We have organized a protest demonstration in front of the Spanish Mission of the United Nations (47th and 2nd Ave) on Saturday, October 18th at 3pm. We want to express our strong opposition to the plan approved by the Spanish Government (against the wishes of Canary Islanders, their local government and numerous environmental organizations) to drill for oil in the Canary Islands. This demonstration in New York will coincide with protests in all eight islands and various cities in the world to show their opposition to the exploratory drilling.
(From Save Canarias) The Spanish Government approved the beginning of oil exploration drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, close to the Canary Islands, in March 2012. The drilling zone will be situated at just 10 kilometres from the main beaches of the island of Fuerteventura and 18 kilometres from the island of Lanzarote, both of which are designated United Nations Biosphere Reserves.
The Canary Islands are one of the most well-known tourist destinations in the world, receiving more than 12 million visitors annually. These visitors enjoy the islands’ beaches, nature, climate and landscapes as well as the culture of their hospitable inhabitants. The oil drilling will take place at a depth of more than 5,000 meters, below a seabed situated in ultra-deep waters more than 1,500 meters below the surface of the sea. Furthermore, this ocean floor has recorded consistently intense seismic activity. This undoubtedly increases the risk to the islands, given that 100% of the drinking water is obtained from the sea. Should a black tide similar to that of the Mexican Gulf in 2010 occur, the consequences would be catastrophic for millions of people, and for the future of this archipelago. Simply stated: none of the eight Canary Islands would be saved in the case of a great spill in the area.
This archipelago of 7.000 km² hosts more than 19.000 species of flora and fauna, of which 5,000 are unique on the planet. Furthermore, the Canaries feature four National Parks, and more than 47% of the islands’ territory is protected by agreements and laws of the United Nations, the European Union and Spain. However, the Spanish authorities and the three multinational companies responsible for this project (REPSOL, RWE and WOODSIDE) have taken these values in a minimum consideration, and they also not taken into account the criteria of the Canary Islands Government, nor that of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura’s Council. Our most elementary democratic and ethical codes are being infringed upon.
Numerous people and organizations have joined together to reject this project. This list includes: European Universities, the United States of America, scientific committees of more than 100 countries, UICN, organizations like Oceana, Greenpeace, WWF, Friends of Earth,Ben Magec/Ecologistas en Acción, SECAC (Society for the Studies of Cetaceans on the Canary Archipelago), cultural, artistic, social foundations and hundreds of thousands of individuals. It is absolutely clear that this project is incompatible with the protection of the environment, as well as with energy models that should be developed to take care of our planet. Renowned European tour operators have also alerted about the threat of oil drilling, as they may seriously damage the tourism sector, which is the main economic resource of the Canary Islands. Reduction of the effects of climate change is a responsibility of all Earth’ inhabitants, therefore it is absolutely essential that we reduce the use of fossil fuel and substitute it for renewable energy. The Canaries have the perfect climatic conditions to achieve this important goal.
Please like our Facebook page
Join us on Saturday, October 18th! Let’s demonstrate for sustainable development and a clean global environment!