Future generations should be able to enjoy the nature, traditional food and other gems found in Norwegian communities. That’s why Norway was first in the world to award a sustainability diploma.
Did you know that Norway has an official certification for sustainable destinations? In fact, we were the first in the world to do this. The first destinations to receive the diploma were Trysil, the Vega islands, Røros and Lærdal, in 2013.
Now, an additional four destinations are added to the exclusive list. These are Geilo, Svalbard, Setesdal and Inderøy. “These destinations applied, and then worked hard for two and a half years to get the approval,” says Ingunn Sørnes, special advisor for sustainable tourism and food at Innovation Norway. It is Innovation Norway that developed and runs the sustainability program.
“Both the tourism industry and the municipalities contributed to the work. They built new hiking trails, developed food services, acquired environmental certifications for individual companies, assessed tolerance limits, conducted guest surveys, sought out local cultural and natural treasures, and trained the hosts,” says Sørnes to Visit Norway.
Diplomas to Inderøy, Setesdal, Geilo and Svalbard were presented by Monica Mæland, minister of trade and industry, during a ceremony before the weekend.
To qualify for the awards, a destination must show over time that they can provide excellent and unique experiences for visitors, while safeguarding the community’s local businesses and surrounding nature.
“The government is working to create more green jobs. I am therefore pleased that we now have four new sustainable destinations. This is a Norwegian quality label that shows that Norwegian destinations take sustainability seriously,” said Mæland in a statement.
The sustainability diploma is relatively new, but is receiving positive attention from abroad, as well as putting the destinations in question on the map. Lyngenfjorden, Femund / Engerdal and the Lindesnes region are also working to get the diploma.
Norway is a country of outstanding natural beauty, with dramatic waterfalls, crystal clear fjords, majestic mountains, and spectacular glaciers. Preserving this landscape, its communities, and their way of life is essential for locals and visitors alike.
Here’s five hiking trails from The Norwegian Trekking Association you probably haven’t heard of.