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SEND ME BACK TO FINLAND! The Lake of Bothnia and Finland Ecotourism Project

My first crowdfunding campaign is under way!

This is my very first attempt at crowdfunding one of the numerous projects I have in mind.  It probably will not be the last.

Please help me set this project in motion. Click that link and please be so kind as to jump on board.

finland ecotourism

Goal

I need to raise as close to $1500.00 by July 18, 2014.

Click here to see how much I’ve raised so far and what I’m offering to contributors!

So What is This About?

The main challenge facing most of we brilliant budding writers and photographers is a lack of funds. Wouldn’t it be ideal if I could put every single one of my brilliant ideas to work right away? Yes it would. However….

The positive side of that lack of funds is that it I CAN’T put all those brilliant ideas to work all at once and am forced to instead take them on one by one. They end up better thought out and planned as a consequence. This one has been in the works for two years and has gone through multiple iterations to bring it to just the right place and time.

I’m on my way back to Finland here in about a month.  While there I badly want to complete two projects that have been running around in my head for quite a long time.

finland ecotourism

First, I want to document the extant ecological and cultural atmosphere of the Kvarken World Heritage Site of western Finland (map) though interviews with residents, photographic documentation and a travelogue. By highlighting the unique nature of the World Heritage area for both future residents and researchers (as well as for the people of Finland and the world in general) this project hopes to boost sustainable development and reinforce cultural life in the region. I’m calling this portion of the work the Lake of Bothnia Project.

(BTW – these photos are from the Kvarken. I’ve place more Kvarken photos here and here)

Second, I’d like to head back up to Lapland to conduct interviews with numerous sustainable and eco-tourism operators and look into the impact of tourism on the region. I aim to add to the ongoing discussion surrounding sustainable tourism and Finland ecotourism by exhibiting different viewpoints and needs to show that there is no one definitionof how to tackle a sustainable tourism economy.  This is my Lapland Ecotourism Project and will also be part of the longer-term work I’m doing covering the European Wilderness movement.

finland ecotourism

 

When I first visted Lapland in 2002 I was struck by the possibilities for sustainable tourism as both a tool for ecological protection and economic development. As I learned over time, the development of sustainable tourism in Lapland is frought with challenges – some of it being that many residents simply don’t want that kind of economic development.

Read much more about these two projects here. AND PLEASE DROP SOME CASH IN THE KITTY WHILE YOU’RE THERE!

Why Me?

As a writer, photographer and anthropologist I cover the nexus between people and the landscape and environment that cradles them. My skill is in getting out on the land and sea with the people I am covering and finland ecotourismworking with them so that I can bring the reader and viewer a detailed, interesting and informative experience.

Then there is the fact that I have a very long term relationship with Finland.  I think most of you know that by now.

I was once married to a Finn and lived there for several years. In 2003 I walked the length of Finland from the southern-most point to the northern tip at the village of Nuorgam. Along the way I interviewed Finns about their relationship with nature. It was a 5-month, 1500 mile trip that resulted in my book “Notes for the Aurora Society”. I feel like these projects are actually an extension of that work.

My daughter was born in Finland and each year we return to visit relatives and to be sure both children have at very least a toehold in Finland. They speak the language and it is vital that they know the culture. I have visited the Kvarken archipelago and Lapland many times in the past and know both areas well. I wrote about the Kvarken several years ago here.

Please Pitch In!

I’ve put much more information including a detailed budget and justification for how I will use this money here.  Thats the same place where you can drop in – even small amounts of money – all of which will help me reach my goal.  I also offer some other ideas on how you can help.

Finally, I ask that you please spread this far and wide and let other people know that they can help what I consider to be two valuable projects!

THANK YOU!

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