Hollande is building artificial islands, inside the perimeter of an artificial lake, in order to save rare species of birds and plants, through one of the biggest and modern projects, dedicated to protect natural habitats and fighting climate change.
In the region of Marker Wadden National Park there are already built two of the five islands that are suppose to be build, open to the public and to curios tourists or willing volunteers. Due to the concentraded efforts of Natuurmonumenten NGO and its donors, over 68 milions euro have already been obtained, most of them beeing donations. Thanks to this money, the first islands have been rised, writes theguardian.com.
Forty years ago, plans had been in the works to reclaim this vast lake for habitation, potentially turning the four-metre-deep Markermeer into Markerwaard, a spillover settlement for the booming Dutch capital. The lake’s shores were armoured up with heavy stones.
The Houtribdijk, a dam with a road on top, was built, cutting the doomed lake off from waters to its east. But mounting costs and political hurly-burly got in the way of the reclamation, leaving behind only a huge, turbid basin of water – one of the largest lakes in Europe, muddied by swirling silt, according to the forementioned source.
The purpose of the artificial lake was to provide a bigger area for agriculture, in a country were over a third of its total landscape is beneath the sea level. But the consequences for environment and for the Dutch proved to be dezastrous, since it got stuck in birocracy and in the contradictory visions of politicians.
In the presents, the efforts have been rewarded. Among the species that now live on the islands are 15 breeding pairs of the rarer little terns and 250 breeding pairs of avocets. The island hosts 2,200 breeding couples of common ternsand a flock of black-tailed godwits, a rare bird likely to have recently arrived from Africa.
In terms of financial view, the settlement will source its heating and electricity from solar panels on roofs, with income from holidaymakers, ferry tickets and charges to those docking their own boats in the harbour going some way to covering the islands, estimated €500,000 annual maintenance costs.
Author Alexandra Grigore