Press Release

The Bird Scream at Haramsfjellet

Haramsøya, Norway. Photo: Vegard Halkjelsvik

PRESS RELEASE

Translated to English by Liv Marie Sandve

Haramsøya seen from Longva. Photo: Siri Fjeseth

Haramsøya in the municipality of Ålesund, at outer Sunnmøre in Møre og Romsdal, is an area of only 13,3 square kilometers. The unique plateau island is an important area of birdlife preservation and of rich biodiversity. The island lies in the middle of a large bird migration route along the coast.

Haramsøya. Photo: Siri Fjeseth 

In 2008 The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directoratedirectorate (NVE) chose to give concession to a wind plant on the narrow mountain ridge Haramsfjellet, 300 – 350 meters over the sea. The west side of the mountain is an area of conservation for birds, but in 2010 the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (OED) managed to alter the boundary of this area of conservation. The planned wind plant by Zephyr is posing a great threat to a large number of endangered species, and the project thus violates the law of biodiversity.

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Hans Petter Thue was removed from his own property by force on the 11th of June 2020. Photo: Jan Helge Vassbø

For 14 days and 14 nights the nature conservationist Hans Petter Thue guarded Haramsfjellet, sitting in his own car, on his own private road. June 11th he was removed by force from his own property, by a police force putting the interests of the wind industry above both the law of biodiversity and of public health. A police officer opened the lock of Thue’s car. The car was pulled onto the truck bed of Falken. Afterward, the police chose to escort the construction machinery from Stangeland onto the mountain, on behalf of wind plant developer Zephyr.

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Haramsfjellet is being destroyed by Stangeland, on assignment from Zephyr. Photo: Siri Fjeseth

On June 30th Birgit Oline Kjerstad from the movement No to wind power on Haramsøya, mayor of Ålesund Eva Vinje Aurdal, county mayor Tove Lise Torve and group leader representing Høyre in the county council Anders Riise had a meeting with Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru, in Oslo. During the meeting, it became clear that Tina Bru will not be intervening to save Haramsøya. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has, collaborating with the NVE, facilitated the industrializing of Haramsfjellet. This absurd decision is being maintained.

Haramsfjellet, June 11th 2020 . Photo: Siri Fjeseth

We have a power surplus in Norway. New science shows that the best way we can handle climate challenges is to preserve nature (NINA, 2020). Still, OED is choosing to violate both the law of biodiversity and the Bern convention, in order to produce wind power in the nation of hydropower, Norway.

At this moment, Haramsfjellet is being blown up by Stangeland, on assignment from Zephyr. This is morally reprehensible, and also violates Norwegian legislation and international agreements. How can this happen, nevertheless? Can the Norwegian government really allow their interpretation of the Energy Act to overrule any other law?
We decline to accept this. To show our respect for nature, we are making an artistic and knowledge-based hike in Haramsfjellet Sunday, July 5th.

Anybody who wants to may stay overnight to watch over the mountain during nighttime. After walking together in the unique landscape, there will be a gathering containing powerful speeches and several artistic performances. Prime minister Erna Solberg, who this year repeatedly has encouraged Norwegians to seek nature, is especially invited. The happening is open to everyone.

The birdwatcher. Artist Karin Augusta Nogva will perform her art at Haramsfjellet Sunday, July 5th. Photo: Karin Augusta Nogva and Kristine Roald Sandøy

Journalists and photographers are encouraged to cover the event in
order for all of the country, and favorably also the rest of the world, to become aware of the wrongs being committed as we speak.

Place: Haramsøya, Norway
Time: From Sunday, July 5th 12.00 noon to Monday, July 6th, 10.00 am.
Organizers: Karin Augusta Nogva, Erik Larsen and Christina Fjeldavli

Joint walking from Ulla (at Haramsøya) at 12.00 noon. Alternatively, you can choose to walk from Ulla and meet the rest of us by the construction machinery. Speeches, poems, and performance art at 14.00 and 15.30 pm at Steinbrotet (where the turbines are planned to be installed).

Provisional program
The birdwatcher and her herd (Karin Augusta Nogva and other artists)

Poems by Dag Máhtenjárga

Speech, poems and family-friendly nature awareness practices by Erik Larsen

Speech by Morten Walloe Tvedt

Speech and poems by Christina Fjeldavli

Musical performance by Jørgen Åkre

Speech by Nina Elisabeth Bøe

Performance during the walk by Marit Moltu

Speech by Judith Bech

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Haramsøya. Photo: Siri Fjeseth 

On behalf of the event committee

Christina Fjeldavli

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