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Polar Routen e.V.
Internationale Vereinigung für
Wandern und Naturschutz in Grönland
Amitsorsuaq, vom Kanuzentrum aus gesehen
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How long will the Polar Route still be?

Unfortunately, the future of this trail is not so safe and this has worried many hikers. This not only applies to the problems arising from the growing number of hikers described in the last paragraph. Since then, bigger problem have arised. In 2015, modifying earlier plans to build a road between Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq, it was decided to build a road for off-road vehicles or ATVs (= All Terrain Vehicle). It should form the core of an economic development plan. We have compiled information from different sources to a sketch. A comprehensice description of it is to be found here. The plans range from a mass transport of cruise tourists ("In total 8.000-10.000 cruisers per season distributed over 40 port-of-calls.", source: Igloo Mountain ApS) to attractive places in the interior of the region to car test areas, used by a well-known Swedish company. That's not all, this are only some examples. And all this should be combined with the registration of this region in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The reactions of the shocked hikers on the Polar Route have so far found expression in a memorandum signed in 2016/17 by three hundred hikers in Greenland, about what Qeqqata Municipality is informed since 2016. An answer from the municipality is still missing today.
The situation once again appeared in a different light when, in the beginning of 2017, an application for a specific area in this region for inclusion in the World Heritage List as a unique cultural landscape was submitted (by the Danish Government) to UNESCO. It is a smaller part of an area registered in 2003 on the recommendation of the Nordic Council of Ministers in the tentative World Heritage List. A map sketch is available here. A representative of the municipality has stated that the municipality sees no contradiction between the application to UNESCO and the road project; however, if UNESCO saw it differently, there would be no entry in the World Heritage List and the municipality wanted to stick to the road project.
Our association regrets this attitude and does not share this view. It interpreted the memorandum signed by 300 hikers as a mandate for a comprehensive submission (1.) to the Danish government, which represents Greenland against UNESCO, (2.) to the Prime Minister of Greenland, Kim Kielsen, who is also Minister for the Environment and Nature Protection, and to the Parliament of Greenland; and (3.) to UNESCO itself, which intends to decide this year on the application for inclusion in the World Heritage List. You can dowload it here.
This input was sent in February 2018 to the three addressees. Apart from a few acknowledgments of receipt, we received no answer.
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