Talk:Svalbard

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Good article Svalbard has been listed as one of the Geography and places good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
April 3, 2010 Good article nominee Listed

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Official Language?[edit]

I see it listed in the article that Norwegian is the official language of Svalbard. Does anyone have a reference to support this? Just because a language is the most widely spoken doesn't necessarily mean it is official. Credible support would include a constitution, official government website, etc. Does anyone have any answers for this one?

Countries have constitutions and so forth. Svalbard is not a country. Svalbard is part of Norway. Norwegian is the official language of Norway. Inge 13:53, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Dependencies can also have constitutions. And the official languages of dependencies can differ from their mother countries. For example, Papiamento is an official language of Aruba, a territory of the Netherlands. Is it possible that Svalbard has no official language?

Svalbard is not a dependency, it is in general a part of Norway like the mainland. Jakro64 10:50, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Svalbard article[edit]

Lots of standard-format stuff was copied in from the CIA World Factbook; I used some of it as the basis for the current article. I'm inclined to pick up a few more bits, then delete the subpages; they lack sufficient content to be worth moving to better names. Vicki Rosenzweig, Tuesday, June 18, 2002

I've folded in what's worth saving, but get a 404 error when I try deleting any of the subpages. Help? Vicki Rosenzweig, Saturday, June 22, 2002

The subpages have already been integrated; I get a 404 error every time I try to delete them.

Deserted towns[edit]

I have seen pictures from an expedition into the deserted mining towns russia had. "Pyramiden" it is called. Very interesting architecture and area.

Svalbard: Part of Norway?[edit]

I am not sure if Svalbard should have basically a "Norway" country entry. Svalbard is not a part of Norway, but due to the Svalbard Treaty, it has the authority on the islands. There is a public discussion about this issue going on right now (April 2004) in Longyearbyen, initiated by a TV series that repeatetly statet "Svalbard is not Norway". There also at least one juridical example for the non-equilvality was given: An Australian who has been living on Svalbard for several years the Norwegian citizenship is denied, whereas he would have been Norwegian citizen if he had been staying in Norway for the same period.

Epix, April 21, 2004

I am a Norwegian myself and would like to inform you that Svalbard and Jan Mayen Is. are integrated parts of the Kingdom of Norway and certainly no dependencies. It is correct that Svalbard is not a part of the Schengen area and anybody can come to the islands without a visa or any immigration formalities. Not even a permission of stay is required. Earlier only Norwegians, Soviet citizen and a few Poles came to Svalbard. Now people are coming from all over the World, and the situation has changed very much. Therefore this Australian citizen's case is very special and the Norwegian authorities are afraid a lot of people will enter Svalbard in order to get a Norwegian citizenship. Svalbard is administrated from Troms county and Jan Mayen from Nordland county. The coat of arms used next to the flag is belonging to the Svalbard sheriff, as it is no Svalbard coat of arms. --Jakro64 20:45, 13 Jun 2004 (UTC)

GKAN- International Law Expert, 02 October 2006

Regarding the comments above and apparent belief that Svalbard is part of Norway:

The Svalbard Treaty (in Norwegian, English, French, etc.) and the vast majority of international literature make clear that Svalbard is administered by Norway by agreement of all signing parties (and later acceding parties), including the US, France, Britain, Russia... Citizens from any signatory country have the absolute right of access to the islands, regardless of any Norwegian claims to the contrary.

Theoretically, if Norwegian authorities were actually forcing Americans, French, etc. off of the islands, the signitory countries could back up their rights with diplomatic pressure and eventually military force. That Norway attempts to ascribe more than an internationally agreed administrative right to the islands (which also included the right to exploit them and regain costs through mining and other trades), is part of a regional pattern which can be better understood by examining the East Greenland dispute between Denmark and Norway. There Norway attempted to claim sovereignty in northeastern Greenland simply for the fact that Danish nationals had not utilised the territory or "backed up their claim by a military or physical presence there". The courts ruled in favour of Denmark and Norway's claims were denied.

Anyone who is a citizen of a signatory country, who is properly equipped and with indepedendent means and despite this is denied access to Svalbard should report the issue to their country's diplomatic authorities and to the country's embassy in Norway for an official investigation and possible action. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.76.54.253 (talk) 03:16, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

It is not a case of belief of which territory belongs to whom but a matter of fact. The UNO states "United Nations Statistics Division - Common Database ... Series by Country. Norway including Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands [code 579]" and there is thus no discussion.
Also, I would like to correct the tendency to get it all wrong regarding dependency. We IN the Isle of Man -IN as it is a country- are dependent on the CROWN and not the country of England or the countries of Great Britain. We are dependent because our country has a population of less than 80'000 and we could hardly open embassies and consulates all over the world and still have citizens left to do the work. We are dependent for defence as a country (which we are) of 33mls x 13mls is hardly in a position to fend off large armies. We COULD, however be dependent on the Republic of Ireland (Celtic brothers) or Norway (Viking heritage) just as well. We have a Lord of Mann (Elizabeth II) but no Queen and have never "belonged" to any part of Great Britain. In fact, a great deal of the Scottish islands plus Argyle belong to us in days of old and even today our bishop is of "Sodor and Mann" (meaning the Southern Islands and Mann in Norse).
The links with England and Scotland just happen to be older and, whilst we are not part of the EU or OECD, Protocoll III provides us with a back-door association with the EU via the UK of which we are still not member and of whom we not part.
The fact that so many Russians settled on Svalbard and that so much Russian is spoken is neither here nor there when discussing the territorial annexation of islands and countries. After all, the USA doesn't "OWN" Iraq just because it is there does it? Gari Isle of Man 14:30 UTC 27 December 2006
The Kingdom of Norway seems to disagree:
'consists of the western and northern parts of the Scandinavian peninsula as well as the northern territories of Jan Mayen and the Svalbard archipelago'
Pædia 05:43, 2004 Nov 15 (UTC)
The word "territory" does not have to imply that the area is a dependency (which is not the case for neither Jan Mayen nor Svalbard.) The word can merely refer to a "distinct geographical region". This is the case here. --Valentinian 22:54, 22 October 2005 (UTC) (from Denmark)
I second the user above's remarks: Svalbard is under the county of Troms. It does have a governor, however, appointed from Oslo. The use of "territory" is correct here.--Mike 07:02, 4 November 2005 (UTC) (from Tórshavn, the Faroes)
Actually, the archipelago is an external territory (i.e. a dependancy), unlike Jan Mayen which is an integral part part of Nordland, and therefore is Norway itself. This has only minor implications on matters of legal jurisdiction and diplomacy, however. You are right about the phrase "a territory of" could technically be intended to mean either an external "appendix" to a state or an constituent part of the the body of land that makes up that state. Let's rephrase in order to avoid misunderstandings. =J //Big Adamsky 13:13, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Both Jan Mayen and Svalbard are a part of Norway proper. Feel free to compare the laws for Svalbard[1] and Jan Mayen[2] vs the one for Bouvet Island, Peter I's Island and Queen Maud Land[3] (Norwegian links). --Cybbe 19:10, 28 January 2006 (UTC)


Article 1 of (what is now known as) the Svalbard Treaty of 1920 reads: The High Contracting Parties undertake to recognise, subject to the stipulations of the present Treaty, the full and absolute sovereignty of Norway over the Archipelago of Spitsbergen ... This is clear: Norway has sovereignty over Svalbard, but its exercise of this sovereignty is severely limited. Whether Svalbard is "part of" Norway seems to depend on whether one interprets "sovereignty over" and "part of" as synonymous, upon which point only the opinion of an expert in international law would appear to hold any value. One's nationality, in particular, does not lend credence to one's opinion on this matter.

Now, while I am not an expert in international law, Norway does not appear to have any legitimate claim over Svalbard other than that granted by the treaty. Prior to the treaty, Svalbard was (without any shadow of a doubt) a no man's land.

I suspect that, prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, the Norwegians would not have indulged in the kind of integrationist propaganda that has marked more recent pronouncements on, and dealings with, the archipelago --- how often did the Susselmann visit Barentsburg, other than as a guest, prior to 1991? I doubt he would have dared to march into Barentsburg as "the law" in the way he does now. If Longyearbyen airport has radar, it is a new addition: the Soviets had previously prohibited it, and the Russians sustained the objection long after 1991. If Svalbard was "part of Norway", would the Norwegians have tolerated such interference in an internal matter of air safety? The status of Svalbard is at least ambiguous: the assertion that Svalbard is an integrated part of the Kingdom of Norway is not supported unambiguously by the treaty, and certainly not by history.

-- EmmetCaulfield 16:03, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

The international treaty determines that other nations (which had interests in the area before the sovereignty issue was settled) also have the right to exploit the ressources there. The islands were awarded to Norway by an international treaty in 1920 and the territory was annexed to Norway in 1925. This is not disputed by other nations so the legal situation is pretty simple. The Åland islands were awarded to Finland in the same way by the League of Nations, but nobody questions Finland's sovereignty over them. Did the Soviets maintain a presence for other reasons than purely economical? This is likely, but the Soviet Union did not try to annex the islands, so there is no reason to question the territorial integrity of Norway. 40 nations have signed the Svalbard Treaty including the Soviet Union, so the issue is pretty settled. Among the signatories are: The US, the UK (+ dominions), France, Italy, Japan, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, the USSR and Germany. Btw, the Russian Wikipedia mentions the area as Norwegian. Valentinian (talk) 23:18, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

-- Gari Isle of Man 12:45, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Kill that UNWORD called BASICALLY. You are not basically married or not or divorced or not and countries do not "basically" belong to others or not. For instance, we in the Isle of Man (Viking, Celtic, Norse origin and with the world's oldest continuously democratic parliament - The Tynwald - ) have no Queen, are self governing and are NOT "basically" part of the UK or the GB. We have our own flag, money, laws and taxes (even if others would prefer not to agree) and we are less UK than the USA (which was never granted independence by a British monarch).
Of course Svalbard, Hopen, Bear Island and Jan Mayen are Norwegian - just as Bouvet Island (Bouvetøya) in the South Atlantic is.
Not "BASICALLY" but in FACT. Check out ISO3166 and find out if a country is a country or not. Facts count and not "basicallies".
ISO3166 is specifically NOT definitive concerning the political status of "countries" for which codes exist. For example, there are entries for both Taiwan and China.--APRCooper 13:21, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Some clarification would seem to be needed amongst all this supposition. The Svalbard Treaty ([4]) recognises "the full and absolute sovereignty of Norway" over Svalbard, with some stipulations. This allowed the Kingdom of Norway to make it part of the country itself ([5]), as long as the stipulations were legally recognised. The suggestion that "full and absolute sovereignty" is not enough to do this is extremely strained at best, and with an objective focus falls on its own absurdity. The fact that Norway threaded lightly with regards to its neighbouring superpower adversary during the Cold War illustrates only the disparity in strength between the two countries and Soviet power politics, not any limits to Norwegian sovereignity. Further, the fact that Norway allows fishing based on tradition outside the territorial waters around Svalbard illustrates only Norwegian good-will, not that the there is a stipulation about it in the Svalbard Treaty. People also seem to read some colonial significance that isn't there into the translated title "Governor". In Norwegian the title "Sysselman" is used. This is an archaic title for the state's (the top level of government), representatives in the counties. Although Svalbard is not a county, that is just what he/she is, the top level of government's representative there. To sum up, there is no reason why Svalbard being part of the Kingdom of Norway should be controversial. -- Nidator 16:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC)


Concerning the title of the head of Svalbard's administration. I am British, but have spent several field seasons in Svalbard during the 1980s, and have colleagues who still maintain a presence there. I have NEVER heard the term "Governor" used by anyone who knows the islands; the Norwegian term "Sysselman" is always used. --APRCooper 13:21, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

It is a territory of ALL the signatories of the treaty. It is formally NOT part of Norway. Janerikkvalheim (talk) 21:41, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

The treaty establishes Norwegian sovereignty of the archipelago. In addition, all secondary sources I have ever read claim Svalbard is part of Norway. Please do not add your biased original research. Arsenikk (talk) 15:12, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Archipelago or island query[edit]

As far as some maps go, they note the archipelago as being the Spitsbergan archipelago, with the largest island being Svalbard.

Is this incorrect?

A recent BBC news article [6] also seemed to have the two names that way round.

Is the information here and on Spitsbergen correct?

zoney talk 12:29, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yes the articles here on wikipedia are correct. Spitsbergen is the name of the largest Island in the Svalbard archipelago.
Here are a few external links confirming it [7], [8] and [9]. Shanes 12:48, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Map[edit]

It's so far north -- shouldn't the map be polar? Tlogmer 22:44, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

.sj[edit]

Google gives back several sites with the .sj root...what is going on? Ejrrjs | What? 00:42, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

But none of them work?--ZorroIII 21:00, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Asking for help / review with Bjørnøya article[edit]

Hi everybody, I am currently requesting review for the Bjørnøya article. If you are are knowledgeable in the field you might like to look into it. Please comment at Wikipedia:Peer review/Bjørnøya/archive2, any constructive criticism would be much appreciated. Thanks. Kosebamse 22:54, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Language(s) of Svalbard[edit]

I have no expertise in the subject of Svalbard or of the surrounding regions. I'm interested in this island group because of it's geographic location, it's very far north. (I have more expertise in other areas so I contribute more to those articles on Wikipedia.) I contribute what I can to the editing of Svalbard, spelling and grammar. There is a recent edit to this article about the languages of Svalbard. Here is the current edit of the relevant part of the article:

The official language of Svalbard is Norwegian. Russian is used in the Russian settlements, but formerly, Russenorsk was the lingua franca of the entire Barents Sea region.

This is still a bit awkward, but I decided to discuss it here before making the edit to the main page.

  1. I think that we can agree that if "lingua franca" remains in the article, it should be linked to the appropriate article.
  2. There are many languages that get mixed on the borders of countries, so I don't think that "lingua franca" would be appropriate for this usage. "Lingua franca" is for a language that gets used widely beyond the borders of the country of native speakers. (e.g.: English is the lingua franca of the Internet.)
  3. There is some (minor) ambiguity in the way that this is currently written. Here is my proposed rewrite, based on what I think is meant:
The official language of Svalbard is Norwegian. However, in the Russian settlements (<insert list if it is small>) Russian is currently used, but Russenorsk was used up until <XXXX-year> because of its usage in the entire Barents Sea region.

There are two places in this text where information needs to be filled in, but I think that this reads better. I hope I conveyed the right information. Val42 00:03, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. Russenorsk, like Chinook, is an extinct trading language, classified as a pidgin, i.e. with no native speakers. I appreciate what you've done as regards fine-tuning the English. B-] //Big Adamsky 00:43, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Bit puzzled by the "part of the kingdom of Norway" part and have toned it down. Last time I was in Svalbard it was clearly explained as "governed but not owned" hence the Russians were taking out vast amounts of Coal etc. also ref voting, citizenship etc. BozMo
No need to be puzzled BozMo. Lots of Russian workers = lots of Russian spoken (about 60% I have in mind but stand for correction). The Orkney Islanders even spoke Norwegian and had Norwegian daily papers at one time but that didn't make them anything other than Scottish.
Try Switzerland for confusion. Officially Swiss-German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Romansch are spoken but English is used a lot. I even got into Serbo-Croat and Italian whilst I lived there but drew the line at Albanian as it is far too difficult. To this late day, I still speak fluent English, Swiss-German and French with quite a lot of German, Italian, Spanish, Greek and a few words of every country I ever visited. The language spoken doesn't change the nationality you see - it just adds colour. Gari Isle of Man 12:55, 27 December 2006 (UTC).
The description "governed but not owned" is clearly wrong. Svalbard is not a dependency or a mandate area, but a part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Svalbard Treaty ([10]) recognises the "the full and absolute sovereignty of Norway" over Svalbard, but also grants the other signatories some rights. It is the latter that has caused confusion in some corners. The official language of the Kingdom of Norway is Norwegian. -- Nidator 15:38, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Discuss instead of deletinge[edit]

Tskoge, please try harder to contribute to this project in a good spirit. Try discussing any changes you feel are warranted, rather than forcing your personal version on the rest of the community here. //Big Adamsky 16:34, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

You add nonsense, I remove nonsense. There is not much to discuss. Wikipedia is supposedly an encyclopedia, not a place where people add their random nonsense. (And it is difficult to take very seriously anyone who relies on worldstatesmen.org.) Tskoge 17:58, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
The thing is, this is not your personal blog and consequently you do not get the prerogative of unilaterally passing verdict on what is "nonsense". If you find it difficult to take other contributors seriously, then you have a problem. Tug-of-war style editing is hardly the solution to that problem. //Big Adamsky 18:10, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
What is a "special entity" and how is Svalbard a special entity (or even an entity)? How is Svalbard a special territory? Svalbard is a part of Norway. Shouldn't every single US state be in that category, aren't they all "special"? Tskoge 08:44, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Good start. Well, if you would take the time to read the article that you have been purging from the text, you will discover how those four named entities (= bodies of land; territories) occupy an ambiguous position in international law in that they are in some respects external. The category of special status entities was presumably created in order to lump together articles that all have this feature in common in some way or other. //Big Adamsky 09:16, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Fine. Then Svalbard obvously does not belong on such a list. I do not understand why you say that entity = body of land. Tskoge 17:02, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Please check sources before making statements of personal beleif (if that's the case here). WP:NPOV might contain relevant information. --Nordby73 01:03, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
What are you saying? One is not allowed for clarification of what another person has said? Tskoge 15:23, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm stating that discussion (which should occur on talk pages) by pointing to verifiable sources and assuming good faith is a good thing. I see you have added such information to this talk page now, and that's great! --Nordby73 14:56, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Removal of the caterogy "Special territories"[edit]

Yes, the link you provided there contains much relevant information. Now, as for the "special status" referred to (by me at least), it arises from several facts:

  1. Svalbard is administered differently from other parts of the Kingdom; it is neither a county nor a municipality of Norway, and is also not part of any mainland county or municipality (unlike Jan Mayen, q.v.). In this respect, Svalbard resembles Hong Kong and Macau, whose administrative status is also unique. (The Finnish administrative reorganization of 1997 effectively elevated the new provinces to a status equal to that already enjoyed by Åland).
  2. The situation of foreigners there also differs from those in metropolitan Norway. Citizens of a large number of states may freely enter and take up permanent residence in the archipelago at their own leisure. In metropolitan Norway (Fastlands-Norge), this applies only to citizens of states signatory to the Schengen Agreement (since 1996; and from 1954 to its Nordic predecessor). In this respect, the Svalbard Treaty is somewhat similar to the Antarctic Treaty. The demilitarization stipulated in the Treaty bears resemblence with the Treaty of Åland. The various nationalities residing within the jurisdiction of the Longyearbyen Local Government (≈city council of Longyearbyen) constitute a demographic minority, whereas in the archipelago as a whole, foreign nationals formed the majority until a few years ago.
  3. The .sj country code top-level domain is another factor that sets the islands apart (cf. .ax, .hk and .mo).

Other, fairly credible sources seem to agree that this categorization is apt. And, while the Factbook may not be entirely accurate/neutral, the comparison with Åland, Hong Kong and Macau (and possibly also Sinŭiju, Guantánamo Bay and Akrotiri and Dhekelia) is called for, as is the descriptor "special territory". That category is intended to help the reader understand, and should not be censored with no justification given other than "nonsense". Instead, please explain why you feel that something is nonsense. //Big Adamsky 15:31, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Add the category then. Tskoge 15:53, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
The CIA factbook is obviously wrong on this issue, neither Svalbard nor Jan Mayan are dependent areas. --Cybbe 18:20, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
You have yet to show that Svalbard is an entity. There is no way that worldstatesmen.org is going to be added, Wikipedia is not a link repository, and the external links section is more than full. Worldstatesmen.org can also not be added since it is completely unreliable, it contains factually inaccurate material (just like the CIA World Factbook). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tskoge (talkcontribs)
And you have yet to show that you really genuinely want to be a part of this whole process, Tskoge. I even added a direct link to the wiktionary entry for "entity" further up, to descretely explain to you what the word means, but it appears that you never took the time to click on it or to look it up elsewhere. Instead, you stubbornly maintain the position that the linked-to article is somehow misplaced or irrelevant to the article, while generously allowing the similar category to stay put. My reasoning was that it is clearly relevant in that it puts the islands status and position into perspective, so the reader can appreciate why they are not listed under counties of Norway article, &c. Why not just cooperate with others, consult others, try to convince others and strive to build consensus? Calling other users "sneaky little bastard" and aggressively edit-warring are not really viable strategies in the long run. //Big Adamsky 23:59, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Have you read (or been able to comprehend) the pages you are referring to? The Wikipedia on "entity" begins with "An entity is something that has a distinct, separate existence". Is this a description of Svalbard? Tskoge 10:36, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Svalbard is unique due to the Svalbard Treaty, this deserves a mention in the article. Orcaborealis 09:42, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Removed special entity from the text. I can think of several other areas which have special status under international treaties.

Roadrunner 01:32, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Jan Mayen is not a part of Nordland, but it is administered by Nordland county. Jakro64 11:15, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Svalbard[edit]

I'm posting this as some people just seem to be making up facts, and then I'm having to run around removing all sorts of false information. (I previously posted this to my talk page.) Tskoge 16:03, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

In Report No. 9 to the Storting (1999-2000) the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police writes that:

Norway's full and absolute sovereignty over Svalbard under international law also applies to military activity and presence. However, Article 9 of the Svalbard Treaty imposes clear limits on the military activity Norway may engage in on the archipelago.
...
Article 9 does not entail an absolute prohibition against Norwegian military activity on Svalbard. Norwegian naval vessels and coast guard vessels calling at ports, military aircraft landing and the presence of Norwegian military personnel in uniform are not violations of the Treaty. Naval vessels have been calling at Svalbard ever since Norwegian administration was established on the archipelago. Nor is calling up conscripts for military service a violation of the provisions of the Treaty. Norway is not precluded from implementing defence measures in time of war. Moreover, the principle of Norway's full and absolute sovereignty over Svalbard applies to foreign military activity on Svalbard, cf. Article 1.
...

(chapter 4)

An older report, number 40 (1985-86), states that:

Det grunnleggende innhold i artikkel 9 er at Svalbard aldri må utnyttes i krigsøyemed. Denne innebærer imidlertid ikke at Norge er avskåret fra å iverksette forsvarstiltak under krig, slik som skjedde under annen verdenskrig.
Utover dette fastsetter traktaten konkret forbud mot anlegg av flåtebaser og befestninger. Noe generelt forbud mot enhver militær virksomhet foreligger ikke. Det er derfor i fullt samsvar med traktaten når norske marinefartøy og norske militærfly anløper Svalbard. Slike anløp har vært foretatt siden norsk administrasjon ble etablert på øygruppen. Norge har siden siste krig ikke hatt noen fast militær styrke på Svalbard.
Utenlandske militære enheter kan ikke uten særskilt tillatelse komme til Svalbard. Dette følger av alminnelige folkerettsregler og er ikke særskilt omtalt i Svalbard-traktaten.

(p. 10)

And an even older report, number 39 (1974-75), states that "Bestemmelsen [art. 9] er ellers bare til hinder for at opprettes faste flåtebaser eller befestninger. Under krigen var det en norsk garnison på Svalbard, uten at dette var i strid med traktatens forutsetninger. Garnisonen hadde som oppgave å forhindre at andre stater handlet i strid med forbudet mot at Svalbard nyttes i krigsøyemed. Etter krigen har norske krigsfartøyer og militærfly besøkt Svalbard, men det har ikke vært stasjonert noen fast militær styrke der."

Geir Ulfstein writes in The Svalbard Treaty: From Terra Nullius to Norwegian Soverignty (Scandinavian University Press [Universitetsforlaget], 1995):

... the question whether Svalbard is demilitarized.
Demilitarization has been defined as "the agreement of two or more States not to fortify, or station troops upon a particular zone of territory." ...
Svalbard is obviously demilitarized in the sense that the establishment of naval bases and fortifications is prohibited. But does the prohibition against using Svalbard for warlike purposes mean a complete demilitarization? (p. 374)

(pp. 375-78: he discusses the different wording in the French and English text)

page 376:

... there is all the more reason to apply a restrictive interpretation, i.e. that only war activities are prohibited.

page 377:

Other demilitarization treaties, entered into before and after the Svalbard Treaty contain a rather explicit wording when prohibiting military activities and installations. ... The wording of these treaties indicated that a more explicit wording should be required if art. 9 of the Svalbard Treaty were to prohibit military activities short of war and other military installations than fortifications and naval bases. ...

page 378:

As regards subsequent state practice, it has been stated above that the USSR claimed that the prohibition against using Svalbard for warlike purposes precludes all military activities, and that the USA has held that Svalbard is demilitarized. On the other hand, the Norwegian translation of art. 9 conforms with the French text in prohibiting the use of Svalbard for war purposes, as opposed to warlike purposes ["krigsøyemed]. Furthermore, Norway has never in response to the Soviet notes accepted that all military activities are precluded on Svalbard. ...
...
On the basis of a harmonisation of the precise French text and the ambiguous English text, the context, and the restrictive principle, it is thus concluded that the prohibition against using Svalbard for warlike purposes does not preclude military purposes short of war.

On p. 388 he states that "Svalbard is only partly demilitarized.", but also that Norwegian use of Svalbard has been ather limited. Perhaps a bit like art. 8: It prohibits Norway from profiting from taxation on Svalbard. However, "The Svalbard budget was balanced until the beginning of 1971, but since then a steady deficit has developed, which has been covered by the Norwegian government." (Ulfstein p. 297.) So in fact Svalbard causes Norway to lose money. Tskoge 14:45, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Employment on the archipelago[edit]

I brought this up in the Greenland discussion as well, but here goes... I am currently looking for a job in the far North, if possible even the arctic or sub-arctic regions. I am a native Belgian and currently work and live in Ireland, though after two years in ireland I feel like a bigger challenge and aiming for my big dream. I am trying to find information on employment in the far north, however unlike Iceland and Norway -who both have a public employment network and job listings- I found very little information on Svalbard and Greenland. Does anyone know off the situation there? As there are several institutions (such as scientific research, local university, ...) and growing tourism, I would guess that foreign people should have opportunities in going to Svalbard. Does anyone have some more detailed information? If you prefer email: gerrit.df @gmail.com (without the space) Nocturnal Me 22:04, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

http://forum.svalbard.com/index.php - this forum appears to have many non-norwegian people interested in living on Svalbard. Perhaps they can help you if you post there. Joffeloff 18:34, 8 April 2006 (UTC)


Linked on SA[edit]

It may interest some of you that Svalbard is currently linked on Something Awful's front page (see here for further reference.)

--WorldsTallestMidget 21:18, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Name of archipelago[edit]

I was surprised to see this article under Svalbard, which I had never heard of before reading it. There is a strong case for saying that the English name of the archipelago is Spitzbergen which is much more familiar to me. Has anyone got any info on the relative popularity of the two names in English? Spitzbergen certainly ought to be in the lead as an alternative name, as it is still commonly used in English - see the BBC website for example.--Stonemad GB 10:01, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

See what on the BBC website? Perhaps if you were looking for "the" Spitsbergen archipelago, you should go to the Spitsbergen article.
The Svalbard archipelago consists of more islands than were generally thought of as belonging to the Spitsbergen archipelago, such as Bear Island, Hopen and Kong Karls Land, which I would think is the reason for calling all of the islands Svalbard and not Spitsbergen. Look at the map at the Bear Island page, Bear Island is rather far south of Spitsbergen. Look at the red on the map at the Spitsbergen page. The article on Spitsbergen also states that "Formerly, this name was also applied to the entire archipelago of Svalbard, and occasionally still is." Norway at least has used "Svalbard" for all of the islands covered by the treaty since 1925, when Svalbard was included as a part of Norway by an act of law (and not a dependency, which was proposed a few years before).
I've looked at a few English-language maps, and they all use Svalbard about the islands as a whole (and Spitsbergen about the largest island).
I don't think there is a specific island called Svalbard. The "Place Names of Svalbard" database states that Svalbard is a "group name":

"Group name of all the islands in the Arctic Ocean which were placed under the sovereignty of Norway by the Treaty of Paris of February 9, 1920."[11]

And on Spitsbergen:

"The largest of an Arctic group of islands ... Before 1925 the name Spitsbergen applied both to the largest island as well as to the archipelago. 1925-1969 the largest island was called Vestspitsbergen (West Spitsbergen) in order to distinguish it. The Spitsbergen part of Svalbard comprised the following islands: Vestspitsbergen, Nordaustlandet, Edgeøya, Barentsøya, Prins Karls Forland. Kvitøya, Kong Karls Land, Hopen and Bjørnøya did not then belong to Spitsbergen proper. Spitsbergen and these islands formed the Svalbard (q.v.) group of islands with a total area of 61 020 km². After 1969 the potential for confusion was reduced by using the name Spitsbergen only for the largest island."[12]

Thanks for the above. Spitzbergen is German for "Pointed Mountain" and probably originates from the German. When speaking German, only Spitzbergen is used. The names of the archipelago and associated islands (see CIA Factbook and Wikepedia) are as follows: Svalbard (Spitzbergen), Hopen (Hopen), Bjørnøya (Bear Island), Jan Mayen (Jan Mayen) Jan Mayen website. More detail in English at Norwegian Meteo. In the South Atlantic is another offshore Norwegian island: Bouvetøya (Bouvet Island) Lat 54°28’S - Long 3°29’E - probably the remotest island in the world. Masses of information via Wikipedia and Google. Gari Isle of Man 27 Dec 2006 13.25
While it may be true that Spitzbergen is German for "pointed mountains", it is also true that Spitsbergen is Dutch for .... "pointed mountains". The history of the place also makes a Dutch origin of the name much more likely. So ... why make the German connection? HStreek (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 10:55, 9 February 2011 (UTC).
(It doesn't explain what happened in 1969.)
BTW, the article claims that Svalbard lies between "76° to 81° North, and 10° to 32° East". But the Svalbard treaty states that Norway has "the full and absolute sovereignty" of "all the islands situated between 10deg. and 35deg. longitude East of Greenwich and between 74deg. and 81deg. latitude North"[13]. When did Svalbard shrink? Dagnabit 23:39, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Climate vs. Geography vs. Global Warming Issues[edit]

I make a suggestion only, that the average temperature / weather information should be moved or duplicated from the "Geography" section to "Climate". If not, "Climate" should be changed to "Environmental Climate Concerns" or a subject title more in line with the content.

You're right; I'll look at it.--Glen Fergus 09:50, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Also, the temperatures under climate are at least in part wrong. 2 C does not equal 4 F, nor does 3 C = 5 F. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.236.66.238 (talk) 05:04, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Status of Svalbard in relation to templates etc[edit]

Svalbard is and has since 1925 been an integral part of Norway. It is no more a dependancy than any other part of Norway. The same applies for Jan Mayen since 1922. Yet they continue to be mentioned in templates regarding countries of Europe. They are most often grouped under Dependencies and territories along with Åland, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man and Northern Cyprus. Even the template used in this article seems to indicate some sort of "country status". Svalbard is a bit special as Norwegian sovreignty was recognised by way of a treaty. To summarise the treaty recognises the Norwegian sovreignty while Norway promises not to discriminate the signatory countries. This does however not diminish it's status as an integral part of Norway. No such treaty applies to Jan Mayen. Immigration legislation could be passed, but as any immigration to the islands is seen as a good thing it hasn't been yet. This page is probably not the best place to bring this up as people involved with making templates most likely don't visit the Svalbard page that often, but I couldn't think of a better place. I suggest we discuss this issue here and propose the removal of Svalbard from such templates. Inge 11:57, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. And the limitations placed by the treaty hardly mean anything compared with the EEA Treaty which has a far bigger impact on Norwegian "sovereignty on Norway", where the provisions on non-discrimination seriously mean something. Also, there must be loads of treaties where countries recognize each other. TexasWalkerRanger 12:47, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Merge Tag - Svalbard History[edit]

Since there has been no energy for merging (nothing written for or against for almost a month now) I'd propose removing the merger tag. There is merit to a properly linked history article (and this article does it properly). If anything we should work on improving the history article so that no one even has reason to question the need to merge it... Skål - Williamborg (Bill) 19:43, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Agree with this as history can take up a heap of space and detract from the information value/flow. A hyperlink to a Svalbard History page would much better keep history all together Gari Isle of Man 13.48 UTC, 27 December 2006

coal production fuzzy[edit]

This article says a major mine produces 2 million tons of coal out of the 2.5 million and that the mine outside Longyearbyen only produces for itself this implies the mine at Barentsburg produces 500,000 tons but its article states it also no longer exports coal. Someone who knows the facts should work to clarify. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 67.105.209.231 (talk) 23:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC).

I believe that mine produces coal to be used for power production on Svalbard (thus no export), but 500,000 tons might be a bit high....Inge 23:47, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

The UK held Svalbard meeting behind Norway's back[edit]

This is an interesting development and should perhaps be worked into the article ([14][15]). -- Nidator 12:10, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 115.130.83.252 (talk) 12:09, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Removal of flag and coat-of-arms?[edit]

The Norwegian flag and Norwegian coat-of-arms should according to my opinion not be needed in this article as Svalbard is not a country, but a part of Norway. Neither does Svalbard have any own flag or coat-of-arms, so I suggest the presentation could be similar as in the Norwegian page – i.e. to remove both. Jakro64 01:04, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this, and the reasons given. Svalbard is a part of the Kingdom of Norway. If it gets a separate coat of arms/flag, like the counties/municipalities, then they should be added, but until then I think both the Norwegian flag and coat of arms should be removed. It looks like one was proposed by a private association back in 1930, by the way.[16] -- Nidator T / C 17:31, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Agree. By the way that proposal has been a real pain here on wikipedia. Several wikipedias have taken it to be a real flag. Inge 19:09, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I can imagine. It is not a bad design, I suppose, but if Svalbard gets a coat of arms/flag I hope they can come up with something that is a little more representative of the archipelago. The 1930 proposal also reminds me a little of the coat of arms of the 13th century Norwegian Earldom of Iceland.[17] -- Nidator T / C 20:36, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
The infobox and map should probably be replaced by the one used for counties.Inge 20:50, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
The county infobox looks to be a little too specialised. Maybe there is another one we can use? -- Nidator T / C 23:22, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


Redirects[edit]

Sorry, I've messed up. Please can an administrator undo my changes then set up a redirect from Reindeerland to Svalbard. Many thanks. Md84419 (talk) 13:47, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Sorted. Please be more careful with your tests in future - pagemoves such as this could be seen as vandalism... --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 14:10, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Many thanks. Can you also set up a redirect from Reindeerland to Svalbard. Md84419 (talk) 17:54, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Seed Vault[edit]

I'm changing the name from "Seed bank" to "Seed Vault" in order to jibe with the Svalbard global seed vault entry, and thus avoid potential confusion. I'm also updating the verb tenses, because the seed vault has now been built.--JO 24 (talk) 10:28, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Climate Change in the middle of Svalbard article problem[edit]

There are two serious problems here.

1. The graph is badly flawed:

A. It joins the two data series by "subtracting 1°C from Isfjord and adding 2°C to Luft, so that the trend lines meet at the station change." There is no peer reviewed work that I am aware of that has ever suggested such an operation would be statistically valid. Certainly none has been cited. B. The graph is credited to GISS. GISS would never have made such a mistake. I'm not even sure if this is an attempt to discredit GISS by skeptics, or over zealousness by believers.

2. On the main page it states:

"Computer models of global climate have long predicted enhanced greenhouse warming at such latitudes, so the Svalbard record is of particular interest.[12] It shows an approximate 6 °C increase in 100 years; with 4 °C increase in the last 30 years."

The reader is left with the clear impression that a 4 °C increase in the last 30 years would tend to reinforce the predictions of global climate models. For the vast majority of global climate models (if not all of them) this is wildly inaccurate. The stated 4 °C increase in the last 30 years far exceeds that predicted by the models, even for latitudes in the far North. If there is a model that supports this, a reference is desperately required. Otherwise, this is misleading at best.

For now I'll get rid of the graph, but leave the text in case the original author can fix it. 24.128.51.0 (talk) 15:37, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

NPOV??--Gergyl (talk) 07:38, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

60,000 bowheads processed at Smeerenberg alone?[edit]

That sounds much too high. Smeerenberg existed from 1617 to at least sometime before 1655, possibly to 1660. It consisted of eight whaling stations, each of which probably had a ship from each chamber sent to it (Amsterdam had two of the stations, so they probably sent two). So you're telling me eight ships averaged 1,363 whales a season from 1617 to 1660? That's an average of 170 whales a ship, which is an impossible harvest. I know a vessel in Jan Mayen that had taken over 40 whales, and that's the highest figure I've seen. Also you have to factor in this was the number of vessels that went to Smeerenburg during its peak (1633-35), with an even smaller number resorting to it before and after this period. Even if you take the total number of Dutch vessels, twenty-thirty, that resorted to Spitsbergen before Smeerenburg went into serious decline and the Northern Company lost its monopoly (early 1640s) the avergae per ship is still as high as 45-68--again, much too high. These other ships would have resorted to the other stations (notably the cookery of Harlingen and Outer Norway Island) and not to Smeerenburg. With that said, I will be removing the obviously dubious figure. Jonas Poole (talk) 00:22, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Portuguese whaling expeditions to Spitsbergen?[edit]

I've never read of any voyages being sent to Spitsbergen by the Portuguese, but then again I wouldn't be surprised if a expedition or two were fitted out in the nearly two centuries of whaling mentioned in the History section. Perhaps anyone fluent in Portguese would know of any Portuguse whaleships sent during this time period? I don't know of any information in English. Jonas Poole (talk) 21:39, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


Regarding Risk Devolution[edit]

Just because the island of Svalbard appears in the game, together with most other countries/islands in the world, does not really mean it should be included in popular culture, if so - All map games and so could too, I believe... Zeyra (Zeldakitten or so) 02:03, 16 August 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zeldakitten (talkcontribs)

Målform[edit]

Is Svalbard a bokmål-using, nynorsk-using or neutral entity? Anothername (talk) 15:50, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

For what I understand of it, this artikle in Aftenpoſten claims that Norwegian(-claimed) Arctic and Antarctic toponymy is nynorsk more or less for marketing reasons. According to the article, Adolf Hoel of Norwegian Polar Institute realised that the then-head of Norwegian Church Ministry, apparently the money-giver for expeditions and suchlike, was a nynorsk-supporter. So Hoel promised to name everything Arctic or Antarctic in nynorsk, and got the money for his expeditions. (Someone whose Norwegian [and English] is better than mine might want to verify if I got it right.) Anothername (talk) 13:53, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Svalbard/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jhbuk (talk) 19:57, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    "Transport": "Arktikugol" should be explained or linked.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    Well referenced.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    There isn't really any information about education (University Centre in Svalbard only gets one sentence), or things like sports and culture, but I assume that would be pretty much exclusive to Longyearbyen? Maybe also add an average length of time spent there for each visitor - what % come on cruises for instance? The sections are excellent summaries of the main articles.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Plenty of very useful images.
  7. Overall:
    Pass:
    Excellent (sorry the review's a little sort again) Jhbuk (talk) 19:57, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the review. There is so much to say about Svalbard and so little space, so deciding what to say is a bit difficult. But I think you're right: there should be more about the communities, both Longyearbyen and Barentsburg, and perhaps some more about tourism, although I haven't come across the particular statistics you suggest. I'll look into it. Arktikugol is explained in the "economy" section, but I can add a little note in the transport section too. There should come improved articles for the various settlements in the near future, and much more will be said there. Arsenikk (talk) 20:26, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

The geology of Svalbard?[edit]

The incidental allusions to Svalbad's geology pique my curiosity. So in which geological period were the coal seams laid down? The mention of pliosaur fossils in Spitsbergen indicates that there are definitely sedimentary rocks; are there any volcanic or basaltic deposits in this archipelago? The information apparently exists; it simply needs to be consolidated & organized in this article. -- llywrch (talk) 05:25, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

I completely agree, there should at minimum be a paragraph about geology, perhaps at the end of the geography section. If you know anything about this and have sources, feel free to add it. I know very little about geology, so I would have a hard time determining what is "important" and what is trivial. Arsenikk (talk) 09:28, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
If I knew anything useful, I'd have added it -- not left a suggestion on the talk page. ;-) My hope is that someone who can write the section will. -- llywrch (talk) 17:38, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I was also looking for this info. Some quick web searching shows Svalbard is part of the continental shelf.[18] It has a very long geological history with pretty much every major class of rock formation process you could want. (good overview, details: [19][20]). Some of this may also apply to the High Arctic Large Igneous Province in general, but that article is just a stub. -- Beland (talk) 04:31, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Fix the map[edit]

It would be much better if the map had only Norway outlined as a dark area, not the whole Europe, that makes little sense. 85.165.198.52 (talk) 14:46, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Transport on Spitzbergen[edit]

who can it go on? "from Longyearbyen to ... and Pyramiden (100 km/62 mi) is possible by snowmobile by winter, or by ship all year round. " not in winter time because the port of pyramiden is frozen and no ship will be their, the same i think is for barentsburg. bartensburg LYB russion helicopert some times is flying 79.197.111.88 (talk) 08:43, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

"Tourism is focused on the environment and is centered around Longyearbyen. Activities include hiking, kayaking, walks through glacier caves and snow-scooter and dog-sled safari." please notice all tourism activities out of the seattlements are under expedition conditions 79.197.111.88 (talk) 08:46, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

In fiction section--describes books and films set in Svalbard[edit]

Hello, I have added a section on books and films which are set in Svalbard. Another editor removed this section, calling it unreferenced trivia. As far as the references, the solution to an insufficient number of references is to put a "needs citation" tag on the section, not delete the section. Next, are descriptions of cultural references to an article's subject trivia? Certainly, there are "in popular culture sections" in Wikipedia articles that do descend to the level of trivia (e.g., "The garage band Bloodsport have a song on their 1991 EP which includes the lyric "I traveled down to Svalbard").......(a made-up example), but I don't think describing books and movies which are set in the location which the article is about are "trivia". When properly written, "In fiction" sections can positively distinguish Wikipedia from more traditional encyclopedias. Detailing a topic's impact upon popular culture can be a worthwhile contribution to an article, provided that the content is properly sourced and consistent with policies and guidelines. The Wikipedia essay on "in popular culture" sections notes that "a city's article may mention films, books or television series in which the city is itself a prominent setting". In the books and films that are described, the Svalbard location is a prominent part of the setting. OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 04:30, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

This is a good article, which means that it has been through a review and met certain criteria. One of these criteria is that "it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail", another is that it must be referenced. A lot of hard work has been put into creating a balanced article about Svalbard, which focuses on all major issues. An overview of all fiction that mentions the archipelago is going way overboard. If you want to write this sort of stuff, create the article Svalbard in fiction or Svalbard in popular culture and stick the information it there, and add it to the Svalbard navbox. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a literature guide; people reading any geographical article want to read about that area, not be served a long list of books which happen to take place there. You claim "in fiction" section distinguish Wikipedia—yes, they are the Achilles heel which brings down the projects integrity. I've checked ten random geography-articles (from towns to countries) which are featured, and none had any type of "in fiction" section. I can never recall any GA or FA pass with such a section. This is simply because it is "unnecessary detail". Just look at the length of the section, it is comparable to "population", "nature" and "economy". As for the essay, that is nothing more than exactly that, and is someone's personal view, and if anything, warns to avoid excessive popular culture references. Arsenikk (talk) 11:40, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I've now moved the content to Svalbard in fiction, and added it to the navbox. I would recommend you nominate it for DYK :) Arsenikk (talk) 11:52, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Hello, I find your phrase "An overview of all fiction that mentions the archipelago" does not characterize the contents of the "In fiction" section. The materials in the "In fiction" section are set in Svalbard. I find your view of popular culture/fiction coverage (the "Achilles heel which brings down the projects integrity") to be overly negative. In some cases, a topic will have such significant role or treatment in fiction that there is a body of academic analysis of this fictional treatment. There is a big difference between the best "In fiction" sections (which cite evidence from experts in literature) and the worst ones (the real trivia that I admit can be found in "In fiction" sections (e.g., "In episode 245 of The Simpsons, Homer wears a t-shirt which says "Visit Svalbard"). As well, I perceived your initial statement on the History page to be uncivil (you referred to my first posting of the in fiction section as "trivia"). However, I do appreciate that you have created a new article. OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 14:33, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Photo description[edit]

In the caption of the photo with the snowmobiles, the structure in the background is referred to as an abandoned mine shaft. There is, however, no mine shaft at that location. The structure is the "Taubanesentralen", which used to be the connection point for the aerial tramways, where coal buckets from the different mines arrived and then were redirected onto the aerial tramway line going towards the harbor for shipping.

Thanks for pointing that out; I've now changed the caption. Arsenikk (talk) 23:00, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Religion[edit]

Details please.andycjp (talk) 07:19, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

"Administrated" not correct[edit]

I seem unable to do a minor edit of the first paragraph of this article. "Administrate" is not strictly speaking a verb in English. It is a "backformation" from adminstration, and as such should be avoided. The correct verb is "administer." Waltezell (talk) 17:21, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

 Done, fixed, thanks! Chipmunkdavis (talk) 14:41, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Climate photo[edit]

Is the label Spitsbergen during October correct? It looks more like summer to me.--JBellis (talk) 19:22, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I checked the image data and the image was taken in mid-August. I have changed image text.Orcaborealis (talk) 20:15, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Polar bear attack?[edit]

What is it with this incident that warrants special mention? People have been killed by polar bears before on Svalbard without being mentioned in this article. -- Nidator T / C 16:06, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Nothing really. It breaks WP:DUE and WP:NOTNEWS. Probably should be removed when the news dies down. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 12:53, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Why wait? It's a clear breach of WP:NOTNEWS. Removed. SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 13:53, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Spitsbergen Treaty[edit]

"On 9 February 1920, following the Paris Peace Conference, the Spitsbergen Treaty was signed, granting full sovereignty to Norway. However, all signatory countries were granted non-discriminatory rights to fishing, hunting and mineral resources." ---This treaty is still alive, all signatory countries are granted non-discriminatory rights. Fakirbakir (talk) 17:07, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes, but that sentence is in past tense, so were is apt. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 12:31, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Hoax flag[edit]

I have proposed the file recently presented here as the flag of Svalberd be deleted from Commons. We have seen before that such files will spread to other language editions if the file is left on Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Flag_of_Svalbard.png Inge (talk) 16:28, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Rola Polaków[edit]

Polish please — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.147.117.31 (talk) 20:32, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Historic usage of names for Svalbard in English[edit]

Using the "Trove" search engine at nla.gov.au ( The National Library of Australia ), the word "Spitsbergen" appears 500 times in the corpus of almost all Australian newspapers prior to 1901, the word "Spitzbergen" appears 1300 times prior to 1901, and the word "Svalbard" 0 times.

The first appearance of the word "Svalbard" in any Australian newspaper occurs on 2 July 1925 in the "Barrier Miner" newspaper, with a short article noting that "SpitSbergen's name is now changed to Svalbard".

A few weeks later on 17 August 1925, the "Hobart Mercury" reports that "Norway has formally taken possession of SpitZbergen, in the Arctic, which henceforth forth will be named Svalbard."

Between the earliest reference in 1819, and 1954 ( when the search engine stops ), usage of Spitzbergen outnumbers Spitsbergen by more than 2 to 1. ( about 6267 to 2888 ). There are only 324 mentions of Svalbard. There are multiple references to the "Spitzbergen Treaty".

Although the official name change was noted, both Spitsbergen and Spitzbergen continued to be more widely used in English language reporting at least during the middle third of the 20th century, as reflected in Australian newspaper printing news derived mostly from British sources.Eregli bob (talk) 09:11, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

This subject has already been beaten to death by a bunch of idiots on the Spitsbergen talk page. "Spitzbergen" was never the correct spelling in English. It is the German spelling. Spitsbergen, the original Dutch spelling, was and is the only correct version in English. You can thank Frederich Martens and a bunch of lazy British authors for the "Spitzbergen" spelling still being used today by morons you don't know its history or a single word of Dutch/German. SomeGuy4545 (talk) 19:15, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Looks Like Economic Nonsense[edit]

"The only part of the Ny-Ålesund community that profits from such numbers of visitors is the souvenir shop, which always attracts a long queue and invariably sells out of what limited stocks that it has."

So, the people who own the tourist shop then simply hoard this cash under their mattress? They don't use any of it in the local economy? GeneCallahan (talk) 10:35, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it was an unecyclopedic sentence. I removed it. With regards, Iselilja (talk) 11:33, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Conflicting claim to northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world[edit]

The opening paragraph claims Svalbard is "the northernmost place in the world with a permanent population" but with an extreme latitude of 81° it's beat by Alert, Nunavut which has a latitude of 82°30'05" north
Xsinthis (talk) 01:21, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

This was edited by an IP on 7th October. I think the northernmost place of Svalbard which is permanently inhabited is Ny-Ålesund with 77°55N. Qaanaaq is a bigger town with 77°29N and Siorapaluk a smaller settlement with 77°47N, both in the northwest of Greenland and both a bit more south than Ny-Ålesund. Another station in the nordeast of Greenland is Nord, Greenland with 81°36N and I think that is the northern most permanent inhabited place. So the sentence should be checked anyway. But Alert, Nunavut is not permanently inhabited so this statement is wrong.--Markus Bodensee (talk) 15:49, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
I have to correct myself. Alert, Nunavut ist permanently inhabited, but it has no permanent population. There is just rotating military and scientific personnel. --Markus Bodensee (talk) 16:18, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Arctic sea ice[edit]

Curiously there's no mention of Svalbard's relationship with the Arctic ice cap. Svalbard is within the extent of Arctic sea ice although the ice is failing to reach it more often in summer. Summer minimum 2009 Summer minimum 2012 With the Arctic warming as fast as it is, the winter sea ice may soon (perhaps within a decade or two) fail to reach it. Reducing winter Arctic ice extent. The Fram Strait, the body of water between Svalbard and Greenland is the main conduit for the export of Arctic sea ice to the Atlantic. Increasing export of Arctic sea ice. 78.147.60.116 (talk) 02:11, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Germans stuck at end of WWII[edit]

The history section states that Germans staffing a meteorological station were trapped on the island end of WWII, but this story is repeated in Operation Zitronella section 'Aftermath' with the location changed to Spitzbergen.

Under cover of the attack, the Luftwaffe installed a weather station on Hope Island. At the war's end, weather teams on Spitsbergen became the last German troops to surrender: they gave themselves up in September 1945.[3]

One of the two must be wrong, but I don't know which.

Anniepoo (talk) 18:06, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

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Spitsbergen was the most common used name before 1914 even in Norway[edit]

Hello,
Read about the Australian computer-searching his country's National Library for hits in old newspapers above. And decided to do the same. (I'm Norwegian and did the same search in old Norwegian newspapers here in Oslo). I set the start date to 1.1. 1890 (which is when the modern exploration of Svalbard started) and the end date to 28.6. 1914 (when WW1 started). This is what I found out:

Spitzbergen had 279 hits
Spitsbergen had 6532 hits
Svalbard had only 14 hits


Which goes to show that Spitsbergen was the most common used name BY FAR before 1914. Even in Norway, which presumely coined the word Svalbard, and renamed the islands to that.

Stein S., Oslo — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.213.30.97 (talk) 20:12, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

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External links modified[edit]

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