Photo: Daniel Olausson
Laponiatjuottjudus is the association that administrates Laponia World Heritage Site. Laponiatjuottjudus is Sámi for Laponia Administration. We took over responsibility for the World Heritage Site from the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten County on 1 January 2013. Laponiatjuottjudus is a local administrative organisation. The Board is made up of the Sámi communities in Laponia, The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten County and the municipalities of Jokkmokk and Gällivare.
Tjuottjodit is the Lule Sámi verb ”to take care of something, administrate”. Laponiatjuottjudus is the management of Laponia World Heritage Site. It is a locally based organisation with its head office in Jåhkåmåhkke/Jokkmokk. Laponiatjuottjudus took over responsibility for the management of Laponia from the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten County on 1 January 2013, and is now developing new methods to manage the World Heritage Site together with the people living in and around the area. The World Heritage Site is a single entity, whose main cornerstones are:
Laponiatjuottjudus is a non-profit organization with an office in Jåhkåmåhkke/Jokkmokk.
The Sámi delegates are in the majority on the committee, but all decisions are to be made with the consent of all parties. The parties are:
These have jointly established a non-profit association with its head office in Jåhkåmåhkke/Jokkmokk.
Laponiatjuottjudus considers itself a tentative management, trying out new ways to bring the decisions as close as possible to those whom it concerns. It is a management based on local participation and a shared responsibility for the World Heritage Site. During the work to develop modern management of Laponia it was emphasised that Laponia should be managed with a holistic perspective, a sustainable perspective and a developmental perspective.
Laponiatjuottjudus manages Laponia until June 2025. The long-term ambition is to make Laponiatjuottjudus a more permanent entity.
Laponia’s 9,400 km2 contains many different facilities. Laponiatjuottjudus is responsible for the care and maintenance of a total of around 160 buildings of various types. Most are tourist cabins, but Laponiatjuottjudus also manages, for example, the Naturum Laponia visitor center, bird towers, wind shelters, some rest areas and Hamberg’s research huts in Sarek.
The World Heritage Site also has about 440 km of trails and some 50 bridges managed by the administration. There are both winter and summer trails. All marked trails in Laponia should have safe facilities and clear markings. Bridges are regularly inspected and footbridges must be safe enough to prevent visitors from getting hurt. Of the bridges, 24 are large metal suspension bridges, but there are also metal and wooden beam bridges.
It is Laponiatjuottjudus task to ensure that there is a good system of entrances, information points, trails, bridges, cabins and shelters in the Laponia World Heritage Site.
Árbbediehto – Sámi traditional knowledge – has developed in an interaction between people and the surrounding environment. For millennia, the people who lived before us have cared for the land and resources in this area. It is this management of the land that has created the conditions for the designation of the Laponia World Heritage Site. The current management of Laponia aims to build on this knowledge of the area.
Using árbbediehto is one of the cornerstones of Laponiatjuottjudus work. Traditional knowledge and local experience are used in Laponiatjuottjudus communication and visitor activities, but also in the practical management of the area. This may involve, for example, obtaining traditional knowledge prior to carrying out various activities so that the work is carried out correctly. Árbbediehto as a working method and mindset is part of the ongoing management of Laponia.
Árbbediehto is also promoted through various projects run by Laponiatjuottjudus. The administration sees it as an important task to document local knowledge and to pass it on, in interaction with those who possess the knowledge.
While the landscape and nature of Laponia has been a home and environment for humans for thousands of years, Laponia is characterized by an environment that is exclusive to Europe. The forests, mountains, lakes, rivers and wetlands that make up the World Heritage Site have unique natural values and a rich biodiversity.
Laponia is an important refuge for a wide range of species that depend on its nature. On the whole, Laponia’s nature does not need management in the traditional sense to preserve these values. Instead, the main rule is that nature should be left to develop freely, allowing natural processes and successions to continue. In some cases, careful use may be needed, such as continued reindeer grazing.
The task of Laponiatjuottjudus is to ensure that the landscape of Laponia is protected from negative impacts, disturbances and exploitation that are not in harmony with the values of Laponia. In order to monitor developments and detect any problems in time, it is important that there is continuous follow-up and environmental monitoring in the area.
Laponia has a rich cultural heritage and many ancient monuments and cultural environments. Cultural heritage is the accumulated traces of those who have gone before, their work, lives, beliefs and expectations. The tracks could be an abandoned hut or just a few cracked stones on a shoreline where the hunter once made a fire thousands of years ago. The traces can also be quite recent and tell us about a place used by, for example, reindeer herders in the recent past.
Cultural heritage can be both tangible and intangible, what we can see and touch or what we can listen to in a story, in a joik or just by knowing how a landscape has been interpreted by the generations that lived in the area before our time.
Laponiatjuottjudus works to ensure that the cultural environments and ancient remains in Laponia are respected and made visible. Our ambition is to increase knowledge about these environments and places, both among visitors and those who live and work in Laponia.