Areas without major infrastructure development are intrinsically valuable, and also important for maintaining biological and landscape diversity.
The remaining areas of Norway without major infrastructure development have become increasingly valuable to society as more and more of the country has been developed in different ways, fragmenting and altering natural habitats.
Areas without infrastructure development contain habitats for a large proportion of Norway’s flora and fauna species, including a number of threatened species. And many people set great store by the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of the wild and enjoy the tranquillity of wide areas of unspoilt countryside. Areas without major infrastructure development are intrinsically valuable. They are also an important asset for Norway because they are one of the features that make the country an attractive tourist destination.
The Norwegian Environment Agency has registered and mapped areas without major infrastructure development at intervals in the period 1998 to 2008. During this period, a great deal of construction and development took place, resulting in the loss of considerable infrastructure-free areas. The map application (“INON”) shows areas that are at least 1 kilometre away from the nearest major infrastructure development.
Since the mid-1990s, it has been an express goal of Norway’s land-use policy to plan large-scale changes in land use in a way that maintains as much as possible of the remaining infrastructure-free areas for future generations. The INON surveys and mapping are a useful tool in this work.
The Norwegian Environment Agency is responsible for providing other authorities and the general public with information on valuable species and habitats and on land use management.