Expedition prepares for tourism in Russia's Arctic



Posted on 10 August 2012  | 
Unique stone spherulites found on Champa Island, Russia, during the 2012 Russian Arctic expedition.
© Ekaterina Shustkhem / WWF-RussiaEnlarge
As Russia's Arctic opens up to tourism, employees of the national park “Russian Arctic” were joined by WWF experts, supporters,and writer Yevgeny Grishkovets on a two-week expedition to research and plan for the area's future.

Aboard the ship "Professor Molchanov” the 40 voyagers visited ecologically valuable parts of the park “Russian Arctic”, the archipelago of Nova Zemla and Franz-Josef Land.

The voyage was sponsored by Coca Cola and WWF supporters - who in turn became participants, taking part in research and seeing the consequences of Arctic climate change firsthand. Voyagers encountered giant blue icebergs, colonies of tens of thousands of birds,polar bears and walruses and even a real arctic storm.

The researchers aboard conducted surveys of the area's land and sea, mapping and registering historical objects and placing information signs.

Much work lies ahead to prepare the park territory for ecological tourism, including an inventory of the natural and cultural heritage in areas expected to see the most visitor traffic, and preparing trails and observation areas.

Watch a video from the expedition:





Unique stone spherulites found on Champa Island, Russia, during the 2012 Russian Arctic expedition.
© Ekaterina Shustkhem / WWF-Russia Enlarge

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