Laponia is one of the last big wildernesses in Western Europe. The four national parks – Sarek, Padjelanta, Stora Sjöfallet and Muddus and the two nature reserves Sjaunja and Stubba together forms the site.
Laponia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1996.
The Justification of the World Heritage Committee
The area is an outstanding example of how the earth has developed, especially geologically, and how ecological and biological changes happen today. There are also unique natural phenomena of exceptional natural beauty and significant natural localities for the protection of biological diversity. The area, which has been inhabited by the Saami since prehistoric times, is one of the best preserved examples of a nomadic area in northern Scandinavia. It contains settlements and pastures for large herds of reindeer, a custom that was once very common, going back to an early stage in human economic and social development.
The mixed cultural and natural heritage Laponia Area
Photo: Jan Norrman, National Heritage Board, 1994
The entrance to a saami residence in the Laponia Area
Photo: Bengt A. Lundberg, National Heritage Board, 2001