Bjork Calls for Global Action to Preserve Iceland’s Highlands
Despite canceling her set at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival this weekend -- along with the rest of her European tour dates -- Björk still made an appearance at the festival today (Nov. 6), holding a conference that called for global action to stop the Icelandic government’s imminent development plan for the country’s Highlands.
“We ask for the world to support us against our government,” Björk said in a corresponding video, which can be seen above.
Björk conducted the conference with environmental activist Andri Snaer Magnason to raise awareness around the Gaetum Gardsins (Icelandic for “Protect the Park”) counter-initiative, which proposes establishing a national park to protect Iceland’s Highlands.
“The government has plans to build over 50 dams and power plants in this area, and to start next year,” Björk said. “This could end Iceland’s wilderness in a few years. We propose to start a national park in our Highlands.”
In a statement, Magnason spoke to the potential consequences of the government’s plans for expansion in the Highlands:
The concept of Iceland's infinite energy of Iceland is on par with other myths from Iceland like elves and trolls. You cannot simply plug into a volcano. Iceland has already harnessed its nature for energy production close to the maximum and the only way this proposal could work would be to build more power plants. While energy for the cable does not seem available, about five factories are being discussed or planned -- making it almost impossible to imagine where all the energy can come from without damaging something incredibly wild and fragile.
Some of the plans would bring grave environmental consequences -- destroying nesting places of pink-footed geese and habitat for the great north atlantic salmon, as well as some of the greatest waterfalls in the wilderness of Iceland or simply the rare tranquility of untouched wilderness.