The Vega Archipelago World Heritage Foundation was set up in 2005 by Vega Borough Council to help to ensure that the values of the area are safeguarded. The Foundation is also intended to coordinate the world heritage work locally. In 2010, the Foundation had a budget of NOK 3.6 million, most of which was spent on safeguarding the eider tradition, cultural landscape work and providing information.
The Action Plan for the Cultural Landscape and the Management Plan for the Vega Archipelago determine how the Foundation prioritises its work. The aim of the management plan is to ”… form a basis for positive development within the world heritage area that safeguards the values of the natural environment and the cultural landscape. The traditional activities are to be safeguarded and developed. The basis must be laid for positive development of the local community based on sustainable use. Vega must also be developed as a centre of expertise to provide information about, manage and use the natural and cultural landscapes along the coast. The plan must motivate the various parties and imbue in them a sense of responsibility to make an effort to achieve this.”
The Foundation must also follow up UNESCO’s appeal to Norway in the inscription document The Vega Archipelago (2004), and has a coordinating role when the report is to be submitted to UNESCO in 2012.
To achieve these aims, the Foundation is dependent upon good cooperation with other organisations and bodies:
The Foundation has a cooperative body to make suggestions regarding its work. It consists of representatives from 18 local societies and associations.
Team World Heritage Vega: On the local level, the Foundation works together with Vega Borough Council, the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate, Helgeland Museum and Vega Business Association in Team World Heritage Vega. The team coordinates the overall work associated with the world heritage, but may also work on specific projects.
Team World Heritage Nordland: On a regional level, the Foundation takes part in the Nordland County Council world heritage team.
Norwegian World Heritage: On the national level, the Foundation takes part in Norwegian World Heritage (Norges Verdensarv), a network for the Norwegian World Heritage Sites. The network is expected to take up issues that are shared by the Norwegian World Heritage Sites, and meets in connection with the annual World Heritage Forum, a conference that takes up questions that are relevant in a World Heritage context, and also at the annual Nordic World Heritage meeting.
Nordic network: Representatives from the Nordic World Heritage Sites meet annually to discuss challenges and opportunities that they have in common.
Photo: Ole Inge Tysnes