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Managing outdoor recreation aspects in coastal-marine national parks#11;– Experiences and challenges from Sweden and Norway

Conference contribution
Authors Andreas Skriver Hansen
Jan Vider Haukeland
Knut Bjørn Stokke Stokke
Published in Proceedings for the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM), June 19-22, 2017 in Umeå
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Human Geography
Language en
Keywords Outdoor recreation, management, planning, protected areas, national parks, coastal, marine, Sweden, Norway
Subject categories Human Geography


This paper 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, with two more established in Norway since then 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 visitor monitoring activities. Based on a series of semi-structured interviews with managers and experts in three coastal-marine national parks (one Swedish and two Norwegian parks), the paper reveals important challenges concerning outdoor recreation planning and management in coastal-marine national parks in Sweden and Norway. Main results show large differences in experience between planning and managing coastal-marine national parks versus traditional land-based national parks, including the problem that coastal-marine national parks are often managed based on experiences from their land-based equivalents. Particular identified challenges include working with outdoor recreation in open, free roaming landscapes as well as more administrative barriers, such as lack of education and resources among managers to work more actively with outdoor recreation aspects in the daily management. The paper therefore concludes that outdoor recreation aspects must receive a larger focus in coastal-marine national parks.

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