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The Dutch part of the Wadden Sea threatens to lose its World Heritage status due to gas extraction

The Dutch part of the Wadden Sea threatens to lose its World Heritage status due to gas extraction

The Secretary of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Carola Schouten, reported this to the House of Representatives, the equivalent of our House of Representatives.

Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij NAM has been extracting gas in three small fields under and near Wadden since the 1980s. This is done from drilling sites at Moddergat, Lauwersoog, Ameland and others. At the end of last year, the Dutch Council of State rejected Waddenvereniging’s objections to this.

The Non-Aligned Movement now wants to extract gas off the coast of the Frisian village of Tirnard, northwest of Duqm. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has published a so-called temporary zoning decree that gives the green light for new gas production. This still needs final approval.

The World Heritage Center wrote that the drilling rig will be located outside the part of the Wadden Sea that is a World Heritage Site, but there are serious concerns about seafloor disturbance and ecological balance.

The center said, because scientists also do not know the impact of gas extraction on the vulnerable area, the principle that mining, gas and oil extraction are incompatible with World Heritage status should be the leading one.

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