Mayors get no promises regarding predators from the PM
The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg (Conservatives), is responsive to the problems the predators bring with them, but had no concrete promises for the Mayors that she met on Wednesday.
– We believe that we are acting according to the predator settlement [between the political parties in Norway]. But we can surely manage the settlement in a more efficient way, the Prime Minister states after the meeting. She points to, among other things, that there may be cases where harmful animals might have been killed sooner.
Nine Mayors and representatives from the Association of Outfield Municipalities met with Solberg, the Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen (Liberals), as well as the newly appointed Minister of Food and Agriculture, Bård Hoksrud (Progress Party) on Thursday.
The meeting is due to the fact that 150 Mayors have sent a letter to the Government which requires that the predator settlement in the Norwegian Parliament must be followed up. They believe the administration takes predators such as wolves and bears into consideration, and that it hurts grazing and other agricultural activities in the affected areas.
Wants to strengthen the SNO
The most concrete measure she and Minister of Climate and Environment, Ola Elvestuen (Liberals), suggested was a strengthening of the Norwegian Public Nature Agency (SNO) in the budget for next year.
– It’s about being present in more places. They haven’t got the necessary manpower, Elvestuen explains.
Among the questions, that were raised at the meeting, is whether changes will be made to the predator priority zones and where grazing should be the focal interest.
– It’s important to maintain that we are going to have a balanced management based on both outfield livestock farming and preservation of our large predators, she says.
The Mayor of Meråker in Trøndelag, Kari Anita Furunes (Centre Party), thinks that she met both a Prime Minister and Cabinet Minister who wants to listen to them.
No specific measures
– Specific measures are not presented to us, but we can not expect that to be the case, either. But we have the start of a dialogue. The Prime Minister concludes the meeting by saying that she wishes further dialogue in consultation with the municipalities, especially regarding what we believe is a violation of the predator settlement, she informs NTB.
She believes there is nothing wrong with the settlement as such, but that the administration does not follow it up.
– The Government must take action, with the Prime Minister in charge, to put into action what the Parliament has decided on, Furunes goes on to say.
The Association of Outfield Municipalities (USS) makes it clear that they also appreciate that the Prime Minister takes action on the matter and wishes that not only the Ministry of Climate and Environment should be responsible for the follow-up of the predator settlement.
– This has not been the case until this day, and so it has become lopsided in the administration, says representant for the USS, Stein Erik Stinessen. He makes it clear that the Minister of Environment cannot manage this on his own, but that the Ministry of Agriculture also must have a role in this.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today