the Chronicle This is a column, written by an external contributor. The chronicle expresses the attitudes of the writer.
But the printing ink in all the deal papers barely dried before he, as almost the first thing he does when he gets home, approves a major road intervention in a major nature reserve. It does so, with the support of some local development mayors, with the argument that it is the most nature-friendly and socio-economic alternative; despite the fact that a number of professional environments – a.o. the Norwegian Environment Agency – say otherwise. (The Norwegian Environment Agency pointed out that the road project in question is both unfriendly to nature and has a negative socio-economic benefit of minus 5.9 billion kroner 2019). But perhaps such is the policy; professional knowledge should only be used when appropriate. When it doesn’t fit, politicians set themselves up as experts.
Tonnes and tonnes could have been said and written about it. One question that hasn’t come up too often I think is the question of why it’s true that when politicians are out in the big world there’s no way to tell how responsible, caring you are environmental and sustainable, but when you go home it’s money and development interests that rule?
It’s probably not the only area where this happens. What are the Norwegian politicians saying about the conservation of the rainforest in the Amazon and the rhinos in Kenya when they come out and what are they doing about the protection of the forests and the wolf tribe at the national level? (Then I think it’s very important to preserve both the Amazon rainforest and Kenya’s rhino, but that’s the difference between what politicians think abroad and at home, I think.)
Perhaps the most important this host within the framework of the fisheries policy. Internationally, Norway has supported and even pushed for a responsible fisheries policy that conserves natural resources, creates social justice, benefits local communities and is, overall, responsible on balance. Norway has done this work within the United Nations system, perhaps in particular at the FAO, and in a number of other places. It was very constructive and valuable. Norway has spoken with a clear, strong and enduring voice in foreign policy.
when it comes how to deal with it here at home on the rock (or rather on the sea), it’s not exactly justice and local communities that have been the most striking feature. Almost a year ago, the National Audit Office published a report on the quota system in coastal and maritime fishing. The conclusion from there is overwhelming:
“Changes to the quota system between 2004 and 2018 helped to increase the profitability of the fishing fleet, but also challenged the principles of fisheries policy and led to a decline in fishing activity in several coastal communities”.
do i have to have translated into two English words so that it can be understood both abroad and at home, it must become: “money talks!”
As a result of the National Audit Office report, work is underway on a new quota report, Quota Report II. It has been the subject of consultations and will probably be considered by the Storting during the spring session. It will be very interesting to know what the result will be. Here there are many issues that need to be addressed; confiscation of quotas for those who do not fulfill the delivery obligation, transfer of quotas from sea fishing to coastal fishing, re-establishment of a fishing fleet on boats up to 25 meters, stable deliveries to local centers of receipt of fish, land tax for the sea fishing fleet, etc. There will certainly be interesting professional and political debates. I myself am very interested in the answer to a simple question:
You want the new quota message continue to speak to the Norwegian “fishing-inland voice” or do you want to speak to the Norwegian “fishing-foreign voice” also at the national level, for the good of those who live along the coast and in the fjords, yes for the good of the whole country?
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