Decision : 29 COM 8B.7
Nominations of Natural Properties to the World Heritage List (West Norwegian Fjords - Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord)
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Documents WHC-05/29.COM/8B, WHC-05/29.COM/8B.Add 2 and WHC-05/29.COM/INF.8B.2,
2. Inscribes the West Norwegian Fjords - Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord (Norway) on the World Heritage List on the basis of natural criteria (i) and (iii):
Criterion (i): The West Norwegian Fjords are classic, superbly developed fjords, considered as the type locality for fjord landscapes in the world. They are comparable in scale and quality to other existing fjords on the World Heritage List and are distinguished by the climate and geological setting. The property displays a full range of the inner segments of two of the world's longest and deepest fjords.
Criterion (iii): The Nærøyfjord and Geirangerfjord areas are considered to be among the most scenically outstanding fjord areas on the planet. Their outstanding natural beauty is derived from their narrow and steep-sided crystalline rock walls that rise up to 1400 m direct from the Norwegian Sea and extend 500 m below sea level. Along the sheer walls of the fjords are numerous waterfalls while free-flowing rivers rise up through deciduous and coniferous forest to glacial lakes, glaciers and rugged mountains. There is a great range of supporting natural phenomena, both terrestrial and marine such as submarine moraines and marine mammals. Remnants of old and now mostly abandoned transhumant farms add a cultural aspect to the dramatic natural landscape that complements and adds human interest to the area.
3. Requests to be kept informed by the State Party of Norway of any proposals for expansion of quarrying activities within the property and of measures taken to limit impacts of existing quarries. Close monitoring will be required, as such activities, if not carefully considered, could have significant impacts on the visual quality of the site (criterion iii);
4. Commends the State Party on the thorough nomination process involving a well-designed selection process and consultation with all Nordic countries as well as local stakeholders, which led to support for the nomination.