Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Ny-Ålesund Research Station and everyone operating under the umbrella of the station is working systematically to keep the environmental footprint of all activities as small as possible. The latest Environmental Action Plan for Ny-Ålesund from 2006 outlined 11 recommendations for the EIA work:
- Set a precautionary upper limit on the total activity/numbers of people at the station.
- Stabilise and reduce local emissions.
- Protect flora and fauna, and re-vegetate degraded tundra areas
- Increase and improve the information provided to all visitors and residents in Ny-Ålesund, giving them guidance as to how they can reduce environmental impacts and minimize conflicts.
- Incorporate the key results of the EIA into the Land Use Plan for Ny-Ålesund
- Prevent fuel spills and establish a station fuel spill contingency and clean-up plan.
- Maintain a high level of waste management.
- Establish the Kongsfjorden area as a “scientific research area”
- Reduce the environmental impacts from cruise ships calling at the station.
- Introduce stricter controls over activities.
- An environmental monitoring documenting pressures on and state of the local environment
Several measures have been initiated for most of the recommendations.
A systematic review of and an increased focus on the EIA work will be initiated in 2022.
Local environmental monitoring
The station constantly focus on having good procedures for documenting local pollution sources. Local pollution that potentially could impact research and monitoring activities will be logged and made available for the research community, with primary focus on the following sources:
- Local traffic in the area of Gruvebadet. All driving with vehicles (diesel, fuel, electrical and snow-mobiles) in the area of Gruvebadet or on the road towards Tvillingvatnet should be logged in an online logbook listing date, time and type of vehicle being used:
- Aircraft and helicopter traffic to Ny-Ålesund. All aircraft and helicopter traffic landing or taking off from Ny-Ålesund are logged by Kings Bay.
- Ship call to Ny-Ålesund. Ships calls of larger ships visiting the Ny-Ålesund harbor are registered by Kings Bay.
- Other local pollution events with potential impact for research activities are also recorded.
- NPI Brief Report Series No 4 (2006): Environmental impact assessment of the research activities in Ny-Ålesund.
- Environmental impact assessment: Ny-Ålesund international scientific research and monitoring station, Svalbard, Shears, John; Theisen, Fredrik; Bjørdal, Are; Norris, Stefan, Norwegian Polar Institute Meddelelser; 157, 1998.
- NPI Brief Report Series No 44 (2017): Local Contamination In Svalbard
- On local and long-range transported air pollution in Svalbard. PhD thesis, Alena Dekhtyareva, UiT The Arctic University of Norway (2019)
- NPI Brief Report Series No 59 (2021): Vadefugler I Kongsfjorden