Three Icelandic wetlands have been added to the Ramsar Convention, bringing the number of Iceland’s protected wetlands to six, RÚV reports.
The areas newly protected under the convention are Eyjabakkasvæðið, a wetland east of the Vatnajökull glacier; Guðlaugstungur Nature Reserve, an extensive wetland in the central highlands; and the Andakíll Protected Habitat Area, located at the estuary in Borgarfjörður. These three sites join the Mývatn-Laxá area, Þjórsárver, and Grunnafjörð, which were already protected under the convention.
All of the wetlands listed under the Ramsar Convention are breeding grounds for large populations of birds and geese and are imperative to the lives of many species.
The Ramsar Secretariat had recently called upon the government to review the environmental impact of Landsvirkjun’s power plant in the Mývatn-Laxá area. Not surprisingly, Landsvirkjun does not believe there is reason to revisit the environmental assessment despite concerns that the area could be damaged.
The Ramsar Convention is an “intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources” signed in Ramsar, Iran in 1971.
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