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Home* News and Stories → Sval­bard envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion act updated

Sval­bard envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion act updated

The Sval­bard envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion act (Sval­bard­mil­jøl­oven) regu­la­tes what can and what can’t be done in Spitsbergen’s natu­re. It is updated more or less regu­lar­ly to meet the latest needs. The latest update came into force with the arri­val of 2014. The­re are no major chan­ges rele­vant for most visitors/tourists.

Chan­ges include:

• Longyearbyen’s coun­cil area has been enlar­ged to include Advent­fjord com­ple­te­ly. This means that this area is now admi­nis­tra­ted local­ly by the elec­ted muni­ci­pal admi­nis­tra­ti­on of Lon­gye­ar­by­en and not cen­tral­ly from Oslo through the appoin­ted Sys­sel­man­nen (gover­nor), as all other are­as of Spits­ber­gen which are not part of any coun­cil area of the sett­le­ments.
• Minor adjus­t­ments have been made in the regu­la­ti­ons for hun­ting. So far, young hun­ters had to be at least 16 years old. Now, it is enough to cele­bra­te one’s 16th bir­th­day in the calen­dar year in ques­ti­on. This will cer­tain­ly be very popu­lar in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, whe­re child­ren are intro­du­ced to hun­ting alre­a­dy in the Kin­der­gar­ten.
• The use of mari­ne hover­craft, alre­a­dy for­bidden on land and fro­zen lakes and rivers, is now also ban­ned from the sea within one mile off shore. The use of such crafts has been mat­ter of con­tro­ver­si­al deba­te in Spits­ber­gen recent­ly. They have been used for rese­arch, inclu­ding expe­di­ti­ons far out into the Arc­tic Oce­an, and local­ly in Sveagru­va for Search and Res­cue (SAR) pre­pared­ness. Lar­ge wet are­as near Sveagru­va are neither acces­si­ble by boat nor by land vehic­le, but SAR forces need to be able to reach the­se are­as in case of acci­dents. The­re is a small airst­rip in Sveagru­va. The use of hover­craft remains pos­si­ble in case of emer­gen­ci­es, but curr­ent­ly not for the pur­po­se of prac­ti­ce. It is not unli­kely that SAR forces in Sveagru­va will get some more free­dom here to enable them to prac­ti­ce with hover­craft. Com­mer­cial use of hover­crafts, for exam­p­le within film­ing our tou­rism, has not been an issue so far and is not an opti­on any­mo­re from now on.
• The so-cal­led admi­nis­tra­ti­on area 10, whe­re visi­tors can move around wit­hout noti­fy­ing the Sys­sel­man­nen in advan­ce, has been enlar­ge around Ny Åle­sund, giving peo­p­le the­re more free­dom to move around also pri­va­te­ly. Most sci­en­tists in Ny Åle­sund don’t stay long enough to get legal sta­tus as resi­dents, so they are as rest­ric­ted as any other tou­rist for their pri­va­te trips. The area they can access wit­hout noti­fy­ing the Sys­sel­man­nen now also includes the famous moun­ta­ins Tre Kro­ner and a lar­ger part of For­lands­und.

Advent­fjord seen from Suk­ker­top­pen near Lon­gye­ar­by­en. This area is now under local admi­nis­tra­ti­on.


Source: Nor­we­gi­sches Kli­ma und Umwelt­mi­nis­te­ri­um, Pres­se­mit­tei­lung



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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange