Da guida turistica a diplomatico
Vom Tourguide zum Diplomaten (original)
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At Longyearbyen, capital of Spitzbergen, part of Norway's Svalbard archipelago, the average temperature this summer was 7.7°C – the highest ever recorded.
“The climate has changed rapidly here over the past 15 years,” says Marcel Schütz, 34, who has been Switzerland's honorary consul on the Arctic island for two years.
Located between Norway and the North Pole, the Svalbard archipelago serves as an important location to measure the state of climate change for scientists from around the world.“Swiss research institutions have carried out over 100 projects on Spitsbergen [the archipelago's biggest island] in recent years,” Schütz.
But often visitors find themselves in tricky situations.“For example, if a researcher has an accident in the field or there are uncertainties about the regulations," explains the former Bern resident.
Snowy landscapes in all directions. Bruno Kaufmann, SRF
He began working on the island in the restaurant business, then as a tour guide. Nowadays he supports expeditions with their logistics and accompanies them as a photographer. For the past two years he has been Bern's official representative on Spitsbergen.“As Switzerland's honorary consul, I am the link to the distant homeland in case of crisis,” says Schütz, who is the main foreign diplomat living on the island.
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