UNESCO calls for Mowi her­itage site talks

Fish Farmer - - European News -

The Vega Is­lands

THE Nor­we­gian branch of the United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Con­ser­va­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion - bet­ter known as UNESCO – is call­ing for a meet­ing with the Oslo gov­ern­ment over plans to al­low Mowi to de­velop aqua­cul­ture on one of its world her­itage sites.

Fol­low­ing a long run­ning dis­pute and a se­ries of ap­peals, Mowi was granted of­fi­cial clear­ance ear­lier this month to carry out salmon and trout farm­ing in a re­mote re­gion of north­ern Nor­way known asRød­skjæran on the Vega Is­lands, an area renowned for its birdlife and as a breed­ing ground for ei­der ducks who are renowned for their feath­ers

But in the last few days the Nor­we­gian UNESCO Com­mis­sion has re­quested a meet­ing with the Min­is­ter of Cli­mate Change over the de­ci­sion. Its re­gional di­rec­tor Tora Aasland has ex­pressed her dis­may

UNESCO have called for talks at the de­ci­sion sug­gest­ing it was dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand the ra­tio­nale be­hind it. How­ever, it is thought un­likely that the gov­ern­ment will row back on its de­ci­sion.

She said she was both sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed that the Min­istry of Cli­mate and En­vi­ron­ment had ig­nored en­vi­ron­men­tal ad­vice and as head of the Nor­we­gian UNESCO Com­mis­sion and was also wor­ried about the way Nor­way was man­ag­ing its her­itage sites, es­pe­cially Vega which has many spe­cial fea­tures.

How­ever, the the project, which will cre­ate new jobs in an area where em­ploy­ment is scarce, has the sup­port of lo­cal politi­cians, de­spite claims by UNESCO and other en­vi­ron­men­tal groups that it will harm its renowned duck pop­u­la­tion.

But the com­pany de­scribed the about-turn as a ‘a good day for Mowi and the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Vega.’

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