Pollution and waste

Svalbard is exposed to the long-range transport of pollutants via air and ocean currents. There are also many local sources of pollution from the settlements, mining, research and tourism. The environment and many of the animal species in Svalbard contain, in part, very high levels of pollutants.

Published 6/24/2019

Industry, power production, tourism and other activities are strictly regulated by laws, regulations and individual permits. The regulations are designed to prevent and possibly minimise potential emissions and pollutants.

The Governor of Svalbard works actively to clear up old pollutants and remnants from mining and other activities. The Governor of Svalbard has an operational responsibility to deal with acute pollution. Waste management in the various settlements is regulated separately.

Several initiatives are carried out each year to clear marine litter from the Svalbard coast, with contributions from both residents and tourists who travel around the archipelago.

If you plan on putting out fuel for a snow scooter or boat trip, you must have permission from The Governor. Depots outside the planning areas that you do not have permission for or that violate set conditions can be seized by The Governor.