New national park will protect 'unique' part of Norway: minister
The Lofotodden National Park is located in Nordland county on the outer edges of the Lofoten region.
âThis is one of the most unique things in Norway. The area has very clear national and international preservation qualities,â climate and environment minister Ola Elvestuen told NRK.
âThe new national park has landscape and nature types that do not exist in any of Norwayâs other natural areas. We have now ensured that future generations will be able to enjoy the characteristic and unique landscape with its narrow, high peaks surround by open seas and deep fjords,â he said.
The area is rich in mountain flora and was one of the first regions to become uncovered at the end of the last Ice Age, meaning that some of the oldest types of mountain vegetation can be found there, NRK writes.
âThe area we have now protected also has extremely hi gh cultural-historical value with traces of settlement going back to the Stone Age. Cave paintings at Kollhellaren and Bukkhammerhola hace been there since Stone Age people painted them on the walls around 3,000 years ago. That says a lot about how important this area was going back a long way,â Elvestuen said.
Although local politicians were in favour of the national park, it also saw considerable opposition, with a majority in local municipality Moskenes voting against it in 2015. Opponents cited the effect of implementing a national park on the local fishing industry, amongst other concerns.
But Elvestuen said that creating a national park in the area would not place any new restrictions on residents.
âThere will not be more limitations on transport than are necessary to comply with regulations on preservation and the aim of preservation. That does not require any changes from today, but we are ensuring that Lofotodden will be protected. A nat ional park protection will also bring national funds for administration and maintenance of the national park,â he said to NRK.
Both Moskenes and Flakstad, the two municipalities in which the national park is located, are traditional fishing communities. Although some marine areas are included in the national park, these are not areas suitable for fishing, Elvestuen said.
The limits of the national park were designed so that most recreational buildings as well as a potential water source and the location of possible energy production facilities are placed outside it, he said.
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