Environmental protection


Norway’s overarching goal for environmental protection in Svalbard is to preserve the archipelago’s distinctive wilderness and nature.  In order to achieve the overarching goal, more detailed goals have been set for environmental protection in Svalbard.


  • On the basis of its internationally important natural and cultural heritage, Svalbard shall be one of the world’s best-managed wilderness areas.
  • Within the framework set by the Svalbard Treat and sovereignty considerations, environmental considerations shall be prioritised in conflicts between environmental protection and other interests.
  • The scale of wilderness areas shall be maintained.
  • Flora, fauna and cultural monuments that warrant protection shall remain virtually untouched and the natural ecological processes and biological diversity shall be allowed to develop virtually unaffected by activity in Svalbard.
  • There shall be large and essentially untouched natural areas in Svalbard that meet the need for reference areas for climate and environmental research.
  • The possibility of experiencing Svalbard’s natural environment without being disturbed by motorised traffic and noise shall be ensured, including in areas that are easily accessible from the settlements.