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Outstanding example

UNESCO World Heritage since 2018

Aasivissuit – Nipisat was appointed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018 and categorized as a cultural site, meaning that the traces of previous cultures and the people living in the landscape was acknowledged as an exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition and a civilisation which is living or has disappeared. Aasivissuit – Nipisat is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land- and sea-use which is representative of a culture in which human interacts with an environment that has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change.

The Name

Aasivissuit – Nipisat

The UNESCO World Heritage Site Aasivissuit – Nipisat was named after two of the Key Sites. These two sites contain remains and immaterial history that tells the story of the 4500 year old presence of humans in this landscape located on the Arctic Circle.

Aasivissuit means ‘summer camps’ and has been called as such since it used to be the perfect location for nomadic Inuit to meet other families on their seasonal hunt for caribou in the inland. Remains on site suggests it has been used since around 4500 years ago and the latest use is in the late 1950’s.

Nipisat is a small island by the coast and it boasts remains from several cultural era’s. Housing constructions left behind by Saqqaq culture people (4500-2500 years ago), Thule culture people (800-200 years ago), Colonists (300-100 years ago), and Inuit show the abundance and variation of resources that could and still can be found along the coast. The remains on Nipisat is a testament to the ingenuity of people as they decide to inhabit a demanding landscape.

By choosing these two names the World Heritage Site encompass a period of time of changing cultures, lifestyles, and show how people have used and still use the land in accordance with terms established by nature.

Photo by Kristian Kreutzmann

Human & nature relations

World Heritage can support a national identity simultaneous with being a platform that connects a local heritage to a global audience. Aasivissuit – Nipisat aims to disseminate about both the past and present culture that can be witnessed in the area and to support the continued sustainable relation between humans and nature.

Organizational Structure

The UNESCO World Heritage List that Aasivissuit – Nipisat is inscribed on is administrated by UNESCO. 

The Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces oversees all the World Heritage Sites in the Danish Kingdom, in which Greenland and Faroe Islands are included, and is in charge of the communication from the Sites to UNESCO. 

The Government of Greenland is responsible for the World Heritage Sites in Greenland, and in case of Aasivissuit – Nipisat it’s classified as a ‘cultural landscape’ so the Ministry for Education, Culture, Sports and Church has the main responsibility. 

Qeqqata Kommunia is the municipality that nominated Aasivissuit – Nipisat and is in charge of protecting and managing the area as well as creating activities for locals. 

A Steering Committee is in place for overall management and consists of representants; 

Four from Qeqqata Kommunia: 

  • One from the central municipal administration (Chairman) 
  • One from Sisimiut & Kangerlussuaq Museum 
  • One from settlement administration in Sarfannguit 
  • One from settlement administration in Kangerlussuaq 

One from The Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces 

Four from The Government of Greenland: 

  • One from The Ministry for Education, Culture, Sports and Church 
  • One from The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Industry and Trade 
  • One from The Ministry for Agriculture, Self-Sufficiency, Energy and Environment 
  • One from The Ministry for Fisheries and Hunting 

From Greenlands National Museum and Archives: 

  • One from the cultural heritage department 

With the Site Manager as secretary for the Steering Committee. 

The Chairman of the Steering Committee is a representative of Qeqqata Kommunia that has close contact with the Site Manager and Park Ranger, who are in charge of the day-to-day management of Aasivissuit – Nipisat.

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Takusassaqqilluinnartoq Aasivissuit qulaaniit. Nunarsuarmioqatigiinnut pingaartinneqangaarluni kingornussassanngortinneqarsimasoq Aasivissuit - Nipisat piniarfissuuvoq angisooq. 

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Main keyside Aasivissuit from above. Aasivissuit - Nipisat World Heritage is a huge hunting area.

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