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Decision : 28 COM 14B.45
Nominations of Cultural Properties to the World Heritage List (Vegaøyan - The Vega Archipelago)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Inscribes Vegaøyan - The Vega Archipelago, Norway, on the World Heritage List as a cultural landscape on the basis of cultural criterion (v):

Criterion (v): The Vega Archipelago reflects the way generations of fishermen/farmers have, over the past 1500 years, maintained a sustainable living in an inhospitable seascape near the Arctic Circle, based on the now unique practice of eider down harvesting, and it also celebrates the contribution made by women to the eider down process;

2. Requests the authorities to develop a specific strategic plan for the World Heritage property that will contribute to the overall Master Plan for the archipelago. It should address:

   a) measures to support traditional forms of land management, particularly the grazing of sheep on the islands,
   b) sustaining field patterns,
   c) the interface between conservation and sustainable development in respect
of aquaculture,
   d) documentation,
   e) how private land-owners may be engaged in the management processes;

3. Recommends that the authorities undertake an inventory of the eider duck nesting houses on the islands and develop a conservation plan to ensure the protection of these unique structures;

4. Encourages the authorities to formalise the collection of traditional, intangible knowledge of the islands’ cultural processes and traditions, in order to monitor their survival;

5. Further encourages the State Party to explore ways to minimize the visual impact on the landscape of the large radio mast on Vega Island;

6. Also recommends that the State Party consider extending the World Heritage area - or its buffer zone - to include islands and marine areas to the north and northeast;

7. Further recommends that the State Party consider acquiring abandoned islands for public ownership, where appropriate, in order to sustain the cultural landscape and protect the biodiversity of these islands.

Themes: Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties: Norway
Year: 2004
Decision Code: 28 COM 14B.45