Ten objectives for outdoor recreation policy

The overall objective of the Swedish outdoor recreation policy is to promote opportunities to be outdoors in nature and to enjoy outdoor recreation.

The overall objective of the Swedish outdoor recreation policy is to promote opportunities to be outdoors in nature and to enjoy outdoor recreation, where the Right of Public Access is fundamental. Access to nature, the interest of individuals and the commitment of civil society organisations are important conditions for people to participate in outdoor recreation. This is the starting point for the ten objectives of the outdoor recreation policy that was adopted by the government in December 2012.

Photo: Scandinav Bildbyrå/Niklas Blom.

1. Accessible nature for everyone

All people should have the opportunity to be in and enjoy nature and cultural landscapes, where the various needs of people are met.  Areas with high accessibility are defined, are known and appreciated, and are managed with a long-term approach. Accessibility is given high priority in planning, information, and management of nature and cultural landscapes and of other areas of importance for outdoor recreation.

2. Strong commitment and collaboration for outdoor recreation

The objective of strong commitment and collaboration for outdoor recreation is centered around personal commitment and volunteer efforts. The organisations should collaborate to a greater extent than today.  Increased collaboration between organisations can encourage more people to take part in outdoor recreation activities. There should also be established structures for dialogue and coordination of outdoor recreation at local, regional, and national levels. 

3. Right of public access (Allemansrätten)

The Right of Public Access is fundamental for outdoor recreation. This means that the Right of Public Access is safeguarded and that the general public, landowners, associations, and companies have good knowledge of it.

4. Access to nature for outdoor recreation

The objective of access to nature for outdoor recreation means that spatial planning and land use consider the need of access to attractive nature and cultural landscapes for outdoor recreation. 

5. Attractive urban nature

There is attractive urban nature for outdoor recreation. This means that residents have access to green areas and an urban landscape with high outdoor, natural, and cultural environment values.

6. Sustainable regional growth and rural development

The objective of sustainable regional growth and rural development means that outdoor recreation and nature- and culture-based tourism contribute to strengthening local and regional attractiveness and promoting sustainable development and regional growth. Nature and cultural tourism should be highlighted and prioritized as strategic activities in the hospitality industry. Experiences should be characterised by sustainability, quality, value creation, accessibility, and safety.

7. Protected areas as a resource for outdoor recreation

Protected areas provide an important basis for outdoor recreation activities. This means that protected areas of value for outdoor recreation provide the basis for outdoor activities through management and care that promotes outdoor recreation.

8. A rich range of outdoor recreation in schools

The objective of a rich range of outdoor recreation in schools means that pre-schools, schools, and after-school centres should carry out outdoor recreation activities and educate about the conditions for a healthy environment and sustainable development. Children, pupils, and students should be given good opportunities for being outdoors.

9. Outdoor recreation for good public health

The objective of outdoor recreation for good public health is about enabling conditions for being physically active on a regular basis in nature and cultural landscapes. This means that evidence-based knowledge about initiatives that create conditions for outdoor recreation and promote health, is compiled and disseminated to municipalities, county councils, non-profit organisations, and other relevant stakeholders. 

10. Good knowledge about outdoor recreation

The objective of good knowledge about outdoor recreation means that there should be established research and statistics collection on outdoor recreation. This should be based on its broad scope and multidisciplinary nature, have a long-term approach and be based on the different needs of outdoor recreation stakeholders. Public authorities, municipalities, landowners, companies, and civil society organisations should be well acquainted with and have knowledge in matters concerning outdoor recreation, spatial planning, sustainable resource use, and nature and cultural tourism.

Photo: Maskot/Johnér.