Shape project results available

Sustainable Heritage Areas: Partnerships for Ecotourism (SHAPE) was a three years project (2017-2020) funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. The aim of SHAPE was to enable authorities, businesses and communities to develop innovative approaches for ecotourism initiatives which preserve, manage and create economic value from local assets. The results of the project are available at transnational eService allowing all stakeholders to utilise them in development of sustainable ecotourism.

The idea behind SHAPE is that, effectively implemented, ecotourism can preserve rather than destroy the natural and cultural heritage of SHAs while increasing visitors’ understanding, providing jobs, and strengthening community cohesion. For achieving this, the SHAPE team worked on practical solutions applicable to the stakeholders involved in the different ‘Sustainable Heritage Areas’ in the project (SHAs) and then shared those experiences transnationally and make them available to communities struggling with similar challenges across the NPA region. To achieve its goals, SHAPE will bring together stakeholders who rarely collaborate (e.g. from natural/cultural heritage, agriculture, fisheries, tourism) and have sometimes been in conflict, to identify common goals for developing ecotourism initiatives and working together to realise them.

SHAPE developed activities in each of the partner regions mapping assets, solving local challenges, building on existing activities and helping those who are in the process of developing new visitor experiences. The stakeholders shared the result of those efforts with each other through learning journeys and during the final conference. And all the results were incorporated into this dynamic platform of knowledge, structured as an e-service, set up in such a way that it continues to develop even after the project period.

The project deliverables are listed at the Resources sub page. Their backgrounds and use is describe more specific at our eService. Our Final Conference in Feb 2020 included also a set of inspiring presentations and workshops on sustainable tourism.