Inauguration 8.9.2007

The Kvarken World Heritage site was inaugurated on the 8th of September by President Martti Ahtisaari. The day began with a seminar at Åbo Akademi University, where about 200 people had gathered. The Minister of the Environment Paula Lehtomäki, the Minister of Culture and Sport Stefan Wallin, The Deputy County Governor of Västernorrland in Sweden, Sten-Olov Altin and Executive Director Olav Jern of the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia all spoke at the seminar. The world heritage song "The Bothnian Bay" was performed for the first time in Swedish and English by Kari Laaksoharju (song writer) and the quintet JAM.

After the seminar the festivities continued in Svedjehamn in Björköby. The children from the junior level school performed three songs and two uncertified World Heritage guides presented their view of the land uplift process. President Ahtisaari opened the gate to the World Heritage site and revealed the bronze plaque on the memorial stone in Vasa granite. Mechtild Rössler, director of the European and North American section of UNESCO, handed over the official certificate to the Minister of the Environment Paula Lehtomäki.

During the day the visitors could take a boat tour of the World Heritage site, hike around the 3.5 km long hiking trail along Bodvattnet or take a tour in a Sky lift and see the site from 18 metres up. The new World Heritage guides where placed along the hiking trail and Terranova's guides were stationed at the children's programme. Neppe Pettersson entertained the children with legends and stories about the region and the ice age.

In the evening people could take the Lilliputti train over the Replot Bridge to Fjärdskär where an outdoor dance took place.

Overall it was a very successful day and the organisers would like to thank all the people that participated in the arrangements and especially the villagers in Björköby.