Labour Party of Norway Commits to Permanently Banning Oil Exploration in Norwegian Arctic

Driven by global pressure from SeaLegacy, a coalition of Norwegian NGOs, and Labour Party leaders, Norway commits to permanently protect the Lofoten, Vesterålen, and Senja islands in the Norwegian Arctic from oil drilling and exploration.

Oslo, Norway, April 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Securing their place as a world leader in ocean conservation, the Labour Party of Norway has committed to permanently protect this critical area in the Norwegian Arctic from oil drilling and exploration.

Leading up to this historic achievement, SeaLegacy worked to galvanize global support for the ban, running a multi-faceted media campaign that inspired more than 53,000 ocean advocates from more than 160 countries to sign a petition calling for permanent protection. The signatures were delivered to The Labour Party of Norway at their annual meeting in Oslo today.

Through stunning video and photography, SeaLegacy brought the beauty and power of this essential ecosystem into the hearts and minds of an international audience. Known for its dramatic scenery and unique marine biodiversity, this archipelago in the Norwegian Arctic is home to the world’s largest cod stock and cold water coral reef, the biggest seabird colonies in the European mainland, and thousands of species of fish, marine mammals, seabirds, and invertebrates that are critical to the ecological stability of the area. With this permanent ban, this area’s scientific and cultural significance will be preserved for generations to come.  

“This commitment is a testament to the power of global stewardship – a beacon to the world that change is upon us,” said Paul Nicklen, Co-founder of SeaLegacy. A career National Geographic photographer, Nicklen has significant experience covering conservation issues in Norway. “It takes courage and vision to stand up for systemic change. The permanent protection from oil drilling and exploration in Lofoten in Northern Norway should serve as an example for the rest of the world.”

Today’s success is the culmination of decades of collaborative work by Folkeaksjonen, (People’s Action for an Oil-Free Lofoten, Vesterålen, and Senja), Friends of the Earth Norway, and Labour Party Youth Norway (AUF), who spearheaded a multi-year campaign that secured a series of six temporary bans on petroleum activity in Vesterålen and Senja, the seas outside of Lofoten.

“For more than a decade we have been advocating for Arbeiderpartiet (Labour party in Norway) to stand on the right side of history and vote to protect one of the world’s most vulnerable and unique marine areas against oil and gas development,” says Ingrid Skjoldvaer, Deputy Chair, Folkeaksjonen. “Today’s victory stands as a shining symbol of the sustainable future we are fighting for. A big thank you to everyone in the international community who have raised their voice for Lofoten!”

About SeaLegacy

Founded in 2014 by Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, SeaLegacy is building a movement – using the power of imagery, storytelling, and community engagement – to drive transformational solutions for healthy and abundant oceans. Inspiring millions of people through its media networks, SeaLegacy catalyzes and amplifies solutions that promote sustainable fisheries and protect marine species and habitats around the world.


Photo Credit: Paul Nicklen, Norway. “These waters are home to an extremely well-managed fishery, a growing tourism industry, and now permanent protection from oil and gas exploration. Norwegians have become fiercely proud of this place and protective of the entire ecosystem, as both their culture and economy depend on it.” - Paul Nicklen, Co-founder of SeaLegacy.

Photo Credit: Cristina Mittermeier, Norway. "Marine life in the Lofoten region of northern Norway is robust, healthy and unique. It is now permanently protected from oil development for generations to come." - Cristina Mittermeier, Co-founder of SeaLegacy.

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