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Iceland: A Study of Sustainable Initiatives Marylhurst University SUS 500 Principles of Sustainability
A collaboration of the SUS 500 B1 Green Team Adrian Olson Cornell University Bachelors of Science in Applied Economics and Business Management Ken Schefter Kansas State University Bachelors of Science in Business Management Brandi Shepard The Catholic University of America Bachelors of Science in Architecture; Construction Management concentration Craig Thomas Sheldon Jackson College Bachelors of Science in Aquatic Resources Lois Trongard University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting
Sustainability in Iceland Scope of the Presentation: Focus on Iceland’s limited resources as it relates to their high success in sustainability, marking them one of the sustainability leaders in the world. Detail Iceland’s sustainable initiatives in each of the respective sectors including: Mindset of the Icelandic people, permeating how they live Role of government in achieving the voice of its people Economic practices to ensure resource management Natural resources used for energy and why they are sustainable Conservation practices in the environment and tourism
Understanding the People The people of Iceland have always carried a rich, long lasting respect for the environment and own self well-being. Symbolism in language and geography, centered on the beauty of the landscape
Understanding the People The people of Iceland have strong sense of national identity. Working class is identified with national political movements and parties. Icelanders are self-confident, self-reliant, independent thinkers, however they are also conservationists.
Understanding the People Indicators of historical and current events indicate the overall acceptance of sustainability and conservation. This has been accomplished through social welfare and change programs Gender equality Ability to organize and assemble freely
Voice of the Government Iceland’s independence: 930 AD: Founding of the Althing (world’s oldest democratic parliament). 1262-1944: under control of Denmark or Norway. June 16, 1944: full independence for Iceland. Political Parties: Progressive Party 1916. Independence Party, 1929. Social Democratic Alliance, 1999. Left-Green Party, 1999.
Voice of the Government Recent Political Trends showing the rise of the Left-Green Party
Mainstays of the economy are Iceland’s renewable natural resources: Energy: Hydro and Geothermal Marine Life: Rich Fishing Grounds Agriculture: Pastureland/Green House Crops Other Industry Resources: Heavy Industry Service - Information Technology Economic Resources
hydro and geothermal energy Economic Resources Per capita, energy consumption in Iceland is one of the highest in the world. These are sustainable, environmentally friendly, ‘green’ resources, without the atmospheric emissions of fossil fuel. The energy infrastructure is state-of-the-art, using the latest technology, with great reliability and efficiency, and is ranked #1 in the world according to the IMD [International Institute for Management Development]. Source: iceland.org (2010)
Geothermal Energy 90% of Icelandic homes are heated with geothermal energy Provides 20% of electric needed to support the country Only 20% of all geothermal power available is harnessed. Hydropower Energy 80% of the electricity generated is by using hydropower and only 20-25% of all hydropower available is harnessed. hydro and geothermal energy Economic Resources
This YouTube video presents Iceland’s clean energy approach by harnessing the “fire within the earth”. CNN’s Charles Hodson discusses geothermal energy with OiafarGrimsson, Iceland’s current president. If you are unable to view the video, click here.
Marine Products: Fish and fish products constitute half of all Iceland’s exports. 7% of it is gross domestic product Employs 4.1% of the workforce Primary types of fish exported are cod, haddock, saithe, redfish, herring and capelin The fish harvested represents 1.4 million tons worth 128 billion dollars marine life Economic Resources
Economic Resources Agriculture: Self sufficient in the production of meat, dairy products, eggs and certain vegetables. Animals: Farms are highly mechanized and use the latest farming technology. Main animals raised are cattle, sheep, horses, pigs and poultry. Greenhouse Crops: Growth of crops using greenhouse production methods. Predominate crops are tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, roses, gerberas, lilies and potted plants. agriculture
Economic Resources Heavy Industry: Renewable hydro and geothermal energy Aluminum Alloy products Machinery and equipment for the fishing industry Service: Software Solutions Service – Information Technology other industry
Natural Resource Conservation Soil Conservation Iceland was over half covered in vegetation when it was first settled 1100 years ago. Icelandic Soil Conservation Service has been battling erosion since 1907. The aim of land reclamation is to conserve vegetation and soil, cultivate plants in barren areas, and fortify existing flora. The fight to reverse erosion will remain a top environmental priority for decades.
Natural Resource Conservation Wetland Conservation Almost half of the wetland areas settled have been lost Drainage of lowland wetlands has virtually ceased since 1993. Attempts to reclaim wetland areas have been moderately successful. Wetland restoration is considered as a viable option for carbon sequestration.
Natural Resource Conservation Wilderness Protection Iceland is 38% wilderness. Did not start protecting wilderness areas until 1930. Currently, 90 areas are protected. A nature conservation plan will increase these numbers in the near future by close to 20%.
Marine Life Around 300 indigenous species of fish in the ocean Twenty species from the fishing industries catch, plus shrimp and lobster. Freshwater fisheries overseen by the government, but delegated to local fishing associations. Some fish species’ populations were declining in the late 1990’s. The government and Marine Research Institute implemented quotas and total allowable catches. Natural Resource Conservation
EcoTourism Iceland has one of the most diverse portfolios of nature-related activities in the world.
This YouTube video highlights Iceland’s unique geology that provides renewable energy to the country. It also discusses Iceland’s tourism industry, and how it has impacted the environment. If you are unable to view the video, click here.
Sustainability Paradigms Future of transportation and fossil fuels Iceland has no reserves of fossil fuels Bragi Arnason first proposed using hydrogen for fueling vehicles in 1970. 1999 consortium announced plan to make this vision come true by 2050. First commercial hydrogen fueling station opened in 2003 to fuel a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses. Next steps are testing and converting cars, and finally the fishing fleet.
Environmental challenges Managing the large numbers of visitors to the most popular attractions Especially the national parks and protected areas that are very sensitive to human traffic. Whaling Could cause serious harm to whale watching tours and reputation as a sustainable society Nature vs. Business Balancing unspoiled lands against the economic growth in the country Sustainability Paradigms
Climate Change Strategy, 2007 Fulfill obligations of the Kyoto Protocol GHG emissions will be reduced 50-75% by 2050 Attempt to utilize carbon sequestration Revegetation Afforestation Wetland reclamation Land-use changes Support research and innovations related to climate change & renewable energy Prepare to adapt to climate change Sustainability Paradigms
Iceland: A Study of Sustainable Initiatives Marylhurst University SUS 500 Principles of Sustainability
References Aldred, J. (2008, April 22). Iceland's Energy Answer Comes Naturally. Retrieved April 18, 2010, from Guardian.co.uk: Http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/apr/22/renewableenergy.alternativeenergy "Althing." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Retrieved April 22, 2010 from Encyclopedia.com: Http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-Althing.html Benassi, A. (2006). Welfare for the Future - Iceland's National Strategy for Sustainable Development. Retrieved April 18, 2010, from Ministry for the Environment - Publications: Http://eng.umhverfisraduneyti.is/publications Bindloss, J. & Harding. P. (2004). Lonely Planet Iceland. Oakland, CA: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd. Page 1 of 7
References Climate Change Strategy. (2007, February). Retrieved April 21, 2010, from Ministry for the Environment: Http://eng.umhverfisraduneyti.is/publications Culture of Iceland ? History, People, Women, Beliefs, Food, Customs, Family, Social, Marriage, Men, Life, Population, History and Ethnic Relations. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2010 from Http://www.everyculture.com/Ge-It/Iceland.html#ixzz0l3YtanXE Del Giudice, M. (2008, March). Power Struggle. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from National Geagraphic: Http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/03/iceland/del-giudice-text/2 "Economy and Industry." Iceland.is - Gateway to Iceland. 2010. Web. 17 Apr. 2010. <http://www.iceland.is/economy-and-industry/>. Page 2 of 7
References Geography of Iceland. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2010, from Iceland.is - Gateway to Iceland: Http://www.iceland.is/country-and-nature/nature/Geography/ Hallsdóttir, Birna S., Kristín Harðardóttir, Jón Guðmundsson, and Arnór Snorrason. National Inventory Report; Environment Agency of Iceland. Rep. no. UST-2009:07. Reykjavík: Ministry for the Environment, 2009. Print. Icelandic Agricultural Information Service. (1997). Icelandic Agriculture. Retrieved on April 17, 2010, from Http://landbunadur.is/landbunadur/wgbi.nsf/key2/icelandic_agriculture Lacy, Terry G. Ring of Seasons: Iceland, Its Culture and History. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1998. Print. Page 3 of 7
References Leisure Activities in Iceland. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2010, from Iceland.is - Gateway to Iceland: Http://www.iceland.is/travel-and-leisure/LeisureActivities/ Life in the Sea. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2010, from Iceland.is - Gateway to Iceland: Http://www.iceland.is/country-and-nature/nature/AnimalLife//nr/39 Linssen, Stefan, and Christopher Sindik. "2020 Global Sustainability Centers." Ethisphereâ„¢ Institute. 7 Sept. 2008. Web. 9 Apr. 2010. <http://ethisphere.com/2020-global-sustainability-centers/>. Miller, G. Tyler. Living in the Environment Principles, Connections, and Solutions. Ed. Scott Spoolman. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2007. Print. National Parks. (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2010, from visiticeland: http://www.icetourist.is/Seedo/NationalParks/ Page 4 of 7
References "People and Society." Iceland.is - Gateway to Iceland. 2010. Web. 4 Apr. 2010. <http://www.iceland.is/people-and-society/>. The Environment in Iceland. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2010, from Iceland.is - GAteway to Iceland: http://www.iceland.is/country-and-nature/nature/Environment/ Trade Council Of Iceland, N.D., Political Parties. Retrieved April 20, 2010 from Http://www.iceland.is/government-and-politics/PoliticalParties/ United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (2009, October 21). National greenhouse gas inventory data for the period 1990-2007. Retrieved April 26, 2010, from United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/sbi/eng/12.pdf Page 5 of 7
References YouTube - [CNN] Iceland's Unique Clean Energy Solution 2008.06.30. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. NewsRevue, 30 June 2008. Web. 22 Apr. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXa6LU667EI> YouTube - Geothermal Energy in Iceland. YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. Schreinervideo, 4 Feb. 2008. Web. 22 Apr. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRAQrDduaU0>. Veal, L. (2010, April 16). Whaling Profitable but Bad for Iceland's Image. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from Inter-Press Service: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=51067 Vegetation. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2010, from Icland.is - Gateway to Iceland: http://www.iceland.is/country-and nature/nature/Vegetation/
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References Why Iceland. (2008, May 9). Retrieved April 26, 2010, from 3rd Informal Dialogue on LULUCF: http://landbunadur.is/landbunadur/wgrala.nsf/key2/hhjn7etf6x.html Wikipedia, 2009. Elections in Iceland. Retrieved April 21, 2010 from Http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Iceland Page 7 of 7