The World Heritage area The West Norwegian Fjords represented by Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List on July 14th 2005 during UNESCO's 29th committee meeting in Durban, South Africa.
The desicion was reached after the area had fulfilled the natrual criteria (i) and (iii)
Criteria (i): The West Norwegian Fjords are classic, superbly developed fjords, considered as the type locality for fjord landscapes in the world. They are comparable in scale and quality to other existing fjords on the World Heritage List and are distinguished by the climate and geological setting. The property displays a full range of the inner segments of two of the world's longest and deepest fjords.
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Criteria (iii): The Nærøyfjord and Geirangerfjord areas are considered to be among the most scenically outstanding fjord areas on the planet. Their outstanding natural beauty is derived from their narrow and steep-sided crystalline rock walls that rise up to 1400 m direct from the Norwegian Sea and extend 500 m below sea level. Along the sheer walls of the fjords are numerous waterfalls while free-flowing rivers rise up through decduous and coniferous forest to glacial lakes, glaicers and rugged mountains. There is a great range of supporting natrual phenomena, both terrestrial and marine such as submarine moraines and marine mammals. Remnants of old and now mostly abandoned transhumant farms add a cultural aspect to the dramatic natural landscape that complements and adds human interest to the area.