nature and regulating tourist activities.
The new natural park will include the peninsulas of Rybachi and Sredny, areas which are located only few kilometers from the border to Norway. According to the Murmansk regional government, the establishment of the park will help regulate tourism in the area, protect local nature and also prepare the ground for new economic activity, a press release informs.
From now on, only locals from the Pechenga Rayon, the surrounding municipality, will be allowed to use the peninsulas as tourism recreation area, the regional government says.
That restriction could ultimately hamper local ambitions on tourism development in the area. The Pechenga municipality borders on both Norway and Finland and plans for an expansion of its tourism industry and subsequent boost in the influx of tourists.
The Russian military is likely to be able to continue to use the area as training and testing site. As reported by BarentsObserver, the Northern Fleet has over many years extensively exploited the two peninsula for its activities. This winter, the Ministry of Defence will use the area as testing site for more than 20 different vehicles, including snowmobiles with sleighs, low-pressure tire vehicles, two-section track carriers, and armored vehicles “Rys” and “Tayfun”.
The Rybachi and Sredny peninsulas were for decades closed territories, but was opened for tourism development in 2010.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Fighting to protect bird habitat in North America’s boreal forest, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Finland’s environment minister backs more mining in Lapland, Yle News
Russia: Russia sees Wrangel Island oil and gas potential; Greenpeace eyes an eastern Arctic front, Alaska Dispatch
Sweden: Sweden quarry decision appealed, Radio Sweden
United States: Why close a swath of Alaska if outsiders seldom hunt there anyway?, Alaska Dispatch