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Managing outdoor recreation in MPAs – experiences and challenges from Sweden and Norway

Conference contribution
Authors Andreas Skriver Hansen
Published in Proceedings of the Nordic Geographers Meeting, Trondheim, 16th-19th June 2019
Publisher Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Place of publication Trondheim, Norway
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Human Geography
Language en
Keywords MPA, Outdoor Recreation, Planning, Management, Kosterhavet, Ytre Hvaler, Færder, Jomfruland
Subject categories Human Geography


This presentation describes experiences and challenges in managing outdoor recreation in coastal-marine national parks as part of national strategies on Maritime Spatial Planning in Sweden and Norway. Both countries received their first coastal-marine national parks as late as in 2009 (Kosterhavet in Sweden and Ytre Hvaler in Norway), with two more established in Norway since then (Færder and Jomfruland) and two more under way both in Sweden and in Norway. Like other land-based national parks, the purpose of coastal-marine national parks is to be containers of both environmental and recreational qualities, with a distinct focus on balancing use (recreation/tourism) and protection (conservation) aspects. However, while both countries have large experience on these matters in their land-based national parks (e.g. forest-, mountain-, and urban parks), experiences in coastal-marine national parks are limited. This is particularly the case when managing outdoor recreation aspects, such as providing quality recreational experiences or performing basic visitor monitoring activities. Based on a series of semi-structured interviews with three national park managers and one planning expert in three coastal-marine national parks (Kosterhavet), the paper reveals important challenges concerning outdoor recreation planning and management in coastal-marine national parks in Sweden and Norway. This includes a discussion on the fact that outdoor recreation aspects must receive a larger focus in coastal-marine national parks. Furthermore, outdoor recreation must also be put on the political agenda as a land use activity that is important in coastal-marine areas, which in turn will place outdoor recreation as a priority among national park managers.

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