The Icelandic government is investigating better ways to fund Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg—the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue—which is currently reliant almost entirely on charity and the sale of fireworks.
According to Fréttablaðið, Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir is appointing a working group aimed at reducing the organisation’s reliance on the sale of fireworks. This practice raises around 700 to 800 million ISK a year for the association, and forms a major part of its income.
Part of this endeavour concerns the fact that there are grave concerns over the air pollution which results from the intensive use of these fireworks in Reykjavík at New Year, and the resulting risk to the health of residents—a view supported last month in a government report. The report also highlighted the impact of fireworks on the well-being of animals, and the human anti-social behaviour which sometimes accompanies their use.
Previous attempts to ban or limit firework sales have been countered using the argument that this would drastically reduce income for the association, and so compromise the safety of Icelanders.
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