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Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon in State’s Ownership

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Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon in State’s Ownership

Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón. Photo: Uwe Lexow.

District Commissioner in South Iceland Anna Birna Þráinsdóttir stated yesterday that the Icelandic state’s preemption right to acquire Fell, the land to which part of Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon belongs, had not expired after all on January 9 when the state announced its decision.

“It’s the general rule that the preemption right doesn’t become active until a binding contract is made between the owner of the preemption right and the buyer. Legally, it is considered that the binding contract doesn’t take effect until the offer is approved, which in this case was November 11, 2016,” Anna Birna explained to mbl.is.

This is not a case of a blunder, Anna Birna maintained. “In the office’s letter to the state it is announced that the deadline to use the preemption right is January 10. In the contract made with the buyer, Fögrusalir, it is also specified that the state has until January 10 to use the preemption right.”

Björt Ólafsdóttir, who took office as minister for the environment on Wednesday, celebrates the fact that Jökulsárlón is now in the state’s ownership. “Now the plans that have been discussed on including this area in Vatnajökull National Park can be realized,” she told mbl.is.

“We will then hopefully witness the unique event that we Icelanders will obtain national park extending from the shore and to the mountain,” Björt stated, adding that she hopes that Vatnajökull National Park can gradually be extended to a national park covering the country’s entire interior.

The Ministry for the Environment is working towards having Vatnajökull National Park recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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