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Icelandic nature is viewed as unique worldwide, and one of the tasks of the Environmental Agency is to preserve it, such as by the conservation of sensitive areas. An effort is ongoing to declare areas as nature reserves, including areas in the reserve category of the framework programme as well as areas under older nature reserve programmes. Under consideration is to establish a national park in the mid-highlands of Iceland and, furthermore, such conservation represents an important management tool to protect areas vulnerable to tourist traffic. The number of foreign tourists has increased manifold in recent years.

Many volunteers from all over the world express their interest every year in visiting Iceland. Each summer, some 100-150 international volunteers take part in the Environmental Agency conservation program. Together, our volunteers now complete about 350-400 weeks of conservation work around Iceland every year. Our volunteers live and work on projects in some of the most beautiful parts of Iceland throughout the summer. They gain experience of a wide range of practical conservation while living closely with local staff and other international volunteers. Although our projects are focused on the improvement, delimitation and maintenance of natural hiking trails in remote locations, volunteers are involved in other aspects of practical conservation management in nature reserve areas, including wilderness and heritage management projects.

Further information