Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 584

584       Arctic Yearbook 2014     TNGS creates bridges and academic relationships between Russian students, professors and scholars from Finland and elsewhere, which in our view corresponds to the interest of all Arctic states. “Eco-Efficient Tourism” in the Republic of Karelia One of the main characteristics of BEAR is local, regional and cross-border cooperation which, since the mid 1990s, has been promoting people-to-people collaboration from a bottom-up approach and between multiple governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders. Launched in 2012, the “Eco-Efficient Tourism Project” is a great example of ongoing (often unnoticed) collaborative measures that strengthen cross-border relations and stability in BEAR. It is implemented through the framework of the Karelia European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument and Cross Border Cooperation (ENPI CBC). Over the last two years, the project has been promoting NordicRussian economic and sustainable development cooperation through “green” tourism initiatives across the Republic of Karelia, and with shared Nordic-Russian expertise. Finnish and Russian partners have joined efforts to make the Karelian borderland a more developed and attractive area for the tourism industry. Organized at the end of May 2014 by the North Center of the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Science, the final seminar and field trip of the project took place at the “Denisov mys” center on the shores of Lake Syamozero and at project pilot sites in Karelia. The North Center invited us to participate as a way to get a hands-on experience of the project, its implementation, the current results, and to meet with various Russian, Finnish and Norwegian stakeholders who have been engaged in the project over the last few years. Bellow is a short summary of what we observed at the seminar and on the field trip in various locations of Karelia. Khabarov & Plouffe