Icelandic volcanic island on the UNESCO World Heritage List

The nomination of Surtsey was accepted on the World Heritage List with a unanimous vote of the World Heritage Commitee, meeting for its 32nd session in Quebec in Canada.

Surtsey, a volcanic island not far from the south coast of Iceland, is a new island formed by volcanic eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967. The World Heritage Commitee commented that the islands outstanding value was in part because it had been protected since its birth, “providing the world with a pristine natural laboratory”. Extensive research has been carried out on the small island since 1964 and has provided scientists with a unique knowledge on the colonisation process of new land by plant and animal life.

After Surtsey was accepted to the World Heritage List, the Environment Agency of Iceland has initiated a project to promote the island.

That includes building “Surtseyjarstofa” in Vestmannaeyjar, a populated island close to Surtsey, as access to Surtsey is forbidden except for research personel. Surtseyjarstofa serves as education center and museum dedicated to the volcanic island and its unique history.

Photo: Ragnar Th.

Webpages: 
Wold Heritage Center on Surtsey.

The Surtsey Research Society.

The Environmental Agency of Iceland on Surtsey.



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