Department for Cultural Environment and Polar Affairs

The department works with strategy and policy development for the conservation and sustainable use of the cultural environment and for climate and environment in the polar and northern regions. The department has agency management responsibility for the Directorate for Cultural Heritage, the Norwegian Cultural Heritage Fund, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, as well as ownership responsibility for Kings Bay AS.

The department consists of the following sections

  • Department Secretariat

    The Department Secretariat is responsible for the department's work on the national budget, financial management, grant management, reporting, closing of accounts in connection with the central government accounts and activity planning. It also contributes to the agency management of the Directorate for Cultural Heritage, the Norwegian Cultural Heritage Fund, the Norwegian Polar Institute and Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund. In addition, the Department Secretariat coordinates administrative matters on behalf of the entire department.

  • Section for Heritage, Land Use and Legal Affairs

    The section works on the application of laws and regulations in the field of cultural environment in various cases of land use. The section is responsible for the work on the new Cultural Environment Act, regulations related to the Cultural Heritage Fund, other laws and regulations that affect the cultural environment, and for safeguarding the cultural environment in all types of land use issues and in various planning processes, as well as for guidelines and guidance in this area. The section works on archaeology, buildings and structures, vessel protection, Sami and minorities and Polar issues.

    Deputy Director General Hege Skalleberg Gjerde

  • Section for Cultural Environment and Development

    The section works on the links between the cultural environment and social development. It is responsible for the work on knowledge development, cultural environment statistics and environmental data, urban environment and site development, voluntary organisations and the cooperation areas cultural heritage/natural heritage/landscape and outdoor recreation, as well as a broad international portfolio (UNESCO World Heritage, EU, EEA, Council of Europe and Nordic cultural environment cooperation).

    Deputy Director General Berit Halvorsen

  • Section for Polar Affairs and the High North

    The section is responsible for national policy development and international work related to the environment in the Polar regions and the High North. It has special responsibility for the management of the natural environment on Svalbard, and managing the Norwegian Polar Institute, Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund and the environmental protection work of the Governor of Svalbard. The section manages the state’s ownership of Kings Bay AS and Bjørnøen AS. Developing research-based knowledge about the environment in the Polar regions is an important instrument in this work.

    Deputy Director General Aud Ingvild Slettemoen