On February 9, 1920 the Svalbard Treaty recognized Norwegian sovereignty over the Arctic archipelago Svalbard which had formerly been a no-man’s-land, belonging to no other nation and not a proper nation in itself.
Situated 74º – 81º latitude, it is approximately halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Svalbard has 99 days of midnight sun and 84 days of polar night. Day in Svalbard is from April 20 to August 23 while night is from October 26 to February 15.
Svalbard has the world’s northernmost permanent civilian population. Research, tourism, and mining are the most important industries, however, the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault are also found there.
Photograph by Noel Bauza