The Governor's tasks

The Governor of Svalbard has many, varied tasks. The main tasks are related to policing and environmental protection work.

Published 6/24/2019, Updated 1/23/2023

Environmental protection
The Governor of Svalbard is the environmental protection authority for Svalbard. The Environmental Department’s most important tasks include:

  • inspection of natural areas and monitoring of the environment
  • safeguarding environmental concerns in land-use planning, development and business activities
  • management of protected areas
  • management of flora and fauna
  • management of outdoor recreation, tourism and traffic in the wilderness
  • the treatment of pollution and waste management
  • oil spill preparedness
  • registration, surveys and information related to cultural monuments
  • maintenance and management of cultural monuments
  • control of the import and export of pets
  • coordination of veterinary services

Svalbard is its own police district. Among other things, the Police Department is responsible for the following tasks:

  • investigations
  • rescue services
  • traffic control on sea and land
  • preventive work
  • maintaining public order
  • passport and visa issuance
  • oil spill measures
  • maritime authority
  • traffic control
  • enforcement
  • firearms permits

Other tasks and duties
In addition to being the police and environmental protection authority, The Governor of Svalbard performs a number of services that fall under various agencies on the mainland:

  • civil protection and preparedness
  • acting as a host and representative
  • media contact
  • handling of tourism matters
  • separation and divorce orders
  • marriages
  • prosecution in criminal cases
  • notary public
  • legal advice
  • fire services
  • information