In March 2012 the Spanish Government approved the beginning of oil exploration drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, close to the Canary Islands by the argentine-spanish company Repsol. The drilling zone will be located near the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote – both of them designated as United Nations Biosphere Reserves, respectively in 2009 and 1993.
Spain, which is one of the European countries with the higher rate of oil and gaz dependency, gave its agreement hoping that it will reduce oil imports. Repsol said it would also increase employment in the islands (up to 5 000 jobs).
Local environmentalists disagree saying that the jobs would be for specialists from abroad and moreover that it is a “threat to the islands’ economy, which is based on tourism, and to a rich source of maritime biodiversity” said Iván Darias of the Ecologists in Action group.
Spokesman Mario Rodriguez from Greenpeace added that “The government is creating the same sort of risks that can lead to accidents like the one seen in the Gulf of Mexico “.
The president of the Canary Islands regional government, wrote to the Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, in February 2014, telling him that he plans to hold a referendum on the issue – the only answer he had was a reminder that referendums are illegal under the constitution.
Many environmentalist organizations have decided to stop this disaster from happening – End Ecocide supports the cause and if you do too you can show your support by signing the international petition here and signing the End Ecocide petition and the call for an International and European courts for Environment and Health at www.endecocide.org