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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 01.07.2022, 18:05

Aegna to be transformed into eco island

BC, Tallinn, 13.11.2020.Print version
Tourism facilities and infrastructure exerting a minimal impact on the living environment are to be developed on the island of Aegna on the fringes of Tallinn Bay with the support of the European Union's project on eco islands by next spring, transforming Aegna into an eco island, reports LETA/BNS.

Monika Haukanomm, head of the administration of the Tallinn Center District, of which Aegna is a part, on Thursday familiarized herself with the works carried out on the island to achieve the goals set out in the EU project "Okosaared -- Urban Eco Islands," spokespeople for the city district said.

"We are taking very seriously the duty placed on the administration the Center District to represent Tallinn in this European Union project, by which destinations for sustainable tourism are developed," Haukanomm was quoted as saying.

"The island of Aegna has immense potential to offer not only environmentally sustainable, but also smart solutions. Work with that in mind has proceeded successfully, the monitoring systems, infrastructure for holidaymakers and materials supporting environmental education have been completed already, a waste handling station is about to be completed. There is a natural paradise just 30 minutes boat ride from Tallinn's city center which has received undeservedly little attention to date. We can change this now," she said.

The development project financed from the INTERREG Central Baltic Program continues until March 31, 2021. In addition to Aegna, the Finnish island of Vasikkasaari has been included in the project. The main objective of the project is to develop two new island destinations, located in the urban twin city area of Helsinki and Tallinn, into popular and smart nature tourism destinations.

Both islands will be developed into attractive nature tourism destinations taking their sensitive archipelago values strongly into account. For that reason, the project will pilot new, innovative and smart solutions to both ensure nature protection in the locations, and at the same time to increase attractiveness of these islands. The smart digital solutions will also enhance participants' experiences in these islands.

Implementation of the project will allow to keep the footprint of tourism on the environment of the islands minimal despite an increase in tourist numbers. 

This year, hiking trails on Aegna have been renewed, a digital information display installed along with a weather station and information signs, as well as an online environment introducing the island developed. Also created was a system for the monitoring of visitor numbers, which provides an input for designing new tourism opportunities and marketing activities. New maps and information materials about the island for quests are to be ready soon.

The waste handling station is to be ready by the end of the year. 

The partners to the Tallinn Center District administration in the project are the City of Helsinki, the Tallinn Center of the Stockholm Environment Institute, and Forum Virum Helsinki.

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