My resarch has taken quite a close, critical eye to environmental decision making in the recent past in Svalbard. Now a new consultation has opened up, the Governor’s office are requesting inputs into the latest area in Svalbard to have an environmental management plan devised – cental Spitsbergen. This area includes the areas in the vicinity of Longyearbyen and its closest national parks. This time, myself and fellow Svalbard Social Science Initiative (SSSI) researchers are getting involved more directly, by trying to collect data to feed into the consultation process.
We have just opened a survey, if you live in Svalbard or visit often, please do fill it in, it can take under 5 minutes, but longer comments are encouraged, it’s open until 25th September.
It may seem like just another 15 -question survey, but I think it’s exciting for a few reasons:
- By gathering views on the use, activities and values associated with the area from potentially anyone living or closely connected to Svalbard, it can incorperate a much wider perspective and the voices of many more people than such consultations normally do – provided people fill it in of course!
- This is one of, if not the first collaborative research project to come out of our new SSSI and it has been a true and positive collaboration.
- We saw a need for social science input in this context and were able to quickly put something together that will hopefully be of benefit to the Svalbard community and the consultation process.
Here’s a link again to the survey: https://forms.gle/jYjqm8WirWxsvBoS8