Areas of Work
World Heritage is cultural and natural heritage deemed to have a unique, universal value from a historic, artistic, scientific or aesthetic point of view. The sites included on the UNESCO World Heritage List have been selected due to their unique cultural or natural history importance to humanity.
Eight Norwegian sites are currently inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List:
Rock art in Alta
Bryggen in Bergen
Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site
Røros mining town and the Cirkumference
Four points on the Struve Geodetic Arc
Urnes Stave Church
Vegaøyan -The Vega Archipelago
West Norwegian Fjords
The Norwegian World Heritage
The World Heritage Convention
In 1972, UNESCO adopted a convention on the protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage, known as the World Heritage Convention. The aim of the convention is to identify cultural and natural heritage sites with universal value for inscription on the World Heritage List.
As of February 2020, the list includes 1,121 sites in 167 countries. Norway ratified the World Heritage Convention on 12 May 1977 and Bryggen in Bergen and Urnes Stave Church were inscribed on the World Heritage List as early as 1979.
The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment is the supreme authority responsible for following up on matters relating to Norwegian World Heritage. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage and the Norwegian Environment Agency are responsible for following up on the World Heritage Convention and the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage coordinates the collaboration between the two agencies.
The World Heritage Committee
Each year, the World Heritage Committee decides which new sites are to be inscribed on the World Heritage List. The committee is also responsible for following up on the convention work. Norway has been elected to the committee for the period 2018–2021.