World Heritage in Norway: national policy for an inclusive and participatory implementation of the World Heritage Convention

Elisabet Haveraaen, Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment.
Published: 14 November 2020
Last edited: 07 May 2021
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The solution focuses on the national-level policy and set up in place in Norway to implement the World Heritage Convention. It showcases Norway;s high ambition in implementing the Convention and in ensuring the best possible management and conservation at World Heritage properties. The solution refers to the policy set out in detail in the Report to the Storting (white paper) no.35 (2012-2013) (Chapter 4.8 World Heritage) which is continued in the Report to the Storting (white paper) no.16 (2019-2020) as well as to the 1978 Cultural Heritage Act.

The solution addresses the mandate of the Ministry of Climate and Environment which is responsible for both cultural and natural heritage and as well as the creation of national and local means to ensure enhanced dialogue and communication among multiple stakeholders on world heritage. This includes an interministerial forum, local advisory boards, the designation of World Heritage coordinators and the implementation of capacity building activities.


North Europe
Scale of implementation
Buildings and facilities
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Pool, lake, pond
Rangeland / Pasture
River, stream
Temperate deciduous forest
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Indigenous people
Legal & policy frameworks
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Traditional knowledge
World Heritage
Lack of technical capacity
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Sustainable development goals
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities


Norway | This solution is implemented at World Heritage properties in Norway.


  • Environmental challenges: Sustainable development of World Heritage properties.  
  • Cultural and social challenges: The need to strengthen the participation of local stakeholders and communities in the management and decision-making processed of World Heritage properties; The need for dialogue with local communities and local actors, ensuring management capacity at World Heritage properties.
  • Economic challenges: The need to balance development needs and protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage properties.


The main beneficiaries of this solution are communities, local municipalities, institutional actors and stakeholders involved in the management and conservation of World Heritage properties in Norway.

How do the building blocks interact?

The policy framework addresses the need for coordination among several ministries and multiple local, regional and national authorities as well as communities and local stakeholders. The interaction between ministries has been facilitated through the establishment of an interministerial World Heritage Fourm (BB2) while at property level, management has been strengthened and dialogue amongst stakeholders is fostered through the designation of World Heritage coordinators (BB3) and World Heritage Advisory Boards (BB4) which act as key driver for dialogue and awareness raising.

Through a commitment to World Heritage capacity building (BB5), Norway is a driver and donor behind the World Heritage Leadership Programme.


Among the successful impacts is Norway's experience in incorporating the principles of the World Heritage Convention into the national-level policy, which reflects the importance of the interrelation of nature and culture in the management and conservation of heritage properties. Additionally, the solution addresses the following impacts:

  • Environmental: Norway’s understanding of the interconnectedness of nature and culture begins with the inclusion of cultural heritage as part of the environmental solution. This is reflected in the institutional set up that sees the responsibility for cultural heritage policy placed under the Ministry of Climate and Environment. The management of cultural and natural heritage is followed up by two directorates: The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage and the Norwegian Environment Agency.  
  • Cultural and social: Communities and local actors are key stakeholders when it comes to the inclusion of local perspectives and in building capacities for the effective and inclusive management of World Heritage properties.
  • Economic: Norway acknowledges the role that World Heritage can play in the sustainable socio-economic development of local communities.

Contributed by

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Aleksandra Einen Ministry of Climate and Environment

Other contributors

Ministry of Climate and Environment
Anne Nyhamar
Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage