Norway established its first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – Could the Lofoten region become​ the second?

A MODEL AREA: The Nordhordland biosphere reserve covers everything from the ocean to the top of the mountains and encompasses a unique study area. Photo: Nordhordland Biosfæreområde
A MODEL AREA: The Nordhordland biosphere reserve covers everything from the ocean to the top of the mountains and encompasses a unique study area. Photo: Nordhordland Biosfæreområde

Only three weeks after we discussed at the LT&C workshop in Ramberg the model of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for the Lofoten region, UNESCO announced Nordhordland to be Norway’s first biosphere reserve. The new protected area on the West coast of Norway extends from the ocean and coastline in the west, through fjord landscape, to the mountains of Stølsheimen to the east. An outstanding place for nature and people. It enables people to embrace and preserve nature at the same time. Researchers from the University of Bergen have contributed with their knowledge to the 288-page lengthy application to get the area approved. 

Last spring Norway also inaugurated the “Lofotodden National Park”, a mountain area in the South of the Lofoten. Whether this national park could become the core zone of a Biosphere Reserve was a primary question of the LT&C workshop in Ramberg. This question meanwhile triggered the interest of the regional chapter of the Norwegian Friends of the Earth organisation Naturvernforbundet. Now June Grønseth, Head of Naturvernforbundet in Lofoten, and Peter Prokosch from LT&C have been invited by Ørjan Arntzen to take part and present their ideas at a meeting of NordMAB in Scottland. Ørjan, who is also from the Lofoten, has since a long time promoted the concept of a Biosphere Reserve. Together with him, we will listen October 7-9 to the experts of NordMAB countries about their experience with Biosphere Reserves. We keep you updated.

Lofotodden National Park. Photo: Peter Prokosch

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