Integration through outdoor life

Ola Elvestuen outdoor lifeClimate and environmental minister, Ola Elvestuen.Photo: Fredrik Hagen / NTB scanpix

New action plan for integration through outdoor life

The government wants more people from minority backgrounds to get out in Norwegian nature. New initiatives have been launched in a recent action plan for outdoor life.


Prior to Tuesday’s presentation of the action plan, in the summer sun in Sognsvann, Oslo, the climate and environmental minister, Ola Elvestuen of Venstre (V)
flew kites in the wind with the children in attendance before taking a canoe trip on the lake.

“Outdoor life is important for public health because it is clear that moving and being outdoors has a health effect. In addition, outdoor life gives everyone the experience that they have the same opportunities,” said Elvestuen to NTB news.

Minorities to get out in nature

“Outdoor life is the arena where we do not see a difference in social striation, and where people meet for the natural experiences. It is therefore important that even more people with minority backgrounds participate in Norwegian outdoor life, Elvestuen added.

The action plan from the Ministry of Climate and Environment has been prepared in cooperation with open-air organizations, and aims to encourage groups with low participation in Norwegian outdoor life, such as persons from minority backgrounds, to get on board.

This will take place through new subsidy schemes, area initiatives and maintenance and development of areas. The organization, Norsk Friluftsliv, welcomes the initiative.

A community

“Outdoor life builds communities between people, who when in nature meet in a more open way. This way we can use outdoor life to build bridges. We must not have a two-tier society for those who are and those who are not involved. In the open-air life everyone is welcome,’’ said Secretary General, Lasse Heimdal, of Norwegian Outdoor Life to NTB news.

“Outdoor life is an important part of Norwegian culture that gives joy and contentment in life. Outdoor activities keep the health up, keep people at work, and makes for a good living, he added.

In addition, the government notified, among other things, the simplification of legislation regulating outdoor activities, so that better outdoor recreational forms, such as mountain biking, kiting and climbing in the outskirts are facilitated.

Serious message in the summer tumble

The government will also review the scheme that the grants State money to municipalities and open-air councils so that they can buy important outdoor areas.

“Outdoor life is one of the most valuable things we have in Norway, but many people should get more experience of it, especially children and young people. Now it is important that the action plan is followed up,” said Erling Lae, chairman of Norsk Outdoor Life.

During the warm summer sun in Sognsvann, which raised the temperature to 30 degrees, Elvestuen pointed out that the summer’s drought and heat have a serious undertone, indicating the fight against global warming.

“The more we get into nature, the more will see how important it is to take care of it. Natural value and nature conservation will be important in the future,’’ he said.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today