The fight for the fjord continues

Last week, our battle for Førdefjorden was lost in court. The argument that disposal of waste from mining in the fjord should not be permitted did not preveil. Additionally, both The Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature (Naturvernforbundet) and Nature and Youth (Natur og Ungdom) were charged to pay 1.4 million Norwegian kroner of the states legal costs.

This verdict exposes that there is little or no functional legal protection of nature in Norway. We are both angry and disappointed. The state has sanctioned the use of Førdefjorden as a dump site for the mining industry, and the district court has upheld it. Furthermore, it is completely outrageous that we have to cover the state’s legal costs for our efforts to prevent the pollution of an important and beautiful fjord. This is a severe setback for the fight for Norwegian nature,» states Truls Gulowsen, the leader of Naturvernforbundet. 

No Support

No support was received for the contention that the permits, allowing the dumping of mining waste in Førdefjorden, are based on a mistaken interpretation of EEA legal environmental requirements in the Water Framework Directive and the Waste Directive. The court also chose not to give credence to the environmental organizations’ assertion that there is a preferable alternative to mining without the use of sea disposal. Furthermore, the court did not find support for the claim that the environmental consequences will be far more serious than what is stipulated in the permits. 

The deadline for an appeal is set at one month. The decision to appeal the verdict has not yet been reached, but will be decided by the governing bodies of the two organisations.

The fight for the fjord continues

«This verdict is fundamentally flawed! The Fjord Lawsuit has brought to light substantial weaknesses and errors in the way Norwegian authorities treat nature. We are facing a nature crisis, and it is high time we halt the destruction of the nature we are entirely dependent on,» asserts the newly elected leader, Gytis Blazevicius, of Nature and Youth.

«Many thousands of people and several organisations have supported the Fjord Lawsuit and contributed funds. To them, I would like to express my gratitude – and emphasize that this is not the end. The struggle for Førdefjorden and all Norwegian fjords continues,» says Blazevicius.

Deserves Further Consideration

«This is unquestionably a case that warrants further consideration in Norwegian courts. It may also be relevant to bring this case to the EFTA Court,» suggests Amund Noss, a lawyer at CMS Kluge, representing the environmental organisations.