The Governor's tasks

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

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
  • renewing driving licences
  • 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
  • registration of motor vehicles