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This month, signatories to the Ditch Ocean Dumping campaign declaration called out the Norwegian government’s decision to permit a toxic-waste-dumping mine in Sámi Indigenous territory. More than a dozen organizations from nine countries sent letters to Norwegian Embassies in the US, UK, Mexico, Chile, Canada and Australia urging the government to reconsider its decision and deny Nussir ASA permission to mine.

The government gave the green light for the copper mine in spite of strong opposition from Sámi fisher-people and reindeer herders. The mine would dump 30 million tonnes of mine tailings into the Repparfjord, smothering the ocean floor and destroying important fishing grounds.

“They won’t get our fjord”

Since the final permit was granted, Nature and Youth report that over 1,000 people have added their name to a growing list of those ready to carry out acts of civil disobedience to stop the project. And the Sámi Parliament and Friends of the Earth Norway, Nature and Youth, and Vest-Finnmark jeger- og Fiskerforening ag filed appeals to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries’s decision to grant the permit.

Now, more than ever, international solidarity with Norwegian groups on the front lines is critical. In October, Norway will host the 2019 Our Ocean Conference to promote the importance of clean and healthy oceans to our common future. We must insist that Norway’s commitments to promote ocean sustainability and respect for human rights abroad also be applied at home.

“Nussir, says they will need about one year to gather financing, work out deals with suppliers, hire people, and figure out everything they need before they can start building the mine. We think it will take a little longer… I think if we can gather enough public resistance we can stop the project.” Ingebjørg Marie Thorkildsen, Nature and Youth, Norway

Banner photo credit: Marion Palmer

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