On Sunday, the climate and environmental minister, Vidar Helgesen of Høyre (H) opened two new national parks, Jomfruland in Kragerø, and Raet in Aust-Agder.
‘This is a joyful day. Today maritime national parks in Norway have been doubled. It’s important, both for nature and value creation’, said the climate and environmental minister, Vidar Helgesen, to NTB news.
‘Norway is a port nation. The sea is now threatened with plastics, other pollutants, and climate change. It’s therefore important to care for larger comprehensive areas where ecosystems can function,’ said Helgesen.
Around 600 people attended the opening in Jomfruland, and thousands congregated for the opening of Raet National Park, according to Helgesen. The climate and environmental minister said it was a ‘joyous day’.
‘There’s been an incredibly good atmosphere throughout the day. Lots of talk and music; this is where the party is! It’s good to see that cooperation between the local population, the municipalities, and governmental authorities were behind these openings,’ said Helgesen.
Only 2% of Jomfruland national park is above water level. The rest is seabed, with kelp forests, and seaweed-beds. Just south, Raet National Park is 99% underwater.
Work on creating the national parks was begun by the Stoltenberg government, and will be completed in December.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today