Norwegian Trekking Associations (DNT) role in integrating immigrants in rural marginalised areas of Norway.

Get out there to get in here! Nature as a bridge to inclusion.

noruega-1© Siri Solheim-Kristiansen/Røde Kors

IA implementer:
Østlandsforskning (ØF) | Eastern Norway Research Institute (ENRI)

Relevant stakeholders:

The stakeholders identified are the Norwegian Trekking Young Association (DNT Young), Barnas Turlag (Children’s Trekking Club), Red Cross, Fjellnettverket (The Norwegian Mountain Network), Gudbrandsdalen council and relevant local actors from two or three additional municipalities (Sel, Vågå and possibly Ringebu).

The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) recently celebrated 150 years since its foundation. DNT is Norway’s largest outdoor life organization, with more than 260,000 members in 57 local member organisations across the country. DNT is a prime example of a structure created by social innovation and driven by civil society volunteer engagement.

The IA in a nutshell:

The IA in Gudbrandsdalen focuses on integrating immigrants, mainly refugees or work migrants, in the rural area by social nudging mechanisms: motivate immigrants to join locals in walking / rambling / trekking / hiking which enable establishment of social networks, learning and teaching customs and culture of rural areas environments. The IA may contribute to:

  1. Building social network that may lead to new and close relations, and help connect to local labour market.
  2. Hand-off a tradition of cherishing and exploiting outdoor activity in a sustainable way to newly established immigrants.
  3. Challenging established ways of trekking in rural areas by learning from other traditions and ways of being in nature.
  4. Help improve the general health of the migrants through physical and social activity.

The formation of this IA will improve the demographic sustainability of the marginal rural area, via the integration of immigration fluxes into the rural society.

About the area:

IA-processes are in the in the municipality of Vågå, Sel and possibly Ringebu located north in the Gudbrandsdalen valley region. Gudbrandsdalen makes up half of the county of Oppland and has altogether 71,036 inhabitants in twelve municipalities covering an area of 15,340 km2. The county host seven national parks and offer a unique mountain farm environment with a rich cultural heritage. The valley region faces challenges in the northernmost municipalities related to depopulation, elderly population, unemployment and a high proportion of inhabitants depending on welfare services and benefits. This hinders the sustainability of the region. Immigration from refugees and work migrants has been over the latter 10 to 15 years an important vector in sustaining or curbing the population decrease. At the same time, this has created integration challenges in civil society in these parts of the Gudbrandsdalen.

GudbrandsdalenLocation of the municipalities in Gudbrandsdalen in which the IA is taking place. © Google Earth Pro & .

News and events:

EVENTSJuly 4th 2018 – (National level): Scientists believe Norwegian outdoor life contributes to good integration [in Norwegian] June 2018 – ENRI news item:  Norwegians are pleased when they are in motion [in Norwegian]