Plans for a new highland national park
The Icelandic central highland is unique with its vast area of wilderness, volcanos, glaciers and other spectacular natural phenomenon. The highland forms one of the largest territories in Europe which has never been inhabited and is considered one of the last great wilderness areas in Europe.
The current government's policy statement stipulates that a national park shall be established in the central highland. Since 2016 Icelandic authorities have been working on the development of this idea in close cooperation with numerous stakeholders. If established, the national park will be the largest national park in Europe.
In December 2019, a draft bill on the establishment of a Highland National Park was introduced. The bill was based on extensive work of a political committee consisting of representatives of all parliamentary parties, the Association of Icelandic Municipalities, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources and the Prime Minister's Office. The committee worked closely with stakeholders, such as farmers, environmental and recreational NGOs, the tourism sector and local authorities. This fall (2020), Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, will submit the bill to the Icelandic parliament, Althingi.