Published 24.8.2018

Lowering the border between Finland and Norway at Halti Fell

The border between Finland and Norway is open for hikers to cross. Anyhow, it creates an unvisible obstacle for cooperation of authorities and other operators on different sides. Nature knows no borders and those created by humans will be lowered by better cooperation of Finnish and Norwegian managers of the Halti Fell area, funded by European Union.

Wilderness huts at Lake Meekojärvi in Lapland, Finland. Photo: Seija Olkkonen.The project Halti will create a cross-border cooperation area in Northern Lapland, composed of Käsivarsi Wilderness Area in Finland and Reisa National Park and Raisduottarhaldi Landscape Protection Area in Norway. A permanent cooperation body of managers will be organized, following the model of Transboundary Park by Europarc, the European Protected Area Federation. Other operators working in the area are welcome to join the cooperation, from other authorities to locals and reindeer herders to tourism entrepreneurs. A Europarc certificate for cooperation area will be applied. That does not cause any changes to existing protected areas or their regulations.

The project Halti will work to promote sustainability of the land use by means of better cooperation. Information for visitors will be improved at Halti and Kilpisjärvi nature centers and by web services. A common visitor management plan will be prepared, within the frames given in official management plans of the protected areas. New trails or other recreational infrastructure will not be planned or constructed.

Similar cross-border cooperation has been successfully operated between protected areas in Finland, Norway and Russia in Inari-Pasvik and Oulanka-Paanajärvi Transboundary Parks. In the future, managers of Swedish protected areas will be invited to join the cooperation.

The project Halti is led by Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland with Natural Resource Center in Finland and Reisa National Park, Municipality of Kåfjord and University of Tromsö in Norway.

The implementation time of the project is 1.3.2018–31.5.2020. Total funding in Finland is 417 557 euros and in Norway 543 669 euros.

Additional information
Project Manager Pertti Itkonen, +358 400 193647, email pertti.itkonen(at)
National Park Director Rune Benonisen, +47 90660709, email fmtrrub(at)

In the picture some wilderness huts at Lake Meekojärvi in Lapland, Finland. Photo: Seija Olkkonen.