A Finnish mining company has started work on a limestone mine on the Swedish island of Gotland, putting a sensitive and protected natural environment under threat. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvardsverket) is appealing by the Supreme Court, but while they wait the company is going ahead with work on the mine -- and only pressure on the EU Environment Commissioner can stop this now.
Despite finding that the proposed environmental protection measures are too weak, a Swedish court has given mining company Nordkalk the right to start mining anyway. While the EPA and environmental organisations are appealing to the Supreme Court, work on the mine has already started. In addition to threatening the bordering Natura 2000 EU protected areas and the 265 endangered species found in the area, the mine will also put the island's biggest freshwater reserve at risk. But EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik is responsible for ensuring that Sweden meets in EU environmental obligations.
After intense pressure, the forest contractor Mellanskog has stopped logging while the court makes its decision. This is an amazing victory, but only temporary.
Swedish EU parliamentarian Carl Schlyter and others are already calling on the Commissioner to intervene. Avaaz hosts the petition to the Commissioner to save Gotland and its protected nature areas, but more political support pressure is needed.