Stop – Save the Garden!

Stop – Save the Garden!

A concert and screening for Icelandic nature - Stop - Save the Garden!

On Tuesday March 18 Darren Aronofsky's movie Noah will premier and Björk, Highlands, Patti Smith, Mammút, Retro Stefson, Of Monsters and Men, Samaris og Lykke Li will perform at a concert. 

A joint statement from Landvernd, Icelandic Environment Association, Iceland Nature Conservation Association and other Icelandic nature conservation associations:

All over the world too much of priceless nature has been sacrificed for development, often falsely labeled as sustainable. Rain forests have been cut, waterfalls dammed, land eroded, lakes and oceans polluted, earth’s climate altered and the oceans are now rapidly getting more and more acidic. 

In Iceland, the Karahnjukar Power Plant has become the symbol for the destruction which threatens human existence on this earth. It is our duty to protect Icelandic nature and leave it to future generations, undamaged.

The Icelandic highlands, Europe's largest remaining wilderness – where nature is still largely untouched by man, is not just a refuge and treasure which we inherited and will inherit. The highland belong to world as a whole. Nowhere else we can find another Lake Myvatn, Thjorsarver Wetlands, Sprengisand, Skaftafell or Lake Langisjor.

We demand that Thjorsarver Wetlands, the wilderness west of Thjorsa River and the waterfalls downstream will be protected for all future to come. We strongly protest plans by the Minister for the Environment and Resources to change the demarcation line for the extended nature reserve in the Thjorsarver Wetlands. By doing so, the minister creates a space for a new dam at the outskirts of the area. The way in which the minister interprets the law in order to justify that all nature areas and/or potential power plants are at stake in each and every new phase of the Master Plan for Conservation and Utilization of Nature Areas is an attack on Icelandic nature and not likely to stand in a court of law. [We have engaged a law firm and we are threatening lawsuit if the Minister goes ahead with his plan]

We now have a unique opportunity to turn the highlands into a national park by bill of law to be adopted by the parliament. Thereby the highlands as a whole will be subject to one administrative unit and clearly defined geographically. Thus all plans for power lines, road construction and/or other man made structures which will fragment valuable landscapes of the highlands will belong to history.

We strongly caution against any plans to construct a geothermal power plant at or near Lake Myvatn. The Bjarnarflag Power Plant is not worth the risk. Lake Myvatn is absolute unique in this world. Hence, we have a great responsibility for its protection.

We demand that the nature of Reykjanes Penisula will be protected by establishing a volcanic national park and that all power lines will be put underground.

We find it urgent that the government will secure funds for conservation by hiring land wardens and will protect valuable nature areas against the ever growing pressure of mass tourism.

In particular we do protest to the attack against nature conservationists, where unprecedented and brutal conduct by the police as well as charges pressed against those who want to protect the Galgahraun Lava, as being cruel and unnecessary. We remind of the right of the public to protest nature damage everywhere, worldwide, is a basic premise for the success of securing future human existence on this earth.


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