This project intends to undertake a comparative study of three different regions: the Russian North and Siberia (Russia), Finnish Lapland (Finland) and Patagonia (Argentina). These regions have a series of common features as regards their natural and cultural heritage, and are destined to experience similar changes due to the global warming and globalisation processes.
The protection and the promotion of cultures, territories and heritages strengthen a socio-economical development process for local communities. Such sustainable valorisation should generate high-level know-how and good practices that can be transferred to specific territories with national and international protection (National Park, National Reserves, UNESCO labels, etc.). Huge natural spaces in Arctic and Sub-Antarctic regions get specific attention from international community (UN and EU) due to current global warming and the impacts of climate change on cultures and territories. These regions have fragile ecosystems that can be rapidly damaged by mass tourism or by a not well- controlled development strategy implemented by public institutions or private companies.
This project aims at studying these extreme regions, training professionals working in public administrations in order to improve their educational background, and students with postgraduate curricula linked to tourism, geography, natural heritage, politics and social economics. Cross-cultural training transfers and valorisation processes applied to the fields of tourism studies and the tourism industries, as well as cultural heritage and regional development of territories will be offered. Long- term sustainable actions will be implemented at international level, such as an International Network of Regional Tourism Observatories, and network of intangible cultural heritage information sources.