One of the last remaining fjord areas with stable sea ice conditions on Svalbard’s west coast is to be protected in order to secure important living habitats for animals like polar bears and ringed seal.
Climate changes have led to severe reductions in sea ice extent on Svalbard’s west coast, which has dramatically decreased living areas for ice-dependent species like ringed seal and polar bears. The Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment has now tasked the Svalbard Governor with the job of creating a proposal to extend the Nordenskiöld Land National Park so that it also covers the Van Mijen Fjord as well as the land areas surrounding it.
- Svalbard is one of the places in the world where climate change happens the fastest. The Van Mijen Fjord is one of the few fjord areas on the west coast that still have stable sea ice conditions in winter and spring. This has made the Van Mijen Fjord one of the most important living areas for ice-dependent species like ringed seal and polar bear on the west coast of Svalbard, says Climate and Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen.