Laws and regulations

The Svalbard Treaty

The Svalbard Act

The Svalbard Environmental Protection Act

Regulations

 

The Svalbard Environmental Protection Act

The act is a collection of updated environmental legislation for Svalbard. It deals with area protection, species management (flora and fauna), human artefacts, land-use plans, pollution, waste disposal, traffic and cabins.

Read more «The Svalbard Environmental Protection Act»

The Svalbard Act

The Svalbard Act of 17 June 1925 establishes that Svalbard is part of the Kingdom of Norway. Norwegian civil law, criminal law and procedural law apply to Svalbard unless other provisions are made. Other provisions only apply when specifically stipulated. The King may also impose general regulations for Svalbard.

Read more «The Svalbard Act»

Regulations

A. Environmental regulations

Regulations about motorised traffic
The regulation covers provisions for the use of motorised vehicles on uncultivated land in Svalbard, notably on frozen ground or areas covered by snow or on thawed or bare ground, and about the use of airborne crafts for sightseeing.

Regulations relating to harvesting of the fauna in Svalbard
The regulation contains provisions about harvesting (hunting, trapping and fishing) and the collection of eggs and down.

Regulations concerning local regulation of hunting of Svalbard rock ptarmigan and Svalbard reindeer in Svalbard
The regulation determines quotas for Svalbard ptarmigan and Svalbard reindeer and establishes the right of the Governor of Svalbard to define hunting areas. (The regulations are not available in English).

Camping regulations
The regulations contain provisions about camping in Svalbard, amongst them application and notification requirements as well as the requirement to clean up after camping. There are also provisions about safety measures during camping with regard to polar bears.

Pollution regulations
The regulations contain provisions about environmentally toxic substances, collection of waste in Svalbard, and about charges for sewage and waste disposal.

Regulations about keeping dogs on a leash
The regulation contains provisions about keeping dogs on a leash in Svalbard.

Regulations about land use plans and impact assessment
The regulations determine what areas should be covered by land use plans. There are also rules about impact assessments (what kind of activities, and procedures to be followed in such matters.)

Regulation relating to an environment fee for visitors to Svalbard
Visitors to Svalbard shall pay an environment fee. The purpose of the fee is for those who put pressure on the environment to contribute towards the implementation of care and maintenance work, preventative measures, informative measures and the like, aimed at preserving Svalbard’s unique wilderness environment and cultural heritage.

Regulations relating to grants from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund

B. Regulations regarding protection of areas, flora and fauna

Regulations relating to large nature conservation areas and bird reserves in Svalbard as established in 1973

Regulations concerning area protection and regulation of access to Virgohamna in Svalbard

Regulations concerning establishment of bird sanctuaries and major nature conservation areas in Svalbard

Regulations concerning prohibition of access in the vicinity of automatically protected cultural remains at Midterhuken, Bellsund

Regulations concerning prohibition of access to Kong Karls Land

Regulations concerning protection of Bjørnøya Nature Reserve in Svalbard

Regulations concerning protection of Hopen Nature Reserve in Svalbard

Regulations concerning protection of Indre Wijdefjorden National Park in Svalbard

Regulations concerning protection of Moffen Nature Reserve in Svalbard

Regulations concerning protection of Nordenskiöld Land National Park in Svalbard

Regulations concerning protection of Nordre Isfjorden National Park in Svalbard

Regulations concerning protection of Ossian Sars Nature Reserve

Regulations concerning protection of Oxytropis deflexa and Braya purpurascens. Delegation of authority

Regulations concerning protection of Sassen-Bünsow Land National Park in Svalbard

Regulations concerning protection of the Festningen Geotope Protected Area in Svalbard

 

C. Other regulations

The Mining Code

According to the Svalbard Treaty, Norway was responsible for elaborating a Mining Code for Svalbard. It was ratified on 7 August 1925 as a royal decree and came into effect when Norway took over Svalbard. The mining code establishes that states that have signed the Svalbard Treaty, and legally founded companies in these countries, have the right to prospect for, extract and exploit coal, mineral oil and other minerals or rocks that can be extracted by mining. The mining code also details the legal aspects of prospecting, discovery, stakes, the relationship to the landowner, mining operations and safety at work. The mining code is administered by the Directorate of mining headed by the Commissioner of Mines in Svalbard.

Regulations relating to rejection and expulsion of persons from Svalbard
The regulations determine that the Governor of Svalbard can reject and expulse persons from Svalbard on certain determined conditions.

Regulations relating to tourism and other travel in Svalbard
The regulation covers matters such as insurance and accountability for trips organised in Svalbard. This applies both to companies and to individual travellers. There are also rules about notification. The Governor has the authority to alter or prohibit trips

D. Management plans

Management Plan for Nordaust-Svalbard and Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserves

The Management Plan provides an overview of environmental values and user interests in the two nature reserves in East Svalbard. It is meant to be the public administrations' tool in the implementation of the protection regulations, and concrete measures to preserve the conservation values is described.

 

Read more «Regulations»

Svalbard Treaty

The Svalbard Treaty was signed in Paris on 9 February 1920. The treaty provides for Norwegian sovereignty over Svalbard, while at the same time providing for certain rights for  the other signatories.

Read more «Svalbard Treaty»