Newsletter: The New Svalbard

Summer school in Svalbard
In June 2022, 19 Phd and postdoc students from Turkey, USA, Canada, England, Greece, Poland, Finland, Austria, France, Brazil, Lithuania, China, Sweden and Norway gathered in Longyearbyen for an intense week of lectures and excursions. (Photo: The Norwegian Scientific Academy for Polar Research)

Dear reader; After a near hailstorm of regulations and hearings over the Svalbard community in recent years, an expedited Svalbard white paper was announced this week. Some believe, however, it did not come soon enough. Here is the week as seen from the north.

This week, the Norwegian government announced that they are preparing a new Svalbard white paper, two years ahead of schedule. (Norwegian only) 

"With small steps, Longyearbyen is moving away from descriptions of a robust family community towards more traditional Arctic outposts. How long the government is willing to go in this direction we will not know until the white paper is presented," writes Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm in this week's commentary.

The Northern Sea Route 

News from the Northern Sea Route (NSR): 

Arctic shipping along the NSR saw a moderate increase to 34m tons in 2022 even though international operators shied away from the route bringing a halt to transit traffic. 

And EU sanctions against Russian oil increasingly divert Arctic crude oil – from the Prirazlomnoye platform and the Arctic Gate and Varandey terminals – to China and India with three vessels currently en route from Murmansk to China. 

Film festival and summer school

 In February, the Canadian film festival Asinabka offers snow cinema with northern stories from indigenous peoples in Canada, Greenland, and Sàpmi. (Norwegian only) 

"We want the audience to experience the strength, beauty, and innovating power of indigenous cultures in the north," says the festival director.

Also, take a look at this op-ed on the unique summer school at Svalbard. 

Read all this and more at High North News. 

Thank you for following us. I wish you a good weekend on behalf of the editorial staff, 

Trine Jonassen, News Editor. 

This newsletter has been translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen