Site guidelines become mandatory in West-Spitsbergen

March 26th, 2015

AECO’s work on site specific guidelines in the Arctic is bearing fruits. A newly published proposal for a Management plan for West-Spitsbergen national parks includes a requirement to develop site-specific guidelines before landing at nine sites along the coast. AECO has already developed site guidelines for seven of the sites in question and will take initiative to develop the two additional guidelines for our members. AECO has advocated for the use of site guidelines as a management tool instead of stricter regulation such as landing prohibition. The Management plan also includes a proposal to consider if site-specific guidelines can replace some of the entrance prohibitions that are in place on some cultural heritage sites in Svalbard, which would be a very welcome development. It is rewarding to see how industry initiatives in this way can develop into management practice that are beneficial for visitors to the Arctic and the industry, as well as the environment.


c. site guidelines