Cut and Paste from here
[Addressee - only necessary for letters]
WE URGE YOU NOT TO DESTROY ICELANDS NATURAL HERITAGE
We are writing to you to express our grave concern over the reported plans for the Icelandic
National Power Companys Kárahnjúkavirkjun hydroelectric project in the incomparable Icelandic Highlands. It is incomprehensible
that such a project, with severe consequences for the nature and environment in Iceland, should have the support of the Icelandic
It is hard to believe that official sanction could be given to such a massive intervention in the natural
environment, with far-reaching effects for some 3% of the countrys landmass. Not only that - the largest coherent wilderness
in Western Europe, the heritage of past and future generations, will be destroyed.
It is particularly worrying that
the prospect of causing irreversible damage to the natural structures and relationships, by the diversion and redistribution
of rivers and complete drainage systems, does not appear to have been considered. The consequences of building dams and reservoirs
in order to produce energy for an, as yet to be built aluminium smelting works, in co-operation with Norsk Hydro, will have
critical and long-lasting consequences for Iceland. The acceptance of the expected effluence and toxic emission levels, which
are expected to increase current national values by over 30% (!), are irresponsible not only for Iceland and its population;
but also global in terms of climate-warming and pollution.
The habitats for many forms of flora and fauna, over an
area of 3000 square kilometres, will be destroyed or seriously affected by the planned project. Iceland will be in breach
of several international agreements including the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Bern Convention on Conservation of European
wildlife and natural habitats and the Agreement on Diversity of Species. In particular the important habitats of many bird
species are threatened, some of them on the Icelandic Red List of threatened species. These include the Red-throated Diver,
Slavonian Grebe, Pink-footed Goose, Gyrfalcon, Whimbrel, Red-necked Phalarope, Arctic Skua, and Snowy Owl.
you to reflect that Icelands nature is a major capital reserve which will be depleted when the numbers of tourists which
visit each year significantly decrease. The attraction which brings them to your shores, and encourages them to contribute
their dollars and euros to your economy, is the intact and unspoilt nature which your island has to offer. When this disappears
to a marked extent, which will be the logical consequence of your plans, the tourist economy will suffer. As for factories,
there are more than enough of these in the rest of Europe and the world without Iceland adding to the global environmental
burden. Only a minority will profit from this massively destructive project and Iceland as a whole will benefit little from
the short-term financial profits.
We appeal to you to review this project to the benefit of the natural environment
of Iceland. In the affected region natural phenomena exist which are unique natural occurrences and part of the region is
a declared nature reserve.
We hope that you can be persuaded to abandon this pointless destructive project and instead
direct your efforts into the creation of the largest national park in Europe a development for which present and future generations
of Icelanders and foreign nature lovers will be eternally grateful.
Name & Address]