Worldlog Week 49 – 2011

9 December 2011

Wij hebben deze week de actie ‘Groeiend Verzet’ op poten gezet om op korte termijn een protestbos tegen de nieuwe Wet Natuur aan te leggen. Dit bos staat symbool voor het groeiend verzet onder Nederlandse burgers tegen de desastreuze Natuurwet die staatssecretaris Blekers wil indienen.

This week we launched the 'Growing Resistance' movement whereby we use a 'protest forest' to protest against the new Nature Act. This forest is a symbol of Dutch citizen's growing resistance against this disastrous Nature Act that State Secretary Bleker wishes to introduce.

The new Nature Act is meant to replace the Netherlands' three existing nature acts, but this new act first means breaking down the nature policy in which the Netherlands' has invested for years. If the Lower House accepts the new Nature Act at the start of 2012, the Netherlands will be threatened with a natural disaster of unprecedented scale. Eighty animal and one hundred plant species will lose their protected status. Particular animal species will only be protected if their existence is endangered elsewhere in Europe. The Netherlands is simply cutting a sorry figure on the international stage with a nature act that does not align with international treaties. The IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) has already expressed their harsh criticism for Bleker's nature policy.

The policy will no longer allow for links between nature reserves that give animals space and the National Ecological Network (NEN) will not be created. If the State Secretary does not want to complete the National Ecological Network (NEN) then we as animal and nature protectionists will have to create it ourselves. This week we also called on all Dutch citizens to buy one or more trees at €5 a piece and to go to the tree planting day in the Province of Utrecht to plant a tree. More than 4,000 people have bought one or several trees as a protest against State Secretary Bleker's new nature act. Luckily it appears the Growing Resistance tree will grow to become this year's Christmas tree!

This week, during the debate on the Euro Summit, I called on colleagues from other parties to keep an open ear to the people regarding Dutch and European politicians' lingering indecision regarding the Euro crisis. As part of my contribution to the debate, I read out an e-mail from a concerned citizen called Geert Kimpen. I've received lots of positive reactions! Our idea is that a land that gets rid of its currency, that does not protect its nature, that doesn't have its education system under control and that economises on its own culture, is working towards its own destruction. We should not be focusing on how might makes right; we should be working to protect the interests of our weakest. We also printed this on pages 1 and 2 of the Dutch daily publication called 'Metro'. With help from our generous sponsor, we bought both pages in their entirety to share our concerns with 1.5 million readers. The reactions to this action warmed our hearts too.

Many people in the Netherlands react with shock to the news that the Japanese government has spent 2.3 billion Yen, taken from the emergency fund for tsunami victims, on stimulating whale hunting. I hope that Japanese animal welfare and environmental organisations can prevent this. Happily, eighteen organisations have sent a protest letter to the Japanese prime minister against this form of fund money abuse!

Heave news from Italy. Italian police have stopped a transport of mink living in deplorable conditions that originated from the Netherlands on its way to Greece. The images are available for viewing here. The text is in Italian, but the images speak for themselves and clearly show that a ban on breeding mink needs to be introduced as quickly as possible.

This coming Tuesday is the debate on the legislative proposal to ban ritual slaughter. Last Tuesday, PiepVandaag, the Internet community of people that fight for animals, nature and the environment handed over 67,834 signatures to the Upper House to convince the senators of the importance of banning unanaesthetised slaughter in the Netherlands. One of the submitters is a Jewish veterinarian, son of a Kosher butcher, who is convinced of the fact that unanaesthetised slaughter causes unnecessary animal suffering and must be stopped. It should not make any difference to the animal what religion their butcher is. It is similarly unimportant what beliefs politicians hold when dealing with the unanaesthetised slaughter issue. For further information watching the short film ‘If This Is Kosher' by Jewish writer Jonathan Safran Foer, author of 'Eating Animals'.

Tuesday will be an exciting day, one I am looking forward to! The day starts at 10:15, and will go through to 02:00 in the morning. Read more about it next week's Worldlog.

Greetings, Marianne