West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve
Local partner: Hiiumaa Muuseumid
Area: 15,600 km2, area of Hiiumaa 989 km2
Population: 43,000, population of Hiiumaa ca 10,000
Features and challenges: Hiiumaa is an island in the West Estonian archipelago, in the Baltic Sea. The island’s economy is mostly tourism, livestock, small-scale farming, fishing, and fish processing. Recently there has been a trend towards smaller farms, more tourism and housing. Cultural heritage (historic villages, lighthouses, historic farms, industrial and military heritage) and biodiversity (semi-natural meadows) are the greatest assets. The objective of the BR is to re-orientate local people towards self-supported, culturally and environmentally sustainable development.
Potential role of heritage narratives and expected outcomes: Communities aim to engage with sustainable development that utilises their rich natural and cultural heritage and promotes creative industry. Narratives are expected to reflect connections between economic development based on sustainable tourism products, rich biodiversity and cultural heritage, and impacts on community wellbeing.