Dutch illegal militarism in Wadden Sea region

This 2016 video says about itself:

Dutch Wadden Sea (Waddenzee) – UNESCO World Heritage @ We Love Earth

On Earth, where water meets land, often life is most abundant. Here the two are in a very intimate dance – the ever-lasting tidal play in the Dutch Wadden Sea, one of the most beautiful landscapes of Europe, and one of its ecologically most important nature reserves, a UNESCO World Heritage site in its entirety.

Here life is at every level. Millions upon millions of migratory birds, with many populations depending on these feeding grounds for their survival. From a tiny hermit crab to the system itself, alive as it breaths, as it flows, floods and settles and forms – forms the most beautiful art of nature, only to redraw it all the very next day.

There are large populations of two different types of seals, the harbour seal and the grey seal – weighing up to 350 kilos, the largest mammal (on land) of western Europe – since the elk [moose in American English] and brown bear are gone.

Land is taken here, and land is formed. On those ridges that are dry long enough for the wind to catch the sand tiny dunes are formed – kept in place by marram grass, one of the bravest little plants of our planet, collecting fresh water from the rain and making a soil from nothing but sand. Furthest from the gullies clay is deposited in salt marshes, adding greens to a landscape of greys, browns, ochers, blues and white – and offering a shelter and spawning ground to many types of fish.

In other words, the Wadden Sea is vibrant – it is wild, it is strong, and it is very much alive.

The Wadden Sea is also threatened though. Threatened by forecasts of escalating sea level rise, threatened by an increasingly greedy gas industry – that wants to drill and even frack for gas, even though the land subsidence this extraction causes may speed up the relative sea level rise.

The Wadden Sea is strong and sturdy. But we cannot stand by idle as it drowns. We have to prevent the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets and the several metres of sea-level rise this causes. This means we have to stop fossil fuels. We also have to stop that same industry locally. No gas extraction under UNESCO World Heritage nature reserves. No gas drilling in the Wadden Sea!

For more information and to express support, please take a look at Gasvrij Waddenzee – the special page devoted to removing the gas industry from this unique natural landscape, one of the pearls of Europe and our planet.

Translated from the Dutch Wadden Sea Association today:

Until now, the Ministry of Defense has been flying illegally above the Wadden Sea region

You can hardly imagine it, but it is still true: Defense has been flying above the Wadden Sea Region for years without a conservation act permit. Last week a big article appeared in the northern press in which the facts become painfully clear. The flight movements of Defense above the Wadden Sea Region are increasing, they are disruptive and there is no conservation act permit for the activities. The Wadden Association has been urging for years that Defense should also comply with the Nature Conservation Act.

How bad is that, all those military activities?

Military activities have a negative impact on nature. The activities take up a lot of space and in large areas around military training grounds the peace of birds, seals, tourists and local residents is disrupted by military flying war games. For example, F16s that sometimes fly over the Wadden Sea to the Vliehors have a negative effect on the availability of habitat for birds. Furthermore, ammunition residues pollute the water, the soil and the air. Finally, sometimes something goes wrong during the war games. For example, a sand dune fire started on Vlieland last week due to a training bomb that ended up wrong. …

What does the Wadden Association do?

The Wadden Association has been critical of Defense for many years. After various legal proceedings and many questions in parliament, there appeared to be a breakthrough in 2008. The then Minister of Defense promised that a permit would be requested for all activities above the Wadden Sea Region. That has not happened to date. We continue to insist, ask questions, lobby and if necessary we will take legal action. We are pleased that various political parties in both the Lower House and the Provincial Councils are asking critical questions about this.

This is a July 2019 Wadden Association Dutch video on Wadden Sea problems.

2 thoughts on “Dutch illegal militarism in Wadden Sea region

  1. Pingback: Sanderlings, bar-tailed godwits, dunlin of Terschelling beach | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Shorebird conservation, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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