There are many impact factors for the environment in Svalbard and on Jan Mayen, and it is often difficult to assess how the sum of all the impact factors together with climate change affects the environment. Pollution is mostly transported to the area, since there are few local discharges or emissions.
People may disturb wildlife and inflict wear and tear on the vegetation. Fisheries and hunting of marine mammals affect the populations of the species concerned, and even though they are sustainably managed it is important to monitor the activity. Hunting of animals and birds living on land is regulated to prevent their populations being negatively affected, and data on the bag size of the individual species are essential for the management authorities.