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Picture from Kvarken Archipelago and the world natural heritage.

Kvarken Archipelago




Field of work and Municipalities:





Welcome to Ostrobothnia

Villages of Swedish Ostrobothnia are a part of Aktion Österbotten.

Ostrobothina is situated at the west coast of Finland and the Kvarken Archipelago.

In 2006 Finland and the Kvarken Archipelago, in the Gulf of Bothnia off the west coast of Finland, was added as an extension to the World Heritage site of the High Coast of Sweden (inscribed in 2000) more than doubling its size.

The World Heritage List includes 830 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value.
These include 644 cultural, 162 natural and 24 mixed properties in 138 States Parties.

The World Heritage Committee added eight new sites and one extension to UNESCO's World Heritage List and removed the archaeological site of Tipasa (Algeria) from the List of World Heritage in Danger

The Kvarken Archipelago, numbers 5,600 islands and islets and covers a total of 194,400 ha (15% land and 85% sea). It features unusual ridged washboard moraines, "De Geer moraines", formed by the melting of the continental ice sheet.

Population: Some 52 percent of the population speak Swedish as their native language. However, many people are bilingual, using either Finnish or Swedish flexibly according to the situation.




Rural development policy

Finland si the most rural and northern country in Europe, with almost half of the population living in rural areas. 

Finland is also a very sparsely populated country, with an average population density of only 2 inhabitants per square kilometer.

The countryside and livelihoods in rural areas are undergoing an important transition.  Around 40%  of Finnish businesses are located in the countryside.

Finnish public service provision is currentlly undergoing a considerable change with a national government initivative to reconfigure municipal service delivery.

The government is looking for alternatives to public sector service delivery that would prove more flexible and could be delivered in co-operation with private and third sector organisations.



The Finnish Village Action Association, (SYTY)

An umbrella organisation for all the Associations in Finland.


It is a non-political and non-profit umbrella Associaton for co-operation in village activities and its members include Local and Regional Village Associations as well as various non-governmental organizations which promote local development.

The Association runs project and provides information, advice and guidance on promoting supporting village activity.

The organisation serves as a platform for co-operation  rather than compete with other bodies.

Operational framework, LAG

Finland has a network of 58 rural development societies, also called Local Action Groups ( LAGs) that are linked together on the national level by the LAG Network Unit of Finland, managed by the Village Action Movement. These are active development groups in their regions and their work is based on extensive co-opertion. Each LAG implements the development plan of its area and receives funding from a veriety of sources, including EU-funded programmes (LEADER+, the ALMA Rural Development Programme and Objective 1), as well as the national POMO+ programme.

The LAG in Ostrobothnia is Aktion Österbotten has been working on the Leader programme between 2007-2013. .

You can read more about LAG in Ostrobothnia  HERE


Aktion Österbotten as a Regional Association.

We have an increasingly important role as a forum for co-operation and delivery of rural policy in Finland. 

It has now been recognized at the local level that by becoming more structured and organised the community has a better change of securing local access to services and tapping into EU and national funding schemes.

The movement in Finland stems from a spontaneous grassroot level action and puts emphasis on an old and important Finnish tradition of voluntary teamwork (talko anda) which has had an essential role in village activities.


Byplan 2005

In 2005 a project was lauched for the villages to make a document of what and how the inhabitants wants the village to develop

Village planning, create visions of how the people wants the village to develop and make an action plan for that.







Vistior:      Publisher: Village Association, SÖB     Last updated: 28.8.2013