Icelanders Demonstrate Against Developing The Highlands - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders Demonstrate Against Developing The Highlands

Published November 17, 2015

Photos by
Matthew Eisman

Icelanders gathered en masse in front of parliament yesterday evening to protest against the development of the Highlands.

Vísir reports that those gathered specifically object to tentative government plans to lay power lines and develop power plants in one of Europe’s last pristine wildernesses.

“We protest all further plans for dams, reservoirs, built-up-roads and power lines in the Icelandic Highlands, the largest untouched territory south of the Arctic Circle!,” organisers posted in a Facebook page of the event. “We protest further heavy industries and other ill-conceived short term solutions, which go against Iceland’s aims of reduced emissions with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the upcoming meeting in Paris, November 30th to December 10th.”

As reported, artist Björk Guðmundsdóttir and author Andri Snær Magnason helped launch an initiative to make the Highlands a national park.

While Minister of Industry Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir contended that Björk got some of her facts wrong about what the government plans to do with the area, Björk responded in part that “advocates of heavy industry here haven’t done much listening to the majority of the nation. [Y]ou have mostly gone full steam ahead without asking anybody.”

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