While the Conservatives (Høyre) and Frp oppose the idea of accepting 10,000 refugees for next two years due to hosting capacity in municipalities, FrP politician Christian Eikeland proposes an extra ordinary solution.
– If the Parliament accepts that Norway should accept 10,000 refugees by rejecting the capacity argument, then we can create a refugee camp in Svalbard, says Eikeland to NRK.
He notes that the camp can be used to host refugees from Syria for a temporary period till other munuicipalities offer a place.
Christian Eikeland is aware of the challenges related to the harsh weather and social conditions in Svalbard, but still believes it is possible.
Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The islands of the group range from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya.
The archipelago features an Arctic climate, although with significantly higher temperatures than other areas at the same latitude. The flora take advantage of the long period of midnight sun to compensate for the polar night. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also features polar bears, reindeer, the Arctic fox, and certain marine mammals. Seven national parks and twenty-three nature reserves cover two-thirds of the archipelago, protecting the largely untouched, yet fragile, natural environment. Approximately 60% of the archipelago is covered with glaciers, and the islands feature many mountains and fjords.