The mother of pop singer Bjork says she is frail but determined to continue her hunger strike against a plan to develop the Icelandic highlands. Hildur Runa Hauksdottir stopped eating Oct. 7 to try to persuade Pittsburgh-based Alcoa Inc. to pull out of the plan to build an aluminum smelter and hydroelectric plant in the wilderness area. Environmentalists say the project will ruin the area above Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier, in east Iceland.
Hauksdottir, 56, said yesterday (Oct. 27) she had lost more than 14 pounds, had difficulty remembering certain words, and felt very tired. “I’m not sure I could go on for another 40 days,” Hauksdottir said. “But it is incredible how much support I am getting and this helps a great deal.”
Alcoa and the Icelandic government have already started work building access roads and tunnels for the project above the Vatnajokull glacier.
Hauksdottir said Bjork’s fame had helped gain publicity for the cause. “I’ve never used her name ever before but in this case it was needed,” she said.
Alcoa spokesman Wade Hughes said the firm was committed to sustainable industrial development and had a good track record on conservation. “This is one of the best hydro projects being planned anywhere in the world,” Hughes said. “It will involve no relocation of people, no impact on endangered species, no danger to commercial fisheries, and no denial of access by tourists and naturalists to the affected area.”
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