I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. - Rev. Martin Luther King 1929-1968

How soft, how snug, how warm, how comfortable- and how bored you are! - Anton Chekhov


The Svanhovd Environmental Center (SEC) is located in the Pasvik region of Norway, above the Arctic circle and in close proximity to Russia and Finland. It supports research on the environmental state of the area; hosts regional and international environmental conferences; serves as a repository for information on socioeconomic, environmental, and agricultural issues in the Barents Region; and facilitates contact among people working with environmental preservation or research activities in the Arctic region surrounding Pasvik.


The SEC's Department of Research and Development focuses on research and management activities pertaining to agriculture, nature, and environmental issues. Its projects involve monitoring, international cooperation and management, and administration of research and development activities.

The SEC has implemented or participated in several area projects, including:

  • Restoration of a Russian military watchtower, now used in a field station for ornithologists at Vaarlamasaari in the Pasvik Nature Reserve
  • Construction of a field station at Vaarlamasaari in the Pasvik Nature Reserve
  • Development of the Internet in the Barents Region through the KolaNet, a consortia of independent organizations interested in establishing an Internet communications infrastructure for the Barents Region and promoting other projects-such as environmental monitoring, mapping, and management-that will benefit from an improved telecommunications infrastructure. KolaNet has held technical training courses in Svanhovd, Norway and Apatity, Russia.

Laboratory Services

The SEC has a laboratory which is used for commercial purposes, as well as in collaboration with research and educational institutions. The main section of the laboratory is used for physical and chemical analyses of water samples. Testing services are available on a fee basis for drinking water (pH, color, turbidity, heterotrophic plate count, coliform bacteria, thermotolerant coliform bacteria, odor, and taste), waste water (suspended solids, total P, BOD7, pH, aluminum, and CODCr), and process water (heterotrophic plate count, coliform bacteria, thermotolerant coliform bacteria, fecal streptococci, and sulphite reducing bacteria). The laboratory contains a section outfitted for microbiological studies, and another for radioactive analysis, which was set up by the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority. It is staffed by an engineer specializing in environmental issues and a laboratory assistant.

GPS Station

SEC staff are experienced in the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Using GPS, they collect data, perform analyses, and convert the results into GIS or SOSI format. The SEC has a GPS base station at Svanvik, which is capable of obtaining GPS registrations accurate to 1 to 5 meters. The Center offers differential corrected GPS registrations, as well as access to data from the base station for those who wish to do their own GPS registrations.

Field Station

The SEC loans or leases a variety of equipment for field research. The inventory includes a 15-foot motor boat, echosounder, canoe, sounding scope, and a dissection laboratory complete with microscope and magnification equipment. SEC staff can arrange for loans or rentals of cars and bicycles, and they are available to provide practical field assistance, support, and advice for research endeavors in the zoological, ecological, and biological sciences.


The SEC library contains a variety of information on forestry, wildlife, fish, water, birds, agriculture, fauna, and culture. A special section contains reports and pamphlets on environmental subjects and pollution in the Barents Region. The library is open to all visitors.


The Svanhovd Conference Center hosts conferences and workshops on issues concerning nature, the environment, or agriculture. Its auditorium accommodates 80 people and is equipped with:
  • Interpretation equipment supporting simultaneous translation between two languages
  • Large-screen video and computer
  • Slide projector with mixing capabilities
  • Internet connections
  • Standard audiovisual equipment (overhead projector, microphones, etc.)
Conference participants can arrange to use:
  • Four smaller conference rooms, with capacities for six to forty people. Each of these are equipped with an overhead projector, white-board, and flipcharts
  • Fully-equipped office with personal computers and Internet connections
  • Four laboratories
  • A GIS laboratory well-equipped for constructing maps
The Conference Center has overnight accommodations for 50 guests, all of which have in-room Internet capabilities. Additional guests can be accommodated at Svanvik Folk High School or at hotels in nearby Kirkenes. All Svanhovd guests have access to the library and modern sauna facilities.


The SEC Department of Information and Documentation collects and systematizes information about nature, the environment, and socioeconomic conditions in the Barents Region. This work results in the publication of newsletters, reports, books, and videos, some of which are described below.

"Overviews of Russian Institutions"

The Svanhovd Environmental Center has been publishing extended "Overviews of Russian Institutions" (ORIs) since 1993. Part of Svanhovd's report series, these Russian surveys include contact names and information for scientific institutions, along with their primary fields of activity. The ORIs provide information about institutions in the Russian regions of Arkhangelsk, Karelia, Komi, Murmansk, and Nenets that are active in the fields of information technology, environment, forestry, and agriculture.

The Barents Program in Norway is financing updated ORIs for 1998, which the SEC is preparing with assistance from the Institute of Industrial Ecology Problems of the North (INEP) in Apatity; Pomor University in Arkhangelsk; the Biological Institute of Komi Scientific Center in Syktyvkar; and the Ecological Center for the Study of Eastern European Tundra Protection (ECET) in Syktyvkar. The collection of data for this issue will be completed in January 1998, and final ORI reports are slated for publication in April.

ORIs are available in English and can be obtained for approximately NOK 100. They can also be accessed on the Internet at URL: http://www.svanhovd.no/english/erapport.htm.

Svanhovd Updates

The SEC publishes two periodic newsletters, both of which are available free of charge and always welcome new subscribers:
  • News from Svanhovd" provides periodic updates on activities and publications of the Svanhovd Environmental Center.
  • Svanhovd's monthly bulletin contains environmental news from Russia and English abstracts that provide information on current environmental issues, living conditions, and cooperative activities in the Barents Region.


The SEC began publishing the "BarentsWatch" magazine in 1995 with financial support from the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment. Each issue contains surveys, research results, and articles about the Barents region. The next issue, due out in February 1998, will take the form of an environmental atlas for the Barents region and Svalbard. It will contain articles, facts, and maps affording a profile of the region's characteristics, population, protected areas, and state of the environment. Several areas in the Barents region contain almost entirely intact ecosystems, and it is an important part of the Arctic landscape.

UNEP-GRID-Arendal supplied maps for this issue, while the Norwegian Directorate of Nature Management, the Norwegian Polar Institute, and the Svanhovd Environmental Center contributed advice, data, and articles.

"BarentsWatch 98" will be published in English, Norwegian, and Russian. It is available for NOK 60 plus postage, while "BarentsWatch 95" and "96" are each available in English and Norwegian for a charge of NOK 50. Subscriptions to the annual "BarentsWatch" series are also welcome.


For more information on the Svanhovd Environmental Center's publications, conference facilities, research projects, or other services, please contact: Svanhovd Environmental Center, N-9925 Svanvik, Norway; Tel: +47 78 97 36 00; Fax: +47 78 97 36 01; E-mail: Svanhovd.miljosenter@svanhovd.no; URL: http://www.svanhovd.no.

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook

1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-03-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

Funding & Exchange
F&P Database Search
Additional Information

Education & Science

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole