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Due to the melting of polar ice, new transport connections by sea have emerged in the Arctic regions around the archipelago of Svalbard. The islands' geographical location provides a strategic advantage for activities that may arise in the region.
The environment around the arctic region is vulnerable and Norway’s aim is to see to it that Svalbard is one of the world’s best-managed wilderness areas. It is and will be even more important to regulate activities around the archipelago of Svalbard due to its vulnerability.
The act provides for the preservation of “a virtually untouched environment in Svalbard with respect to continuous areas of wilderness, landscape elements, flora, fauna and cultural heritage”.
Although the amendment to the act does not set down a complete prohibition, it gives the ministry the authority to issue regulations regarding the use of fuel, and it may become an important instrument in the protection of the unique environment of the Svalbard archipelago.
Authors: Eivind Aarnes Nilsen and Merete Kristensen
Publication: International Law Office