A proposal to stop granting drilling permits for the Wadden Sea has been approved by a majority in the Dutch parliament.
Translation by Traci White
On Thursday, GroenLinks MP Tom van der Lee submitted an amendment calling for a stop to drilling for natural resources in the Wadden Sea between the Dutch mainland and the Frisian Wadden Islands.
The amendment was approved of by a wide margin. The proposal received strong support from representatives of the islands. Terschelling mayor Bert Wassink led the charge to address a letter to economic minister Eric Wiebes about phasing out gas extraction operations in the area. The Leeuwarder Courant writes that Wassink described gas extraction as “incompatible” with the peaceful, natural environment of the islands.
Drilling for gas in the Wadden Sea has been a contested topic in The Hague and in the northern provinces for years. During a debate in the Dutch parliament in 2017, a similar proposal to stop drilling in the area failed. The Wadden Sea has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2009 due to its unique ecosystem: it is the largest intertidal mud flat region on earth, and extends along the Dutch, German and Danish coasts.