Country profile - Distinguishing factors (Norway)

SOER 2010 Country profile (Deprecated)
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SOER Country profile from Norway
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Climate and Pollution Agency
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Last updated
03 Jan 2011
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Climate and Pollution Agency
Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 11 May 2020 Feed synced: 03 Jan 2011 original


Kingdom of Norway (Kongeriket Norge)
Mainland Norway, Svalbard and Jan Mayen

Population: 4 908100 (01 January 2010)
Population density: 12/km2 as a national average, ranging from close to 3900 /km2 in city centres, to close to 1500/km2 in cities and villages and 3/km2 in the rest of the country.
System of government: Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
Member of: UN, NATO, the Council of Europe, the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA) and the Nordic Council.

Norway has a long rugged coastline which stretches over 2.500 km, broken by fjords and thousands of islands. Norway is also a mountainous country with many glaciers and some of the highest waterfalls in the world. The mountains draw Arctic terrestrial species all the way from the north to the southern part of the country.



The climate is mild considering its high northern latitude, and Norway is the northernmost country in the world to have open waters. This is due to the Atlantic trade winds and the Gulf Stream. The latitude also results in great seasonal variations in daylight. The high mountain ranges, running north-south, also play an important part in shaping the Norwegian climate.


The Norwegian economy is open and mixed, with a combination of private and public ownership. The public sector has considerable ownership in key industrial sectors, such as in the oil and gas sector, hydroelectric energy production, aluminium production, banking, and telecommunications. Norway maintains a Scandinavian welfare model with universal healthcare, free higher education and a comprehensive social security system.

Much of Norway's economy depends on the use of its natural resource base. For this reason, Norway is dependent on governmental regulation in order to balance economical and environmental interests. The country is rich in natural resources, including oil and gas, hydropower, fish, forests and some minerals. The development of the hydroelectric energy sector at the beginning of the 20th century triggered industrial growth, particularly within the aluminium and ferroalloy industry, and fertilizer production. The discovery of large reserves of oil and gas in the late 1960s, gave further boost to the economy. Norway is the third largest shipping nation in the world, and aquaculture is the second largest export industry. Other important sectors include oceanicfisheries and forestry.


Environmental governance

In 1972, Norway was the first country in the world to have a ministryat cabinet levelwith special responsibilty for environmental matters. National environmental governance in Norway is organised in a hierarchical manner. At the top is theMinistry of the Environment which is the leading government institution regarding environmental issues. Much of the work is delegated to a set of subordinated directorates:

Climate and Pollution Agency

Directorate for Nature Management

Directorate for Cultural Heritage

Norwegian Polar Institute

Norwegian Mapping and Cadastre Authority

Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority

The directorates generally buy services from research institutions and consultants to cover environmental monitoring and assessments. Much work is, furthermore, delegated to the County Governors, of which there are 19, and the 430 local municipalities also play an important role in the implementation of environmental polices.



Filed under:

The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

Filed under: SOER2010
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