Local World Heritage Management Structure

In 2012 Norway adopted a new national World Heritage policy to push for a more  effective implementation of the World Heritage Convention at a national, regional and local level. This includes recommendations for the establishment of local management structures able to enhance local capacities for management.
In 2018, a new structure was approved by all stakeholders and recognized at all levels. It  consists of:

  • a WH Board responsible for the  protection of Bryggen in accordance with WH requirements  and the management plan. It consists of 4 political members (2 from Vestland County Council,2 from the Municipality of Bergen) appointed for 4 years.
  • an Advisory Board strengthens cooperation between stakeholders in Bryggen with the aim of protecting its OUV and other heritage values. It consists of 10 members representing building owners, museums, university, tourism operators, cultural heritage agencies at local, regional and national level, and friends’ association.
  • a full time World Heritage Coordinator funded by the national government and employed at the Agency of Cultural Heritage Management, City of Bergen. It is the contact person for the WH site and responsible for stakeholder involvement and site management. 

There are two main factors that have enabled such a local WH heritage management structure:

  • The national policy for World Heritage which establishes  local structures and the appointment of a WH coordinator;
  • A long, ongoing and thorough process for stakeholder involvement was at the base of creating a structure that was accepted and formally recognized by all actors involved.

Developing a new structure for a local WH management requires acceptance by all stakeholders, and this needs to evolve and further develop over time. It is very much a learning-by-doing process. 
There is not one way of doing things, but it is a process that develops towards identifying the best way of organising management locally. Through the process one also might identify new stakeholders who should be included.


The aim is to coordinate activities, identify how each stakeholder is important for the overall management of World Heritage. However, there is no mandate to instruct either private stakeholders or public management. Hence, it is a continuous process to define the role and mandate of the local World Heritage management structure.