mother nature vs. the state


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MOTHER NATURE vs. THE STATE. Protecting the Environment Against State Policy in Austria and the Women Behind the Protest. Austria’s National Parks. is a green ribbon between the conurbations of Vienna and Bratislava - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • MOTHER NATURE vs. THE STATEProtecting the Environment Against State Policy in Austria and the Women Behind the Protest

  • Austrias National Parks

  • is a green ribbon between the conurbations of Vienna and Bratislavaprotects the largest natural riparian wetlands in Central Europe, which are still to a high degree ecologically intact is vitally influenced by the practically free-flowing stretch of the River Danube, which in this area still has the characteristic phenomena of an alpine streamrepresents a complexity of ecosystems with an enormous diversity of habitats, plant and animal species

  • offers home and refuge to many endangered plants and animals deeply impresses visitors with the particular beauty of its landscape provides a natural overflow for floodsguarantees high-quality drinking-water acts as filter and climate regulator for the whole region serves as a recreation area for people living in the surrounding region.

  • Donau-Auen National Park contains:* more than 700 species of vascular plants* more than 30 mammal and 100 breeding bird species, 8 reptile and 13 amphibian species and more than 50 different species of fish * an abundance of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates

  • Previous Environmental Conservancy Action1973: first plans regarding the establishment of a National Park Danube-March-Thaya-Auen

    1978: the Lobau area is declared a nature preserve (since 1977, the Lower Lobau has also been an UNESCO biosphere reserve)

    1979: the riparian wetlands of the rivers Danube, Morava and Dyje in Lower Austria are declared a nature reserve

    1983: the riparian wetlands of the rivers Danube, Morava and Dyje and the area of the Lower Lobau are classified as wetlands of international importance (according to the Ramsar Convention)

    1984: the most significant incident which led to the creation of the National Park was the prevention - by public protest - of the construction of a hydro-electric power station near Hainburg

  • Groups Involved in the ConflictSupporters of the Dam

    The federal governmentThe officials and speakers of the three political parties as represented in parliamentAustria Social DemocratsAustrian Liberal PartyAustrian Peoples PartyDanube Power CompanyAustrian Labor Union FederationDefenders of the Forest

    Women and youth of the political partiesWorld Wildlife Fund (WWF)Austrian Student AssociationSpontaneous groups, artists, intellectuals, scholars

  • Transcription of Events1945: Austria begins economic recovery WWII: companies established to build and maintain hydroelectric power plants 1980: Austrian Federal Government is formed coalition between the largest (Social Democrat) and smallest (Liberal) partiesNovember 1984: Permit is granted to begin construction November 29, 1984: Women call a press conferenceDecember 8, 1984: Protest march to the forest gathers 8,000-10,000thousands camp out for the next few days in non-violent protestpolice forces called in and attempted to clear the unarmed protestorsDecember 21, 1984: A peace is called to allow reflection on the issuesDecember 25, 1984: 10,000 people gather in the forest to celebrate massJanuary 1985: Ecology Commission submits its report; Hainburg site is rejected for ecological reasons

  • If the plant had been builthundreds of hectares of riverine forest would have been irretrievably lost the Danube would have been dammed up. This means that the last free flowing stretch of river in a basin, in the alpine-like stretch of the Danube, would have been destroyed

    the river banks would have been replaced by dikes; islands and gravel banks would have been destroyed

    the wetlands would have been cut off from flooding, which would have stopped the characteristic dynamics of a flowing river

    the natural dynamics of the ground water would have been altered, which would have affected the quality of the ground water

  • Live via telephone:Freda Meissner-BlauBorn: March 11, 1927

    Journalist and Green Party Chairwoman

    Prominent environmentalist

    Ran for President of Austria in 1985; received 5.5% of votes

  • Women in the Austrian Federal Government2003 ELISABETH GEHRER Federal Minister for Education, Science and Culture BENITA FERRERO-WALDNER Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs URSULA HAUBNER State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Social Security, Generations and Consumer Protection MARIA RAUCH-KALLAT Federal Minister for Health and Womens Issues

  • Results of the Hainburg ConflictFrom 1985: development of alternatives for the hydro-electric power station at Hainburg by the Ecology Commission (maintaining the free-flowing stretch of the Danube and National Park or new options for a power station). 1986-1989: scientific research for a future National Park by the Nationalparkplanung Donau-Auen; at the same time, discussion of new possibilities regarding a power station at the highest political level. 1989: 411 hectares of the riparian wetlands near Regelsbrunn were purchased as a result of the WWF initiative Ransom of Nature. 1990: agreement regarding the establishment of a National Park signed by the Republic of Austria and the Provinces of Lower Austria and Vienna. 1991-1995: planning phase of the National Park by the Betriebsgesellschaft Marchfeldkanal. 1996: Donau-auen National Park is officially opened.* Information provided by