30 YEARS AFTER THE FIRST VILLAGE OCCUPATION AGAINST COAL EXCAVATORS
Lacoma was something special: a village that resisted its resettlement under the conditions of the GDR, later probably the first occupation of a village against lignite mining in Germany, then a temporary art and cultural free space and finally the occasion for the largest tree occupation in Germany at that time. A struggle that was still lost under the conditions of 2007, but laid the foundations for later successful lignite resistance.
At the invitation of the Cottbus' Grüne Liga group, many actors of the Lacoma resistance met on 11 June 2022 at what remains of the original site on the outskirts of Cottbus. In a photo action at the beginning, former Lacoma residents held a large-scale village view in front of the open pit mine, which is being flooded as the planned "Cottbus Baltic Sea". Lacoma was located at the edge of the open-cast mine - only a small part of the village is still recognisable, the largest part has disappeared in the open-cast mine. It was not easy for many to return to such a place. But in the end, the joy of seeing their companions again outweighed them - it was written all over their faces during the celebration.
After two virtual years, the environmental festival is finally back at the Brandenburg Tor. On Sunday, the GRÜNE LIGA Berlin will once again celebrate together with Berlin and its guests in the very centre of the city. "This year we are particularly pleased about the high-calibre guests who will be celebrating International Environment Day with us," says Sandra Kolberg, Managing Director of the GRÜNE LIGA Berlin.
For example, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke and Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir - in keeping with this year's motto "Water - Elixir of Life" - will debate with Prof. Dr. Götz Rehn, Managing Director of Alnatura, and Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Hartmut Vogtmann, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Alnatura Organic Farmers' Initiative, on the large festival stage about solutions for sustainable agriculture in view of drought, pollutant emissions and soil degradation. On the stage at the Soviet Memorial, the topic of vegan nutrition is on the programme. Cooking shows will demonstrate how many delicious things can be conjured up from vegan ingredients. The play "The Dragons of the Sea" by the street theatre group "Producciones Abismales" will address the issue of ocean pollution caused by plastic waste.
On 11th of May 22 Michael Bender (Living Rivers Foundation), Tobias Schäfer (WWF Germany, Patagonia and flow:europe organized a River Film evening as part of the next World Fish Migration Day (21.05.22) at the Patagonia Store Berlin.
Four short movies were presented, as well as the multi-award-winning documentary “Was Fische wollen. Last chance for the Tyrolean Inn.” from Christoph Walder. It shows the causes and background of the dramatic decline of the Tyrolean Inn and give a voice to the committed fishermen and conservationist fighting for the return of free-flowing rivers.
A trailer is available here: https://vimeo.com/567821999.
Theresa Schiller (WWF Germany), Tobias Schäfer (WWF Germany), Dr. Ruben van Treeck (IfB: Institute of Inland Fisheries) and Olaf Lindner (DAFV: German Angling Association) had a discussion with the engaged audience on wild rivers, migratory fish and hydropower and highlighted the new Renewable Energy Sources Act, currently debated in the Bundestag. The Riverfilm event was moderated by Michael Bender (Living Rivers Foundation).
Potsdam, 9.5.2022. This week, the expert participation in the climate plan enters the second round. On this occasion, 27 stakeholders, who are involved by the Ministry of the Environment (MLUK) as experts in the development of the climate plan, published an open letter to Minister President Woidke today.
The experts from civil society, business and science call on the state government to specify in the climate plan the total amount of residual emissions that Brandenburg will still emit until it achieves climate neutrality. They also demand that these amounts of maximum residual emissions be anchored in a climate protection law. The demand is supported by over 70 Brandenburg organisations from the fields of climate, environmental and nature protection, transport associations, conventional and organic agriculture, forestry and hunting, the energy industry, local civil society initiatives, scientists and members of the Brandenburg Sustainability Advisory Council.
The Jänschwalde opencast mine does not have to be stopped on 15 May, according to today's decision by the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court (OVG). The Higher Administrative Court refused to suspend the current opencast mining permit in summary proceedings and amended a corresponding decision of the Cottbus Administrative Court.
"With today's decision, the legal ambiguity surrounding the Jänschwalde opencast mine continues. The court expressly leaves open whether the opencast mine is currently being operated illegally. This can only be decided in the main proceedings. The region affected by the lowering of the groundwater will be confronted with the consequences of the open-cast mine for a long time to come," says Sascha Müller-Kraenner, national director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe.
"In the case of the Jänschwalde opencast mine, LEAG still lacks several permits to implement its ideas. For example, it is still unclear whether the water extraction, which has so far only been permitted until 2022, can be extended until 2044 as requested by LEAG. In addition, the company wants to deviate from the current lignite mining plan in terms of recultivation and has not yet received permission from the authorities to do so. In all these proceedings, we will intensively examine how the damage to the water balance caused by opencast mining can be effectively minimised," says René Schuster of the GRÜNE LIGA.