Almost 6 million for environmental projects in Svalbard

The board is pleased to get started with new allocations after little activity in the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund over the past two years. For the application round in the spring of 2022, 54 applications were received with a total application amount of approx. 20 million kroner. Of these, 23 have applications with a total commitment amount of NOK. 5,956,050 have been granted support from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund.


The purpose of the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund is to ensure that Svalbard’s distinctive wilderness nature and the unique cultural monuments are preserved as a basis for experience, knowledge and value creation. Visitors to Svalbard pay an environmental fee and the income from the fee goes to the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund. The fund also receives income from fees for hunting and fishing licenses, fees and coercive fines under the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act. Funds can only be used for measures on Svalbard that aim to protect the environment through protection and protection of the natural environment, cultural monuments and cultural environment, and for projects with training and information purposes.


New board


The fund’s board is appointed by the Ministry of Climate and the Environment (KLD) for four years at a time with the possibility of being reappointed once. During the last two years, the working period for all board members has expired, and KLD has appointed new board members for the fund. The new board consists of Pål Prestrud (chairman) Hilde Henningsen (deputy chairman), Berit Lein, Steinar Rorgemoen, Trond Espen Haug and Andrine Kylling. The new board has broad expertise and long experience from Svalbard, the environmental administration, research and tourism.


This year’s priorities

Each year, the fund receives further priorities from KLD, which is a leader in what the fund can support. When processing applications and allocating the fund’s funds, Svalbard’s environmental protection fund in 2022 will prioritize projects such as:

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

– increases knowledge about the impact of climate change and / or the overall impact of human activity on the natural environment and cultural monuments

– promotes measures to safeguard cultural monuments

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

– promotes circular economy


Spring award

In line with this year’s priorities, the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund has in this allocation provided support for projects that contribute to skills development and strengthening of the guide industry. AECO has received support for a knowledge base for guides and Visit Svalbard has received support for the production of films documenting the mining history. The Svalbard guide association has received funding for a project that will contribute to better and more precise dialogue between the guide industry, companies and the public bodies, e.g. environmental management.


Svalbard Museum has received support to start work on revising the exhibitions. Together, these measures contribute to the local tourism industry being given an expanded framework and opportunities for good dissemination of Svalbard’s natural and cultural values ​​in line with the environmental goals for Svalbard.

Both AECO and SALT Lofoten have received support to continue and develop measures that increase competence and knowledge of measures that contribute to the prevention and reduction of pollution, waste and marine litter.


The Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund receives many applications that “increase knowledge about the effects of climate change and / or the overall impact of human activity on the natural environment and cultural monuments”. In this category you will find several research applications, but also other projects. In this award round, money has been allocated to translate the book “Verda mi smeltar” by Line Nagell Ylvisåker into English. Support has also been granted for research on genetic exchange in reindeer, disturbances on the tundra, surging glaciers, char and microplastics. In processing research applications, the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund has emphasized that research should result in management-relevant knowledge.

With this award, UNIS receives support for the DynaRisk project, which will develop a tool to provide knowledge about expected coastal changes at cultural monuments on Svalbard. Store Norske receives support for the repair of steel structures at Taubanesentralen in Longyearbyen, and support is provided for the installation of windows in a listed holiday home at Hiorthamn.


In this year’s application round, there are projects that both contribute to the prevention and reduction of pollution, waste and marine litter and that promote circular economy. Here, at the spring award, support has been given to a project that will look at solutions for cleaning up PFAS pollution and several projects on reuse and circular economy. The Longyearbyen local council has received funding for a project that deals with the reuse and development of Bruktikken and additional funding has been provided for the Svalbard recycling workshop. These are good examples of how different measures complement and complement each other within the same area.

Several of the research projects are relevant to the local population, including research on harvestable species such as char and reindeer, as well as mapping of beach erosion.

Aktiv i friluft is a project under the auspices of Svalbard Turn that also has positive environmental effects, and they receive support for further activity.


Next award round – new opportunities!


The board assumes that more visitors to Svalbard will lead to increased income for Svalbard’s environmental protection fund through the summer and proposes that the next allocation round will be in the autumn of 2022. Svalbard’s environmental protection fund reminds that all applicants must meet the requirements set out in the application and justify concrete and practical in which way the measure falls under the purpose.


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.

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

Relevant applicants are encouraged to contact the secretariat for discussions about project ideas and any guidance in the application process before the next application deadline 15 september 2022.


Letter of commitment


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


For further questions:

  • Hanne Eriksen (rådgiver, sekretariat) tlf. 79 02 43 51
  • Pål Prestrud (styreleder) tlf. 970 71 509