Icelandic activists plead for international help to save ancient wilderness

The Icelandic highlands are the last great expanse of true wilderness left in Western Europe. Now the country’s hydro-electric potential has been targeted by multinational corporations, who intend to establish large scale heavy industry in these hitherto pristine hinterlands. These multinational vandals - willingly helped by the Icelandic government - are about to produce an environmental catastrophe of unprecedented proportions.
A series of gigantic dams is already under construction at Karahnjukar, in the eastern highlands of Iceland. These dams are designated solely to generate energy for one massive Alcoa aluminium smelter to be built by war-profiteers Bechtel in the pristine fjord of Reydarfjordur, due to be operational in 2007. The national grid will not derive a single kilowatt for domestic use. The natural habitat of many rare and endangered plants and animals will be submerged, lost, destroyed.
Other aluminium corporations - such as Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) - are greedily lining up for the cheap energy supply promised by future hydro-electric dam projects planned all over the Icelandic highlands. Incredibly some areas earmarked for destruction - such as Kringilsarrani and Thjorsarver in the southern highlands - are protected under Icelandic and international law. All are of outstanding natural beauty and their unique botanical, geological, biological and ecological characteristics are of universal scientific importance.
Thus far the Icelandic government has not hesitated to use tactics such as personal threats and professional persecution against individuals who oppose its energy policies, and Icelandic environmentalists are preparing for a difficult battle that they predict will not be won overnight. The support of international environmentalists and their participation in the 2005 gathering/conference will be of paramount importance in that battle.
There is a growing awareness amongst the Icelandic population that the Karahnjukar dams are ill-fated. The immense problems entailed in their construction and the massive scale of the ensuing environmental destruction is becoming clearer every day.
However, it is not too late: The Karahnjukar dam construction is already falling behind schedule. Experts concur that 90% of the irreversible environmental damage will be done only when the water floods the land - projected for 2006 but now likely to be later.
The longer the construction of the dams goes on the less time the land destroyers have and the more time WE have to stop them.
Nobody can afford to allow the divine Icelandic dragon of flowers and ice to be devastated by the deadly hand of corporate greed.
The international gathering is projected for July 2005 (after the G8) and will take place in the dam-affected area. For more information and to indicate your interest in joining us please email beautiful_iceland@yahoo.co.uk
Read a thorough analysis of the situation