Monday, August 10, 2015

Destroy This Pristine Tourist Attraction?

The pristine Førde Fjord as seen from the mountain they want to demolish and dump in the fjord.
The Norwegian government has authorized the disposal of 300 million tons of mining waste in the pristine and virtually untouched Førde Fjord. It is among the fjords that twice have been voted the best preserved attraction on UNESCO’s World Heritage List by National Geographic. The Førde Fjord is also one of the best breeding grounds for fish on the West Coast and two of the country's finest salmon rivers flow into the fjord. Please help us stop this madness, through your support to a marketing campaign for political parties opposing the plans. The election is September 14.

We humbly ask for your help to run an effective marketing campaign to inform voters of the monumental consequences, and to help secure a majority against the fjord disposal. Funds will be used for ads in papers, posters and direct marketing. 
Please contribute.
Naturvernforbundet, an environmental organization, has labelled the plans "one of the worst pollution scandals in modern Norwegian history". (Les på norsk - Norwegian version.)
The local 21 person strong district council can overturn the government’s controversial decision, given that the five parties against the fjord disposal obtain at least 11 seats following the election on September 14. The county council (one of 19 in Norway) is elected on the same day and have a say too. So do the other three districts alongside the fjord.
This will bizarelly be the first time that voters actually get their say on this major issue. The plans of the mining company were not finalized in 2007. And still the local politicians that were elected that year said yes to the fjord disposal in 2011, without a mandate from voters.  
A new district council can reverse that decision. Other districts and the county can also engage pressure.
The 300 millions tons of waste include 112 kilos of mercury annually. That is almost ten times as much as the 12-15 kilos of mercury which are being emitted in all of Norway per year (divided on 100,000 kilometeres of coastline). The rest of the waste is made up by heavy metals, nano-particles and fine grained dust – all of which negatively affect and kill marine life.  
We find it incredible that Nordic Mining, a company with three employees and a bank overdraft of zero, has successfully managed to lobby local politicians and the government into accepting what will ultimately contribute to destroy Norway's reputation as a pristine, clean and spectacular paradise. Not to mention the effect it will have on Norway's fish exports.
And it is beyond belief that the project has been given the green light by so-called environmental minister Tine Sundtoft. On the date of her ministry's acceptance, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg was campaigning for Norwegian salmon in Vietnam, giving away free samples of healthy fish from the clean fjords of Norway. All featured on the 7 o'clock national news on Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.
Oh, the irony.
Can you imagine that beautiful Norway is one of only five countries in the world that actually allow sea disposals? (The others are Papa New Guinea, Turkey, Chile and Indonesia.) Neither can foreigners that hear about these plans. We are met by shock and despair by people who love nature. And only 7% of Norwegians support the practice of sea disposals.  
Someone needs to take responsibility when the government doesn't. We hope that you will help us Save Our Pristine Fjord through local democracy - the crown funding campaign is live on
Any gift is most welcome and highly appreciated
This madness has been covered internationally by The Guardian, The Telegraph, The BBC and a range of others. Thank you for taking the time to read up on this.
The Førde Fjord seen from Naustdal.