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Home → April, 2009

Monthly Archives: April 2009 − News & Stories


Poli­ti­cal visits to Ny Åle­sund

Ny Åle­sund has recent­ly recei­ved a num­ber of high-ran­king poli­ti­cal visi­tors. EU-commission’s vice pre­si­dent Gün­ther Ver­heu­gen visi­ted the Ger­man-French rese­arch sta­ti­on and the sou­ve­nir shop on 16 April. Italian’s minis­ter of for­eign affairs Fran­co Frat­ti­ni fol­lo­wed on 29 April to open the new Ita­li­an “Amund­sen-Nobi­le” cli­ma­te rese­arch tower. In Febru­a­ry and March, two Nor­we­gi­an minis­ters, Lars Peder Brekk (agri­cul­tu­re and food) and Hel­ga Peder­sen (fishe­ry and coas­tal affairs) had alrea­dy been to the litt­le rese­arch vil­la­ge at Kongsfjord. 

The first tower in Ny Åle­sund was built in 1926, also with signi­fi­cant Ita­li­an con­tri­bu­ti­on.

Political visits to Ny Ålesund

Source: King­s­bay

New Sval­bard White­pa­per publis­hed

The Nor­we­gi­an government publis­hes a new white paper about every 10 years to defi­ne a frame for the fur­ther deve­lo­p­ment of Sval­bard. The latest one was issued 17 April as “Storting­s­mel­ding No 22, 2008-2009” and under­li­nes the future impor­t­ance of coal mining and sci­ence for the local eco­no­my and deve­lo­p­ment. Also tou­rism will be deve­lo­ped care­ful­ly, focus­sing on cen­tral are­as around Lon­gye­ar­by­en. A watch­ful eye will be kept on crui­se tou­rism in the East Sval­bard natu­re reser­ves, an issue that has recent­ly been dis­cus­sed con­tro­ver­si­al­ly. The impor­t­ance of local jobs and eco­no­my is empha­si­zed.

Important mile­stone: “Storting­s­mel­ding
nr 22«

New Svalbard Whitepaper published

Source: Nor­we­gi­an government (direct­ly to the docu­ment. 3.2 MB, 121 pages, Nor­we­gi­an)

Sval­bard­mu­se­um: new exhi­bi­ti­on

The Sval­bard­mu­se­um in Lon­gye­ar­by­en has ope­ned a new exhi­bi­ti­on with his­to­ri­al annex­a­ti­on signs, dating back to tho­se days when Spits­ber­gen was No Man’s Land until 1925, when the Spits­ber­gen-Trea­ty came into for­ce. Until then, ever­y­bo­dy could easi­ly claim a pro­per­ty, for examp­le for mining pur­po­ses. Over­lap­ping claims by many per­sons and com­pa­nies who tried to find their for­tu­ne in the fro­zen ground lead to chao­tic situa­tions and to the obvious need for pro­per legis­la­ti­on and admi­nis­tra­ti­on.

Remains of annex­a­ti­on sign in Ebba­da­len (Bill­efjord).

Svalbardmuseum new exhibition

Source: Sval­bard­mu­se­um

Incre­a­sed avalan­che risk

Incre­a­sed amounts of snow­fall have lead to a signi­fi­cant­ly incre­a­sed avalan­che risk ever­y­whe­re on slo­ping ter­rain in Spits­ber­gen. Whilst the snow mobi­le sea­son is in full swing, the SAR-team of Sys­sel­man­nen and local Red Cross need to go out regu­lar­ly to res­cue peop­le from avalan­che are­as. For one per­son in March, all help came too late: a local per­son could only be found dead under the snow mas­ses. In ano­t­her ran­ge of inci­dents, peop­le got away with the shock. Gre­at care needs to be taken during any win­ter tra­vel in Spits­ber­gen.

The avalan­che risk is signi­fi­cant­ly lar­ger than it has been in the past. This is due to incre­a­sed snow­fall and thus to chan­ging wea­ther pat­terns.

Beau­ti­ful, but poten­ti­al­ly dan­ge­rous: win­ter in Spits­ber­gen.

Increased avalanche risk

Source: Sys­sel­man­nen

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