Invasive alien species in the Arctic

- Development and implementation of technological information platforms to travellers in Arctic areas

The overall goal of the project is to raise awareness among tourists regarding invasive alien species in the Arctic so they will not contribute to the spreading of such species.

This is primarily an outreach project to inform about risks and awareness on the meta environmental implications of increased tourism traffic in vulnerable and pristine areas of the Arctic.

The main product in the information campaign is an animation film which is built around a "border guard" (polar bear) who guard the entrance to the Arctic. The polar bear meets three different travellers (cruise tourist, backpacker, scientist/resident) who have come to the Arctic by plane or boat. The polar bear examines the tourists for stowaways (alien species) on clothing, equipment or in their luggage. Alien species are symbolized through seeds, insects and parasites that can potentially establish and spread in the Arctic. The message from the polar bear is that each traveller can do some simple measures (brush, hoover and wash their bags, clothes, shoes and equipment before leaving home) to protect the vulnerable Arctic environment.

Applicant: Jørn Thomassen, Norsk institutt for naturforskning (NINA)

Partners: Inga E. Bruteig, Norsk institutt for naturforskning, Norge; Johanna Niemivuo-Lahti, Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry - Natural Resources Department, Finland; Melanie Josefsson,  Naturvårdsverket, Sverige.

Countries: Finland, Norway, Sweden

Project start 2018, expected to be finalized in 2019.

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