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Calls for Crisis Response to Save Lake

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Calls for Crisis Response to Save Lake

Mývatn

Photo: Bernhild Vögel

Lake Mývatn, the renowned pearl of nature in Northeast Iceland, is under immense pressure from the increasing number of tourists.

The Independence Party MP Jón Magnússon says in a statement that the pressure Mother Nature is under is nowhere better illustrated than at Lake Mývatn.

The environmental NGO Landvernd this week sent Prime Minister Sigurður Ingi Jóhannesson an open letter urging his government to react immediately to protect the Mývatn biosphere and to help the local municipality to get its sewage treatment procedures up to standard.

Angling associations on the Laxá and Kraká rivers have called the situation at the lake an emergency, and are joining calls for swift action.

Jón Magnússon agrees with Landvernd and is also calling on the government to react in the same way they would do for a natural disaster.

A working group of experts in their field must be set up to catalog the problems and come up with suggested solutions to help fix them, he says.

He says that the sparsely-populated Skútustaðahreppur municipality is not up to the task and needs help from central government to secure adequate funding to fix the problems caused by pollution and human access. Another summer must not be allowed to pass without essential work in the area beginning, Vísir reports Jón as saying.

The issue cannot wait and it puts extra fuel into the debate about possible admission charges at tourist sites, he says.

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