It’s important to protect and preserve nature for future generations. The government of Norway is now taking the extra step to create more national parks while also expanding the size of some existing national parks to protect nature and biodiversity as climate change worsens.
Norway has 47 national parks, but the new plan calls for increasing that number to 57. Here’s how it will work: four new national parks will be created while the status of six existing landscape conservation areas will be changed to national park status. Additionally, eight existing national parks will be further expanded.
“Loss of biodiversity due to development and intervention is one of the biggest challenges in the world,” Sveinung Rotevatn, Norway’s minister of climate and the environment, said. “Therefore, the government now wants to initiate more protection processes where both the local municipalities and the Norwegian Environment Agency recommend that a national park be built.”
New National Parks
“The national park status is the foremost quality mark we can give a piece of Norwegian nature,” Rotevatn said. “That an area becomes a national park means that this city has very special natural values that we believe are especially important for Norway to protect and care for in the future.”
The four new areas where the government will work to establish national parks are all in western Norway. They are the Alps from Sunnmøre to Ørsta; Hornelen in Bremanger municipality; Masfjordfjella in Alver and Masfjorden; and Øystesefjella in Kvam, Samnanger, and Vaksdal.
Upgrades To National Parks
Norway’s government will also ask the Norwegian Environment Agency to proceed with the work of turning six landscape conservation areas into national parks, Rotevatn said. Landscape conservation areas are natural or cultural landscapes with great environmental, cultural, or experiential value.
These areas are Lyngsalpan, Sylan, Trollheimen, Ålfotbreeen, Oksøy-Ryvingen, and Flekkefjord-Listastrendene.
Increasing The Size Of National Parks
Norway’s plan also calls for expanding eight of its 47 national parks. Those parks are: Rohkunborri, Blåfjella-Skjækerfjella, Skarvan-Roltdalen, Femundsmarka, Dovre, Jostedalsbreen, Jotunheimen, and Raet.
Jotunheimen National Park includes the Jotunheimen mountain range. The range is home to Norway’s tallest mountains as well as the tallest mountains in northern Europe.
An Inclusive Process
The Norwegian Environment Agency and the State Administrator will work together on the new plan with local municipalities and landowners’ organizations. Specifically, they will work to determine which areas should be assessed and considered as potential national parks or landscape protection areas, Rotevatn explains.
“There will always be different views on new protected areas,” Rotevatn said. “Some people may be unsure of what such a designation may mean for their interests. It’s important for us to ensure that there are good processes for local input.”
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