The High Coast was selected as a World Heritage Site in 2000 because it features the world’s largest post-glacial rebound (land uplift) after the last Ice Age. In 2006, the heritage site was expanded to include the Kvarken Archipelago in Finland. On the High Coast, you can see very clear evidence of the ice’s advance and the dramatic effects of the land uplift on the landscape in the form of “calot hills”, shingle fields and isolated basins. The Kvarken Archipelago is a much smoother landscape, where the inland ice melt created different moraine formations that are not present in the High Coast. There are also more isolated basins in the Kvarken Archipelago.
A World Heritage Site is a place, object or area that in a unique way testifies to the earth’s history or the history of humankind. The organisation that designates World Heritage Sites is UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
“Our cultural and natural heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today and we pass on to future generations.” – Unesco
The countries that have ratified the World Heritage Convention have promised to protect and preserve the cultural and natural heritage that exists within their borders. There are three different types of world heritage: cultural heritage, natural heritage and mixed heritage.
The countries themselves highlight the objects that they wish to have inscribed in the World Heritage List, after which a World Heritage Committee, in consultation with experts, decides whether the object meets the requirements and criteria contained in the World Heritage Convention.
In summary, a World Heritage Site must meet one of the following criteria:
There are over 1,000 registered World Heritage Sites in more than 150 countries.
In Sweden, there are 15 world heritage sites. The High Coast/Kvarken Archipelago is the only exclusively natural heritage site in Sweden.
The High Coast/Kvarken Archipelago, which is shared between Sweden and Finland, is also one of the few cross-border world heritage sites.
Sadly, about 50 World Heritage Sites are in danger for reasons such as war and conflict, natural disasters, unsustainable tourism or environmental degradation.