Worldlog week 24 – 2015
Do you also wish to have a bang-free New Year’s Eve? Last week in the Lower House, we called for a complete ban on consumer fireworks by 2020 at the latest. The flow of hundreds of mostly very young victims must end, as must the severe inconvenience, the damage running into millions and the violence against aid workers during New Year’s Eve. We are the driving force of the fireworks debate in the Lower House and we receive support from a majority of the Dutch population, mayors, doctors, police and fire brigade.
Fortunately, a majority of the Dutch population now oppose the dangerous firework tradition in our country due to the many casualties and severe inconvenience. Under growing public pressure, the Cabinet finally decided last year to restrict the period in which fireworks can be set off. That is a step in the right direction, but not a solution to the problem. The only solution is a total ban on having fireworks set off by individuals. This could be replaced by a fireworks show organised by professionals.
In the run-up to this total ban, we must now take specific interim action to minimise casualties, inconvenience and damage. Many municipalities want to be able to impose a fireworks ban themselves, but that is currently impossible. We want municipalities to get this freedom indeed. The period in which fireworks may be set off must also be restricted drastically: only between 11pm and 1am on 31 December (it is now permitted between 6pm and 2am).
During a recent hearing in the Lower House, our arguments were further emphasised by doctors, mayors and the fire brigade. They too want more drastic measures, with a total ban on consumer fireworks as the ultimate goal!
Our European faction has started a campaign to save our nature. Everyone can join! And that is desperately needed, too, because Brussels is fed up with ‘difficult’ acts to protect nature. The European Commission has therefore put a survey online with the question whether the EU’s existing acts to protect nature are still useful.
The survey is primarily intended for major companies, but you can also make your voice heard and make it clear that it is important to (continue to) protect nature areas and animals in the Netherlands – and in the rest of Europe!
On our website, you fill in your name, city and mail address and we will fill out the survey for you. You can also fill in the survey in English yourself on https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/EUNatureDirectives. But please pay attention, even though European nature legislation is not perfect, we are nonetheless very positive in our survey answers with regard to the European Birds and Habitats Directive in order to prevent a further deterioration of nature legislation.
So what is this about exactly? European and national acts regulate that valuable nature areas must be protected. This means, for example, that you cannot just build a factory, motorway or factory farm on the Veluwe countryside or in a dune park. And it has to stay that way!
But Brussels is fed up with the protection of nature because it believes the economy must and will grow and no tree or animal may stand in the way of that growth. The European Commission has therefore launched a research to cast doubt on the use of European nature legislation. Help us to prevent this and join the No censorship on nature! campaign now.
Last Friday was World Environment Day. A beautiful day to announce this message and draw attention again to our film One Single Planet!
See you next week! Marianne