OECD: Iceland Must Balance Tourism with Nature

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OECD: Iceland Must Balance Tourism with Nature

Þingvellir

Tourists at Þingvellir National Park. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Iceland must balance growth in power and tourism industries with nature conservation, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says.

The OECD’s third Environmental Performance Review of Iceland states that the Iceland’s pristine environments and its glaciers, volcanoes and underground springs “bring major economic benefits via renewable energy and tourism” but that continued growth in tourism and power generation for aluminum smelting must be managed carefully in order to preserve the country’s natural assets.

The report notes that Iceland’s electricity output has more than doubled since 2000 to nearly five times the amount needed by the population, primarily to power three foreign-owned aluminum smelters, and the number of visitors to Iceland doubled between 2000 and 2012.

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