Criticism of soil sealing: NABU negative price for the city of Emden

Status: December 27, 2021 12:16 p.m.

The city of Emden receives the negative “Dinosaur of the Year” award from NABU. There, wet grassland is being destroyed for a building area – the price is representative of “rampant soil sealing” throughout Germany.

The Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) has awarded its negative “Dinosaur of the Year” prize to the city of Emden in Lower Saxony. Specifically, it is about the Conrebbersweg construction area – this is representative of the destruction of nature through soil sealing throughout Germany, the association announced on the occasion of the awarding of the prize for environmental pollution of the year.

Although Emden has had a stagnant population development for many years, a species-rich wetland and wet grassland with almost comprehensive protection status will be destroyed for a large building area, the jury’s decision was justified. On the area threatened by the construction project, there are numerous endangered species of plants and birds, including the meadow pipit, field owl and lapwing. In addition, the area is one meter below sea level.

NABU: There is a threat of flooding

In view of the increasing heavy weather events, in the opinion of the conservationists there is a risk of flooding after the development. When you think of Emden and the North Sea coast, you have wind, nature and flat land in mind, said NABU President Jörg-Andreas Krüger on the occasion of the award ceremony. Now, in Emden, an area that is important nationwide for biotope protection is to be irretrievably destroyed in favor of a large building area. The “dinosaur of the year 2021” for the construction area in Emden is representative of “rampant soil sealing throughout Germany”.

NABU has been awarding the prize since 1993. It was initially awarded to politicians or managers, but since 2020 it has been about specific construction projects. Last year, the planned A26 port motorway in Hamburg was selected, which NABU believes is oversized and no longer up-to-date.

The negative price consists of a small but 2.6 kilogram pewter statue of a dinosaur. The memory of the extinct giant lizard is intended to target cases of particularly antiquated thinking in matters of nature and environmental protection.

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