2.5 million for environmental projects on Svalbard

Focus on smaller, local projects that can be carried out regardless of the corona situation.


The purpose of the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund is to protect and preserve Svalbard’s cultural heritage and wilderness nature, both through increased knowledge and concrete measures.

The fund has its main income from the environmental tax for travelers from Svalbard. All allocations from the fund made within one year are based on the income in the same year. Because of the corona pandemic, the fund’s income for the year has fallen sharply. The board has therefore decided that this year’s allocation will prioritize smaller, local measures that provide activity in the Svalbard community, and which can be implemented regardless of any restrictions related to the pandemic.


Local projects

The fund has provided support to the local bicycle workshop, information boards about birds, climate and polar literature to the school library, and kicks and bicycles to Friluftslageret. Support is also provided for several local energy saving measures.


Longyearbyen local council receives support for an ENØK forum that will coordinate work with ENØK measures and energy saving in Longyearbyen. Several private owners, including two Husky kennels, have received grants to establish green energy solutions. For energy efficiency measures with known technology, the fund provides support of up to 15% of external costs.


Cultural Heritage

Projects to take care of cultural heritage have been a high priority in all years. These are often large and expensive projects that the fund unfortunately does not have the opportunity to prioritize in the current financial situation. It has nevertheless been decided to provide funds for the preservation and use of the old power station in Longyearbyen. This is a cultural heritage site that tells an important story about the longyearby community. Kings Bay has also been granted funding for the restoration of four listed welfare cabins


Follow-up of ongoing research projects

The fund will support projects that ensure knowledge of the effect of human activity on vulnerable nature and cultural heritage. We have provided funding for projects that have ongoing time series that are important to complete, including comparison of hunting statistics and grouse counts, and tagging of ringed geese to map the current nesting areas on Svalbard.


Next award round – new opportunities!

We plan for the next allocation round to be in the spring of 2021. If the pandemic continues, there will be a moderate allocation next year as well. The Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund reminds that everyone who applies for support must meet the requirements set for the content of the application. Necessary permits must be obtained before applying for support. It is also important that reference can be made to a clear environmental benefit in line with the guidelines for the fund.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the secretariat for discussions about project ideas and possible guidance in the application process before the next application deadline 1 February 2021.

All applicants will be sent a letter with a decision and any conditions. For a complete overview of this autumn’s award, see the attached list.


More information:

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

Morten Ruud (Chairman of the Board) tel. 979 53 315