PROACT ICELAND
AFTENPOSTEN OSLO
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Aftenposten is one of the leading and most widely distributed and read Norwegian newspapers.

Cut and paste the text below and send it to the following address(es)by email, fax or post:

[A Proact Team letter, with currently 235 signatures, will also be sent in addition to individual contributions]

email to Staff Reporters Aftenposten



.... and copy please to...

PROACT

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and, online (in English):

Aftenposten

The 'English' Desk - Staff Profiles

Cut and Paste from here
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ICELAND IS NO PLACE FOR NORSK HYDRO

Aftenposten A/S
Oslo
Norge

Dear Staff Members of the Aftenposten,

We have a few public questions for Norsk Hydro!

Earlier this year the Icelandic Nature Conservation Association, Náttúruverndarsamtök Íslands, appealed to conservationists worldwide to support them in their campaign to prevent the irreversible environmental damage that would be caused if the Kárahnjúkavirkjun hydroelectric project was to go ahead without consideration of the environmental impact.

Very many of us wrote to the State Planning Agency (Skipulag), the Environment Minister, Siv Fridleifsdottir, and Norsk Hydro (who need the hydroelectric project for their planned aluminium smelting plant). We received no reply from any of these organisations. Environmental protection and international concern is obviously not very high on their list of priorities.

Some of us did receive a reply from The National Power Company of Iceland, Landsvirkjun, who stated i.a.:

"We did extensive research on the habitat of all forms of life in the area affected, including birdlife. ..... The conclusion of that research is that your fear for birdlife and endangered species is groundless. Effects on bird habitats will be minimal ..... ."

We are therefore delighted to read the results of the environmental impact study which have now been made public by the Environmental Planning Agency. This report clearly identifies the grave consequences for the environment should the project go ahead as planned.

We hope that the responsible ministries and agencies do not ignore, or act against, the findings of this report. We also hope that the reports from Iceland that speak of a smear campaign at the highest level against the EPA, in order to discredit its findings, are unfounded. The credibility of the elected representatives would suffer irredeemably, both in Iceland and the rest of the world, as a result. We hope that they will act courageously in this matter and not be diverted from this to serve shabby, short term personal and political interests. We will be following developments closely.

In this respect light needs to be shed on the continued involvement of Norsk Hydro. They are keeping a very low profile indeed. No mention of Iceland is made on their website and they have not responded to earlier communications. In view of the unclear position and motives of Icelandic politicians to the report; the clear findings of the EPA report; the negative prognoses of a profitability study of the project (on our site - below); and the interests of the citizens of Iceland whose pension funds may be at stake, it is probably time for Norsk Hydro to retire gracefully. We have urged them to do this (letter on site). To continue to be allied with the project could easily be interpreted as an unjustifiable intrusion in Icelandic internal affairs.

We have again written to all others concerned to appeal to their common sense and to take this opportunity to reconsider the Kárahnjúkavirkjun project.

In the hope that the Icelandic national decision-makers will stick courageously to the ruling of the EPA, and secure the unspoilt regions of your magnificent environment for the benefit of future generations of Icelanders - and for the common European natural heritage, we remain,

Yours sincerely




[Add Name & Address]

Further information on this campaign at
< http://proaction.tripod.com/Iceland/index.html >
and on Proact at
< http://proaction.tripod.com >

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