The research station NIBIO Svanhovd was established in 1936 as a testing and demonstration farm for agricultural development in subarctic areas by the ministry of Agriculture. Today the station is a part of NIBIO – the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research. Svanhovd also have a full board conference center for for 50 guests.

We are established on the border of Norway towards Russia. From our cantina windows, we see into Russia. Here at 69oN and 30oE we are not only far north, but also far more east than most people think, that is east of Istanbul.

At Svanhovd we work on various aspects of subarctic agriculture or nature management. The work on brown bears is an important part of our work that draws a lot of attention from schools, media and tourists. Our aim is mainly to understand how the populations of the bears develop, and how individual bears use the area. This is important to know in order to avoid problem bears, i.e. bears entering villages and towns to search for garbage, or predating on domestic reindeer.

Other work that we do includes biodiversity, climate, pollution (we are monitoring, for example, radioactive downfall), and agricultural productions, especially how to re-establish the old and local types of vegetables that have better resistance. One of the overall goals in all our work is to understand benefits and drawbacks of how we use the ecosystem services around us, and also to find ecosystem services that we don’t know of yet.

Svanhovd in the winter 2015-16 (photo: Norges Grensevakt)

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