Laponian area

The Swedish world heritage Laponian located in Lapland and is part of Europe's largest wilderness largely unaffected (if we except North-West Russia ). It is both the world of nature as a World Heritage Site and was established in 1996 as such.

Laponian is also one of four World Heritage areas, which are still inhabited by an indigenous population. In this case, it is the seed. In Heritage economies seven Samebyer: Baste Čearru ( Mellanbyn ), Unna Čearuš ( Sörkaitum ) Sirkas, Jåhkågasska and Tuorpon and Luokta - mavas and Gällivare skogssameby who live in the summer months in the area. The Samebyer operate reindeer husbandry both within, and outside the boundaries of the World Heritage.

Distribution and Description

The protected area currently comprises 9,400 square kilometers (compared to Corsica = 8680 km ²). It lies north of the Arctic Circle and is bordered to the west by Norway. World Heritage includes four national parks ( Muddus, Sarek, Padjelanta and Stora Sjöfallet ) and the nature reserves Sjaunja, Stubba, Sulitelma, Tjuoltadalen and Rapadalen. According to the Swedish National Park Plan of 2007, the latter three nature reserves in the following period will be incorporated at the national level, the National Parks. Especially in the south and east of the area are another major protected areas, nature reserves, mostly in fjällnahen forest areas of high value. To the west of the small Norwegian Rago National Park is adjacent to Laponian.

To the west lies Laponia the lake-rich high level Padjelantas which pass eastward into the high mountain regions Sarek and Stora Sjöfallets whose summits have some glaciers. In Sarek - known for its deep U-shaped valleys - are some of the highest mountains in Sweden. Farther east, extends the bog and forested foothills of the Scandes that is getting flatter by Sjaunja to Muddusgebiet. This virtually untouched, water-rich landscapes are often much more difficult to obtain than the mountainous areas of Laponia that are traversed by a coarse grid partially well -maintained hiking trails.

In the pristine wilderness of the reserve there is a rich animal and plant life with many endangered species. The habitats range from the boreal forests dominated by spruce and pine, the typical for the Scandinavian Mountains Fjällbirkenwälder (a form of forest-tundra ) up in the subarctic mountain tundra, the mountain on his block wealthy, grasses, mosses and dwarf shrubs overgrown mountain slopes. In quite different floors, all plants of the northern European mountains are represented here. Laponian houses the largest continental European population of the Arctic fox ( which, however, on a global scale is very small). Other rare mammals include the brown bear, wolverine and lynx. The wolf, however, this has no viable population. This is mainly due to centuries of hunting by the seeds that protect traditionally their reindeer from losses. The semi- domesticated reindeer is by far the most common mammal in the area. A particularly well-known mammals, whose populations tend at irregular intervals to mass growth, the mountain Lemming, a hamster as large rodents. The bird fauna is represented with many rare species, one finds, for example, in the birds of prey the golden eagle, sea eagle and osprey.


Ever since prehistoric times, the area was inhabited by nomadic seeds. Hunting and fishing were to the Middle Ages, the basis of the supply. When the reindeer to main livelihood of the seed was, they adapted to the grazing behavior of reindeer. It moved with the reindeer herds to the pastures, which changed from season to season. Even today, follows the reindeer herding the migration of reindeer herds. Not only the reindeer husbandry, also the handicrafts was and is an important source of income for the Sami population in the area of world heritage.

2011, the association " Laponiatjuottjudus " was honored by the WWF. The club has a forward-looking form of joint management for Laponian developed that enables to divide the responsibility for this enormous protected area in the future based on the Sámi communities, the State Administration of Norrbotten and the state conservation authority. The result was a world exemplary, locally anchored Management - in which the indigenous Sami culture and their reindeer herding have become an integral part.


Laponian annually attracts many nature enthusiasts. Although the numbers are much lower than for example in the Alps, tourism represents for the regions Jokkmokk and Gällivare a significant economic factor dar. Due to the promotion of Sami culture in the World Heritage are some interesting tourist offers of the indigenous population originated. Thus, the cabins will be entertained at Padjelanta of the seed and small Sami tourism businesses to offer in the mountainous parts of the region to natural experiences of various kinds. Hardly anywhere else in Lapland the testimony of Sami culture have remained as alive as in Laponian. The hiker in the - mostly not inhabited year round - seed villages the opportunity to typical foods such as Dried fish, reindeer meat or flatbread to buy. In several places, it is also possible to stay for a while in the traditional Sami Torfkoten.

However, the visitor should not forget that Laponian is a very sparsely populated wilderness - for the "normal " tourists do not harmless! Inexperienced should therefore never be too far removed without local guides from the surrounding towns and streets, because even on the designated paths each year run some hikers. In the subarctic weather conditions such situations do not always go off lightly!

Environmental damage

In 1919, the first ten years previously furnished Stora Sjöfallet National Park was reduced from economic interests. With the dam on Akkajaure significant changes in the riparian zone, which has a negative impact on the vegetation due to water level fluctuations ( between 423-453 m) emerged. Since 2006, increased efforts in the search for ores occur in the vicinity of the World Heritage. South of Muddus plans for example, a British company, the plant of an iron ore mine and north of Sjaunja is an Australian Group strives to the mining rights of the huge deposit Ekströmsberg. The latter project was previously off-limits for conservation reasons, but the prospect of profit can here in the future lead to new developments. It is feared by a significant negative impact of mining on the reindeer industry and the sensitive nature