arctic_blog

On the brink of destruction

Norwegian  ecologists and representatives of oil and gas companies continue  discussions concerning decline in hydrocarbons output according to the  Paris Agreements.

Thus a difficult ecological dilemma was  formed around the decision of Norwegian government with regard to  development of a new brass minefield in the north part of the country.  The resolution gives Norwegian mining company Nussir an operating  license for copper mining in Kvalsund municipality as well as entitles  to dump wastes into the Repparfjord. Such an approach met a sharp critic  on the part of local population supporting preservation of the ecology  and arctic nature.

According to the statement of Norwegian  Minister of Trade, Industry and Fisheres Ò.Isaksen the transition to  green economy depends on increasing production of new metals which are  planned to be used in high technologies. Besides, the company Nussir ASA  notes that industrial wastes in processing will be lowered to bottom  instead of being mounted and mixed with water. Such procedure will lower  the risk of pollution of the water area of Barents sea.

Nevertheless, utilization of heavy  metals in high sea causes fears of ecologists and local population.  Norwegian experts and the representatives of organisations on  environmental protection note that dumping wastes in the sea is caused  by the cheapness of this way of burial. At the same time the damage to  marine environment will threaten the population of salmon and other  field fish of Northern and Barents seas with destruction. Moreover, the  head of Norwegian department of the organisation “Friends of the Earth”  S.Lundberg, noted that decision to develop the copper field is accepted  contrary to experts' opinion and that it is actually one of the most  pernicious actions for environment in the kingdom history.

At the same time, a resolute protest was  stated by local residents - saamijk-reindeer herders. In particular,  the representative of the Norwegian Sami Association B.Niilas stated  that copper mining will have too serious consequences for culture and  lifestyle of indigenous population, fishery and animal industries. They  point it out that mining field is located in the area of migration and  deers’ breeding. In the case of launching of mining, all these processes  will be infringed which will have an extremely negative effect on the  population of animals in the region.

Saami' fears are shared by the cattlemen  of other Northern countries - Russia, Canada and USA. At the same time,  negative consequences of climatic changes, environmental pollution,  spreads of oil and poaching are considered to be main problems of the  branch development.

Norwegian Sami Association declared of  its determination to continue struggle against mine opening in Kvalsund.  The representatives of the association with support of Norwegian Sami  parliament intend to raise the question for discussion in the UN.

Thus the approval of copper mining,  which wastes will be dumped into protected national fjord, is a bright  proof of the fact that the incomes of large companies take precedence  over interests of indigenous population of the North of the country.

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