From Iceland — Environmentalists Seek Meeting With Officials

Environmentalists Seek Meeting With Officials

Published September 25, 2013

Activists objecting to plans for a new road through a protected lava field are calling for a meeting with the government.
As reported, the lava fields of Gálgahraun, which is located on the Álftanes peninsula, were officially protected in 2009. However, this has not stopped the Icelandic Road Administration (Vegagerðin) from beginning construction of a new road which would partially cut through the lava field.
This sparked protests, followed by direct action, as protesters – among them, journalist and environmentalist Ómar Ragnarsson – put themselves between the lava field and the machines, stopping construction.
Vísir now reports that Supreme Court lawyer Skúli Bjarnason wrote an open letter to the Ministry of the Interior calling for a meeting, adding that the ministry ought to “take control of [Vegagerðin] before things go bad.”
The ministry responded in turn that they cannot get involved with stopping a construction project after it has already begun without risking having to pay significant damages. They recommend instead that protesters speak directly with Vegagerðin.
The situation has stalemated, for now, but Grapevine will keep readers informed as matters develop.

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