On the brink of destruction
Norwegian ecologists and representatives of oil and gas companies continue discussions concerning decline in hydrocarbons output according to the Paris Agreements.
Thus a difficult ecological dilemma was formed around the decision of Norwegian government with regard to development of a new brass minefield in the north part of the country. The resolution gives Norwegian mining company Nussir an operating license for copper mining in Kvalsund municipality as well as entitles to dump wastes into the Repparfjord. Such an approach met a sharp critic on the part of local population supporting preservation of the ecology and arctic nature.
According to the statement of Norwegian Minister of Trade, Industry and Fisheres Ò.Isaksen the transition to green economy depends on increasing production of new metals which are planned to be used in high technologies. Besides, the company Nussir ASA notes that industrial wastes in processing will be lowered to bottom instead of being mounted and mixed with water. Such procedure will lower the risk of pollution of the water area of Barents sea.
Nevertheless, utilization of heavy metals in high sea causes fears of ecologists and local population. Norwegian experts and the representatives of organisations on environmental protection note that dumping wastes in the sea is caused by the cheapness of this way of burial. At the same time the damage to marine environment will threaten the population of salmon and other field fish of Northern and Barents seas with destruction. Moreover, the head of Norwegian department of the organisation Friends of the Earth S.Lundberg, noted that decision to develop the copper field is accepted contrary to experts' opinion and that it is actually one of the most pernicious actions for environment in the kingdom history.
At the same time, a resolute protest was stated by local residents - saamijk-reindeer herders. In particular, the representative of the Norwegian Sami Association B.Niilas stated that copper mining will have too serious consequences for culture and lifestyle of indigenous population, fishery and animal industries. They point it out that mining field is located in the area of migration and deers breeding. In the case of launching of mining, all these processes will be infringed which will have an extremely negative effect on the population of animals in the region.
Saami' fears are shared by the cattlemen of other Northern countries - Russia, Canada and USA. At the same time, negative consequences of climatic changes, environmental pollution, spreads of oil and poaching are considered to be main problems of the branch development.
Norwegian Sami Association declared of its determination to continue struggle against mine opening in Kvalsund. The representatives of the association with support of Norwegian Sami parliament intend to raise the question for discussion in the UN.
Thus the approval of copper mining, which wastes will be dumped into protected national fjord, is a bright proof of the fact that the incomes of large companies take precedence over interests of indigenous population of the North of the country.