Worldlog week 12 – 2015
Our new documentary One Single Planet had its world premiere in Amsterdam last week and was shown in 10 towns in the Netherlands last weekend. Very proud! One Single Planet is a documentary about the major sustainable problems threatening our planet. But it is also a documentary about the solutions to keep the earth habitable for future generations.
For this film, I spoke with leading scientists, policy-makers and thinkers. Speakers include Vandana Shiva, professor Arjan Hoekstra, United Nations food rapporteur Dr. Hilal Elver, professor Hans Zaaijer and professor Jan Willem Erisman. Based on four themes, the world food problem (1), the world water crisis (2), zoonoses (3) and the biodiversity problem (4), scientists think together about causes of, and possible solutions for, the crises that keep the world in its grip. It was a great honour that our documentary was allowed to have its premiere in the Maagdenhuis university building, which is currently occupied by students who are protesting against cuts backs on education and the undemocratic nature of universities. A hopeful sign from a young generation that no longer stands by while the destruction continues.
The film can already be seen in Dutch on the website www.onesingleplanet.nl. Soon also in English!
Last year, the Netherlands were plagued by a bird flu epidemic. Millions of animals in the poultry sector were killed. The most recent bird flu outbreak occurred at the end of last year, but now fate has struck again. Last week, there was a bird flu outbreak on a farm in the Dutch municipality of Barneveld. 30,000 chickens will be killed as a precaution. The chickens will be put in bags while they are still alive and then be gassed in the bags. Cheap eggs and chicken legs are apparently more important than animal wellbeing and the risks to human health…
In addition to worrying about the chickens in Barneveld I also worry about chlorine chickens, because American chlorine chickens are likely to be admitted to the European market. The intention to lift the import ban on chlorine chickens which is currently still in place seems to me an example of how negotiations on the TTIP free trade agreement already have a visibly negative effect on European standards. I have therefore immediately asked Parliamentary questions about this.
Fortunately, I also have good news. The wolf has been spotted again in the Netherlands! Unfortunately, he was only here for a short while and now he has crossed the border with Germany again. But wolves in the Netherlands would make a substantial contribution to our biodiversity. The Netherlands have lost a lot of biodiversity and the wolf would make nature in the Netherlands much more complete. A major predator such as the wolf could play a key role in our ecosystem. Hopefully, he will come back into our country, together with more wolves, in a pack.
In the context of the Provincial Council elections on 18 March, I participated in a protest against leisure hunting in the province of South Holland. Leisure hunting is a major topic in the Provincial Council elections. Together with Carla van Viegen, our leading candidate for the province of South Holland, I already declared the province symbolically hunt-free! Also, I went to the provinces of Overijssel and Utrecht to protest against hunting.
Next Wednesday is big election day. We are doing well in the polls and we can count on seats in all of the provinces in which we participate. Another few days of fervent campaigning and then the time has come. Next week, I will of course share the outcome.