9.5 million for environmental protection measures in Svalbard

In the allocation round this spring, Svalbard’s environmental protection fund has allocated NOK 9.5 million to environmental protection projects in Svalbard. Svalbard’s environmental protection fund must be used to the best of the environment on Svalbard by contributing to the implementation of measures to protect the natural environment and cultural heritage on the archipelago. The fund will work to initiate and stimulate good projects and measures that aim to safeguard the high environmental goals set for Svalbard and help ensure that Svalbard’s distinctive wilderness nature is preserved as a basis for experience, knowledge, and value creation.


All visitors to Svalbard pay an environmental tax which accrues to Svalbard’s environmental protection fund. The fund also receives income from fees for hunting and fishing licenses, fees and compulsory fines according to the Svalbard Environment Act.

The fund’s funds can only be used for measures on Svalbard that aim to protect the environment through the protection and safeguarding of the natural environment, cultural heritage and the cultural environment, and for projects with training and information purposes.

In the spring 2024 application round, 46 applications have been received with a total application sum of approx. NOK 19.5 million for projects within cultural heritage, research, reuse, tourism, information, training and facilitation. Of these, 26 applications have a total commitment sum of NOK. 9,481,751 received support.


This year’s priorities

Each year, the fund receives detailed priorities from KLD, which guide what the fund can support. When processing applications and allocating the fund’s funds, the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund shall in 2024 prioritize projects such as:

– contributes to ensuring that tourism in Svalbard is in line with the environmental goals for Svalbard and is channeled to the areas around the larger local communities in the Isfjorden area

– increases knowledge about the environmental impact on the natural environment and cultural monuments because of climate change and human activity in Svalbard

– takes care of cultural heritage

– contributes to the prevention and reduction of pollution, waste and marine litter

– contributes to a circular economy


Spring award

There is great variation among the incoming applications and funds have been allocated within all application categories. The fund has received applications from many good projects and many of these have received approval for their applications. There has also been a preponderance of research applications in this round of applications, and it is this category that has received the most support with a total sum of NOK. 4,758,611


Cultural monuments

Kings Bay AS has received funds to reimburse Amundsenmasta, an important cultural monument in Ny-Ålesund.


LPO Arkitekter has received funds to create a cultural-historical site analysis for Longyearbyen, the purpose of which is to create a knowledge base that can be used for management, planning, investigation, and development of Longyearbyen, where cultural monuments are emphasized as value-creating resources.


NIKU has received funding for part 2 of its Climarch project, where they will look at the conservation conditions and condition of textile material from whaling pits on Svalbard.


Waste and pollution

Aktiv i friluft has received additional funding for a beach clean-up project on Forlandet, a good local initiative that involves the local population. Aktiv i friluft has carried out several similar projects in the past with very good results. ForScience Foundation has received funding for a combined clean-up and research project on Sørkapp Island, a well-described initiative that will provide insight into the rubbish problem at the site.

Longyearbyen Local Council has received funds to carry out several measures to increase bicycle use in Longyearbyen throughout the year.



In this round of applications, there has been an excess of research applications, which is quite common. There are many good applications and NOK 4,758,611 has been granted for various research projects. Here we can e.g. single out Akvaplan-Niva, which, together with the research line at Svalbard folk high school, will carry out a project on alien marine species and the Norwegian Institute of Natural Sciences (NINA), which will look at climate effects on char in Linnèvatnet.



Svalbard’s environmental protection fund continues to support the Svalbard recycling workshop, a good local initiative that repairs and trades used bicycles in Svalbard, in addition Longyearbyen local government receives funds to expand the lending scheme at the library.


Information and training

Polarflokken has received funding to carry out a litter drive with the nursery school children, a good measure to shed light on the problem of marine litter for children and their parents.

Sállir natur has received funding for a project where they will prepare the content on www.svalbardflora.no for publication in book form. A requested measure that will contribute to increasing people’s knowledge of Svalbard’s flora.



Longyearbyen guiding has received funds for environmental certification of the company, an incentive to focus on environmental considerations in the company.


Next award round – new opportunities!

The next allocation round will be in the autumn of 2024. The board estimates that the announced funds will be around NOK 8 million.


Svalbard’s environmental protection fund reminds that all applicants must meet the requirements set for the content of the application and at the same time justify concretely and practically how the measure falls under the purpose.


Generally, the necessary permits must be in place before applying for support. It is also important that the application explains how the project contributes to increased environmental benefits, in line with the guidelines for the fund.


The board wishes to invite active dialogue with potential applicants. We are open to input and reflections that can specify in what ways the fund can contribute to realizing measures that can be used in the short and long term to supplement ongoing projects and create synergies that contribute to safeguarding the high environmental goals set for Svalbard.


Current applicants are encouraged to contact the secretariat for discussions about project ideas and any guidance in the application process before the next application deadline of 15 September 2024.


Commitment letter

All applicants are sent a letter with the decision and any conditions. For a complete overview of this spring’s allocation, please refer to the attached list. We reserve the right to make errors in the summary at this time.


More information

Hanne Eriksen (adviser, secretariat) tel. 79 02 43 51

Pål Prestrud (chairman of the board) tel. 970 71 50