Survival International – The Norwegian government has sold its shares in British company Rio Tinto, whose Grasberg mine in West Papua, Indonesia, has devastated the land of the Amungme and Kamoro tribes. Norway sold its almost £500 million shares in Rio Tinto following recommendations from its Council on Ethics to exclude the company from its government pension fund. The Council made its recommendation due to ‘a risk of contributing to severe environmental damage’ through Rio Tinto’s participation in the Grasberg copper and gold mine. Read More
'Ecology' Tag Archive
In a special report on the environment, Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir, minister for the environment in Iceland, says that Icelandic nature has suffered from aluminium production and needs increased protection. “It is time to correct the injustice nature and environmental protection has faced because of heavy industry,” says the report.
She says Iceland’s nature is valuable, and conserving it is a way of utilising the resource. In the past Iceland’s nature, it’s rivers and geothermal fields have been seen as ‘unutilised resources’ that are almost asking for exploitation. This view, held by many Icelandic politicians and entrepreneurs, is a modern interpretation of 17th century Cartesian thought. Read More
For the international action week in solidarity with the activists fighting at the camp in Iceland, some activists of the Swiss S.I. Supporters Group hand delivered a letter to the Icelandic Consuls and Ambassador in Switzerland. It contained an “ecological message for the Icelandic government” which we asked to be forwarded to the ministers for industry, the environment and economic affairs. Read More
Jul 20 2008
On Wednesday July 23, 19.30 h. Saving Iceland will hold a conference with the Indian writer, scientist and aluminium expert Samarendra Das and ‘Dreamland’ author Andri Snær Magnusson, on the influence of the aluminium industry in the third world. Also, the concept of aluminium as a ‘green’ product will be examined. The evening is organised jointly with Futureland. It will take place at the Reykjavikurakademian house on Hringbraut 121. Read More
This morning Saving Iceland built a small dam in front of Landsvirkjun’s office entrance so the workers had either to step over the dam to get inside or use a different entrance. With this peaceful demonstration Saving Iceland wanted to protest upcoming three dams that Landsvirkjun, the national energy company, hopes to build in lower Þjórsá river. At the same time SI sends support and solidarity to all the people fighting this destruction.
6 March 2008
In the current issue of the British science journal Nature, a study on the ecosystem at Lake Mývatn, northeast Iceland, is featured as the cover story, which concludes that minor changes caused by humans in ecosystems can have dramatic impacts.
Nov 28 2007
Reykjavík Energy (OR) is examining the feasibility of harnessing Farid, a river that runs out of Hagavatn lake, south of Langjökull glacier in Iceland’s western highlands, and constructing a 30 to 40 MW hydroelectric plant there.
Farid would be dammed and another dam would also be constructed above Leynifoss waterfall, Morgunbladid reports.
The Ministry of Industry granted permission earlier this year for OR to examine this possibility and to see whether the prevention soil eruption and production of hydroelectric power could go together.
Employees of the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland have long considered damming the river to prevent soil eruption in the area since they believe it originates in the dried-up base of Hagavatn lake.
The Icelandic Institute of Natural History, however, believes that if Hagavatn lake is used as a reservoir, soil erosion from its base will increase in late winter and early summer.
Director of the Icelandic Tourist Association Ólafur Örn Haraldsson is against the plans. “A dam and a power plant will destroy one of the most spectacular land formation processes of Langjökull,” he said, adding the area is like an open and easily readable geology book.
Haraldsson said the area is becoming an increasingly popular hiking destination, which has the potential to become as popular as Laugavegur hiking route to Landmannalaugar, south Iceland.
Prime minister Geir H. Harde has revealed his opinion that Iceland should negotiate for another special deal on carbon emmissions in the upcoming 2012 Kyoto agreement renewal. Read More
Nov 08 2007
7 November 2007
Only two days after the glorious inauguration of the turbines at Kárahnjúkar dam, further structural problems are already emerging.
Icelandic paper Morgunbladid revealed today that severe leakages in the tunnels leading to the turbines are releasing 200 litres of water per second onto the ground surface, forming a swamp currently about a third of a hectare in size. When asked to comment on the situation, Kárahnjúkarvirkjun spokesperson Sigurdur Arnalds said the water loss was of no consequence.
Regardless of whether or not we should believe Arnalds, the revelation that tunnel water is reaching the ground water breaches one of Siv Fridleifsdottir’s [ex-Minister of Environment who pushed through the project] fundamental stipulations (no. 14):
That Kárahnjúkarvirkjun should NOT interfere with ground water levels. Read More
In an interview on the radio program ‘Spegillinn’ on 23 October geophysicist Páll Einarsson said that an eruption in Upptyppingar would probably disrupt the flow of the immense glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Upptyppingar volcano lies on the bank of Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Einarsson said that the first effects of the eruption would be that the river would evaporate from the heat of the lava. Running lava would block the course of the river so that when the river would materialize again it would collect in a lake that would then overflow with unknown consequences.
This flood could pose a great danger to the surrounding farming communities and hikers, who will be almost untraceable in the great wilderness. Eight hours notice would not be enough time to warn people and secure the wilderness say rescue services.
So, it turns out that the Kárahnjukar project, which so far has entailed the complete destruction of two of Iceland’s major glacial rivers, Jökulá á Brú and Jökulsá á Fljótsdal, just to run an aluminium smelter owned by arms manufacturer ALCOA, is in fact likely to destroy the third major glacial river, the magnificent Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
Members of parliament have repeatedly claimed that they wanted to protect the whole of Jökulsá á Fjöllum, even ALCOA have paid lip service to the proposal.
Jökulsá á Fjöllum hosts Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss. The river runs through the protected canyon of Jökulsárgljúfur National Park and past the magical area of Hljóðaklettar, much loved by tourists. All this is now threatened by the man-made eruption.
Some would say that this is vandalism of catastrophic proportions.