“We have to stop this alpine pollution: glaciers play an essential role in the water balance of alpine regions, are water reservoirs and unique natural treasures.”
Environmental conservation groups including The Alpine Association Austria and WWF are calling for the immediate halt to plans that would destroy untouched Austrian glaciers for the ski area expansion and merger of Pitztal-Ötztal. Lacrux.com reports at a press conference held in Innsbruck, the local Alpine and nature conservation associations criticized the ecological short-sightedness of the project plans.
They argued that a completely original and intact high mountain landscape would suffer irreparable damage and called for an immediate stop to the plans. Instead, they proposed a more environmentally friendly plan that would integrate the Left Fernerkogel into the adjacent rest area Ötztaler Alpen.
“The installation of pristine glacier wilderness with energy-consuming infrastructure is emblematic of Austria’s failed climate and environmental policy: Instead of holistically looking at the major challenges of our time – climate crisis, biodiversity crisis and surface pollution – and at all levels, there is a negligent shortsightedness on the part of the decision makers.” -Josef cabinet, Alpine protection expert from the WWF Austria
The Pitztal-Ötztal glacier complex expansion calls for the leveling of an area of approximately 90 football fields (64 hectares) on wild, rugged glacier landscape to form ski slopes. To make room for construction of new buildings, an additional two football fields (1,6 hectares) are to be removed from the glacial ice.
“It is incomprehensible why such destruction is accepted. The glaciers melt away under our feet. At the same time, pristine streams are being used to snow glacier ski areas and reservoirs have been built. “–Robert Renzler, Secretary General Austrian Alpine Club
Sometime during September, the Environmental Impact Assessment (UVGA) of the state of Tyrol will be made public and a hearing on the continuation of the project is scheduled for October. We will update you on the outcome of the hearing when the news comes in. images from kurier.at & lacrux.com