According to Teknisk Ukeblad, Norway plans to nominate parts of the Svalbard archipelago to the prestigious UN protection list. In addition, a new management plan for the area includes expanded environmental regulations for the area.
Oil industry representatives now voice skepticism about the status of the islands, which are located in strategic Arctic waters. Stricter environmental regulations could affect future development of local oil and gas-related logistics, bases and supply facilities, they argue.
“The protection of the waters east of Svalbard would conflict with important Norwegian geopolitical, industrial and economic interests, Johan Petter Barlindhaug, Board Chairman of the North Energy company, says to TU.no.
In connection with the plans for a Unesco nomination, the Norwegian Ministry of Energy and Petroluem is now starting up an assessment study on the islands’ potentials in future oil and gas projects. If the northern parts of the Barents Sea are opened for drilling, Svalbard might be strategically well situated for base functions.
As previously reported, Norway’s Minister of Petroluem and Energy has on several occasions expressed interest in expanding drilling “to the North Pole”.
Polar areas are currently little represented in the Unesco’s World Heritage list. So far, only the Wrangle islands and the Ilulissat Isfjord are on the list, the UN organization informs. The Norwegian Ministry of Environment in 2007 proposed to include Svalbard in the UN tentative list of new protection sites.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.