From Iceland — Minister For The Environment Disagrees With Specialists

Minister For The Environment Disagrees With Specialists

Published January 13, 2014

Minister for the Environment Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson says he disagrees with environmental specialists against changes to the protected area of Þjórsárver and wonders why politicians cannot be political when it is acceptable for professionals, reports RÚV.
The 10 specialists in question were once part of a commission working on the preservation of Iceland’s natural and cultural heritage. The group dismisses the environmental minister’s reasoning for the controversial decision to change the protected area in Þjórsárver. This change would make way for the construction of Norðlingalda Reservoir for electrical power.
The specialists argue that the size of the area that the minister wished to revoke protection for in his original presentation in December has expanded considerably in the second phase of the proposal.
Jóhannsson disagrees, saying that the increase in the area facing loss of protection is actually minimal. He also added that the specialists who were on this commission finished their work for the government two years ago, that they are entitled to their opinions but that it is now up to parliament to make a decision regarding Þjórsárver.
When asked if he believed the environmental specialists assessment was political Jóhannsson replied, “I have been wondering lately where the difference lies between politicians who are not allowed to politically assess any results and professionals who have full right to be political anytime.”
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