UNESCO Nomination project – University of Copenhagen

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18 January 2017

UNESCO Nomination project

World Heritage

The project aims to declare the Aasivissuit-Nipisat area UNESCO World Heritage by activating the research which has been made in the area since the 1970'es. If the area is declared World Heritage the potential for developing the tourism industry in the area will be significant.

In the valley of Itineq, large camps which has been used for catching trout in the summer-time and for overnight stays when travleling from the coast to the hunting ground in the mainland. Photo: Jens Fog Jensen

The research behind this long application proces has been conducted and gathered in part under the auspices of the Greenland Perspective initiative and led by professor Morten Meldgaard and postdoc Jens Fog Jensen at the Natural History Museum of Denmark and Ilisimatusarfik. 

The Municipality of Qeqqeta has been heading several other aspects of the nomination including formal and informal meetings, workshops and discussions with local residents. 

A unique area

The Aasivissuit-Nipisat area is a unique cultural landscape in an arctic setting. It lies at the heart of the largest ice-free area in Greenland which, in combination with the traditional coastal zone between the open-water area and the high-arctic area of mainland winter ice, has made it exeptional as a hunting ground for people in through millenia.

This long history is visible in the landscape in the form of the numerous ruins and traces left by the Arctic people. These include winter settlements with ruins of turf houses along the coast, cairns and trails from the coast to the caribou hunting camps and the remarkable caribou drive systems. 

The area provides the most complete and best preserved record of arctic hunting traditions from 2500 BC onwards, demonstrating sustainable land use based on seasonal migrations between coast and mainland. 

Photo: Jens Fog Jensen