Protected areas


The West Norwegian Fjords world heritage area, which the Nærøyfjord is a part of, consists of a number of protected areas of various categories, as well as areas that have settlements wo are not protected in accordance with the Nature Conservation Act.

The Purpose of the Nærøyfjord Conservation Area

“The purpose of the of the Nærøyfjord Conservation Area as to take care of the unique natural and cultural landscape ranging from fjord to mountain, with its vide variety of plant- and animal life which shall be conserved. Hayfields, pastures, seasonal farm areas, farming and cultural heritage are all still being utilised by the agricultural community and is an important part of the character of the local landscape, and as such is a part of the conservation area.”

The Purpose of the Bleia-Storbotn Conservation Area

“The purpose of the Bleia-Storebotnen conservation area is to conserve a beautiful and unique nature and cultural landscape from fjord to mountain. The glacial ice’s shaping of the old plains and the landscape of the fjords offers a varied vegetation and fauna where the wild reindeer are a significant part of scenery’s character.”

The Purpose of the Bleia Nature Reserve

“The purpose of the protection is to ensure the continued life of a rare sub-species of arctic poppy (papaver radicatum ssp. relictum) which is of significant scientific value, as well as the quaternary geology of a unique fjord landscape with its unusual large-scale ravines and mountain ridges. Additionally the reserve offers a botanically valuable area containing primeval like forests in the areas between the fjord and the mountain tops.”

The Purpose of the Valley of Nordheimsdalen Nature Reserve

“The purpose of the protection is to ensure a forest area with all its natural flora and fauna. Among the many qualities we can point out that the area makes up an intact precipitation catchment area with a forest gradient from shoreline to mountain. It has also an unusually high degree of diversity in terms of pine forest types belonging to the inner fjord areas, and it also contains woods that most likely have the strongest primeval feel in Western Norway.”

The Purpose of the Bogs of Grånosmyrane Nature Reserve

“The purpose is to conserve an area of mountain and wetland that serves as a nesting area for a rich and vulnerable birdlife.”

The Goals of the Administration of the Settlement Areas

Settlement areas located within the world heritage borders must be managed in such a way that there is no decrease in the value of the natural or cultural heritage. In regards to the world heritage status it is important to protect the landscape in its entirety, and to secure the geological processes, even across the borders of conservation areas. Additionally it is important to conserve the exceptionally beautiful landscape with its cultural landscape and vibrant villages.

Most of the settled areas within the world heritage site are located in the municipality of Aurland, with the exception of the farms of Stalheimsøyni and Sivlesøyni in the neighbouring municipality of Voss. The land-use management in the settled areas will mainly take place according to the Building and Planning Act. The purpose of the Building and Planning Act (section 2) is formulated in the following way:

“Planning according to the law must be a co-ordinated effort of state, county and municipal authorities and form the basis for decisions concerning the use and protection of resources and development, as well as taking aesthetic considerations into account. By means of planning and specific demands for each building project, the law must ensure that land use and settlement will be as beneficial as possible for the individual and the local community. Of special importance when planning according to the Act is to ensure that children will be given a good environment for growing up.”

(Photo: Torunn Todal Laberg)



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