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“S.O.S. Adriatic” calls on OMV to withdraw from signing a contract that will harm the Adriatic

Activists of the Coalition S.O.S. Adriatic, together with their Austrian partners Global2000, today held a protest performance and a press conference outside of the headquarters of the oil company OMV in Vienna. Austrian OMV, as part of a consortium with the American oil company Matrathon Oil received a preliminary permit for the biggest number of exploration fields in the Adriatic. Overall, these include seven fields in the middle and southern Adriatic, some of which are in immediate vicinity of the Kornati National Park, Nature Park Lastovo Islands, Mljet National Park and Dubrovnik. Government intends to give the concession precisely to OMV.

Last week, the Coalition S.O.S. Adriatic sent letters to all potential concessionaires, informing them of serious flaws in the process, legal irregularities, vocal opposition to the project from local community, and the fact that local population was not consulted regarding the exploitation of oil. The aim of the action in Vienna was to inform the Austrian public, the media, the company OMV about many shortcomings of this project and to once again invite OMV to withdraw from signing this contract that will harm the Adriatic.

Johannes Wahlmüller, Energy Specialist with Global 2000 said: “OMV in its quest for oil plans to drill in one of Europe’s favorite holiday destinations. OMV thus gambles with the sensitive ecosystem of the Adriatic Sea. The project will have a devastating impact on the lives of many people that have for centuries relied directly on tourism and small fishing. In addition, with this project OMV extends the dependence on fossil fuels, a technology of the twentieth century, while alternatives such as renewable energy and energy efficiency have long been readily available. Therefore, Global 2000 calls on OMV to withdraw from its plans related to the exploitation of oil in the Adriatic Sea, a European natural treasure, in order to protect the beautiful scenery for all of us and for future generations and to preserve the opportunity for the development of quality tourism which will benefit the local community.”

The aim of the campaign S.O.S. Adriatic is to preserve the whole of Adriatic from oil pollution, not only stopping the planned activities in Croatia, but also the rapid finalization of the existing production on the Italian side.

The campaign is led by NGOs from national environmental network Green Forum: Green Action (Zagreb), Sunce (Split), Green Istria (Pula), Žmergo (Opatija) and BIOM (Zagreb) in cooperation with Greenpeace and WWF Adria. With this action, the coalition of NGOs S.O.S. Adriatic continues a series of public events which are meant to include the general public and to raise awareness about this problem as well as to inform the citizens about the possible disastrous consequences that oil exploitation in Adriatic could have for tourism, fisheries and the marine ecosystem as a whole.

Photos from the action in Vienna can be found here.
You can find additional information on campaign activities on our Facebook page.