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Norway protects ocean from drilling

08 Oct 2013

The new government of Norway has committed to protecting valuable areas of the ocean from being impacted by petroleum activities.

Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja will now be free from oil and gas exploration - described by WWF as a victory as oil and gas activity in this area would threaten the world’s largest cod stock, the world’s largest cold water coral reef and mainland Europe’s biggest seabird colony.

“This is not just a victory for all of us who have spent countless hours and years fighting for it. It is first and foremost a great victory for nature, including cod, seabirds, the world’s largest coldwater coral reef, and for renewable jobs and the transition to a 100% renewable society,” said Nina Jensen, CEO of WWF-Norway. 

It was uncertain during the Norwegian election whether a new government would open up areas of Lofoten for oil drilling, but minority parties fought hard to ensure a permanent ban was in place.

“This decision has bigger implications than just nature conservation. As Norway is one of the world’s largest oil and gas developers, with an economy largely dependent on the oil sector, suggesting it should keep some oil in the ground has been considered radical by some. “ said Ms Jensen.


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