Injunction Sought in Germany's Highest Court to Stop Airbus' Destruction of Protected Habitat

Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from The International Fund for Animal Welfare

    HAMBURG, Germany, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Fund for
 Animal Welfare (IFAW) and its coalition partners in the AirbusThinkTwice
 campaign filed for a emergency legal injunction today to halt the ongoing
 destruction of the Muhlenberger Loch, Europe's largest freshwater tidal
 mudflat. The application for an injunction was filed in German Federal
 Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in an effort to prevent
 irreversible damage to this critical wildlife habitat, for the creation of an
 Airbus Industrie A380 production facility.
     The formidable legal team assembled by the AirbusThinkTwice coalition is
 comprised of the law firms of: Dohren & Mohr (Hamburg), Stanbrook & Hooper
 (Brussels), and Zuck & Quaas (Stuttgart). The plaintiffs in the case are
 Vereim Zum Schutz von Hamburgs Elbregion (Association for the Protection of
 Hamburg's Elbe Region) and Vereim Zum Schutz von des Muhlenberger Loches
 (Association for the Protection of Muhlenberger Loch).
     The legal team has today presented Germany's Supreme Court with scientific
 evidence from three experts, claiming that the damage being done to the
 Muhlenberger Loch is irreversible, and must be stopped pending the outcome of
 previously filed legal suits against the development. The injunction filed
 today also provides information that demonstrates that alternative production
 sites for the Airbus A380 exist; that Airbus could cancel its environmentally
 destructive plans for Muhlenberger Loch without incurring significant
 financial costs; and that the citizens of Hamburg would save more than US$600
 million in taxpayer subsidies should the project be cancelled.
     The Muhlenberger Loch is denoted as a wetland of international importance
 under the Ramsar Convention, a global wetlands treaty, and is also protected
 under the European Union's Wild Birds Directive and Habitats Directive.
 Despite the legal protections afforded to the Muhlenberger Loch, Airbus has
 already driven steel pilings into one area of the sensitive mudflats, and has
 begun filling the flats with sand. This is just the beginning of Airbus' plans
 to fill 420 acres of the flats for the construction of a new A380 production
 factory. The huge A380 planes would be built in Toulouse, France, and then
 transported to the Hamburg facility for completion of the interior furnishings
 such as carpeting.
     International condemnation of Airbus' plans to destroy Muhlenberger Loch
 has grown in recent weeks: the US$600 million subsidy given to Airbus by
 Hamburg is now being examined; the European Commission is still investigating
 the Airbus issue for irregularities; hundreds of farmers have blockaded
 Airbus' construction site with tractors; EADS (Airbus Industrie parent
 company) shareholder resolutions opposing the project have been submitted; and
 letters of complaint have come from an Indian Minister of State, the head of
 the international wetlands treaty, and European Parliamentarians.
     "Global opposition to this project is growing at all levels, from farmers
 to company share holders to government representatives; even airline industry
 insiders are now recommending that Airbus cancel the Muhlenberger Loch
 project," said Jared Blumenfeld, IFAW Habitat Director. "We are hopeful that
 the Supreme Court will stop Airbus' environmental destruction in its tracks.
 This is the right thing for Airbus, the right thing for the people of Hamburg,
 and the right thing for Muhlenberger Loch."
 
     Editor Notes: For more information visit www.AirbusThinkTwice.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54752494
 
 

SOURCE The International Fund for Animal Welfare
    HAMBURG, Germany, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Fund for
 Animal Welfare (IFAW) and its coalition partners in the AirbusThinkTwice
 campaign filed for a emergency legal injunction today to halt the ongoing
 destruction of the Muhlenberger Loch, Europe's largest freshwater tidal
 mudflat. The application for an injunction was filed in German Federal
 Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in an effort to prevent
 irreversible damage to this critical wildlife habitat, for the creation of an
 Airbus Industrie A380 production facility.
     The formidable legal team assembled by the AirbusThinkTwice coalition is
 comprised of the law firms of: Dohren & Mohr (Hamburg), Stanbrook & Hooper
 (Brussels), and Zuck & Quaas (Stuttgart). The plaintiffs in the case are
 Vereim Zum Schutz von Hamburgs Elbregion (Association for the Protection of
 Hamburg's Elbe Region) and Vereim Zum Schutz von des Muhlenberger Loches
 (Association for the Protection of Muhlenberger Loch).
     The legal team has today presented Germany's Supreme Court with scientific
 evidence from three experts, claiming that the damage being done to the
 Muhlenberger Loch is irreversible, and must be stopped pending the outcome of
 previously filed legal suits against the development. The injunction filed
 today also provides information that demonstrates that alternative production
 sites for the Airbus A380 exist; that Airbus could cancel its environmentally
 destructive plans for Muhlenberger Loch without incurring significant
 financial costs; and that the citizens of Hamburg would save more than US$600
 million in taxpayer subsidies should the project be cancelled.
     The Muhlenberger Loch is denoted as a wetland of international importance
 under the Ramsar Convention, a global wetlands treaty, and is also protected
 under the European Union's Wild Birds Directive and Habitats Directive.
 Despite the legal protections afforded to the Muhlenberger Loch, Airbus has
 already driven steel pilings into one area of the sensitive mudflats, and has
 begun filling the flats with sand. This is just the beginning of Airbus' plans
 to fill 420 acres of the flats for the construction of a new A380 production
 factory. The huge A380 planes would be built in Toulouse, France, and then
 transported to the Hamburg facility for completion of the interior furnishings
 such as carpeting.
     International condemnation of Airbus' plans to destroy Muhlenberger Loch
 has grown in recent weeks: the US$600 million subsidy given to Airbus by
 Hamburg is now being examined; the European Commission is still investigating
 the Airbus issue for irregularities; hundreds of farmers have blockaded
 Airbus' construction site with tractors; EADS (Airbus Industrie parent
 company) shareholder resolutions opposing the project have been submitted; and
 letters of complaint have come from an Indian Minister of State, the head of
 the international wetlands treaty, and European Parliamentarians.
     "Global opposition to this project is growing at all levels, from farmers
 to company share holders to government representatives; even airline industry
 insiders are now recommending that Airbus cancel the Muhlenberger Loch
 project," said Jared Blumenfeld, IFAW Habitat Director. "We are hopeful that
 the Supreme Court will stop Airbus' environmental destruction in its tracks.
 This is the right thing for Airbus, the right thing for the people of Hamburg,
 and the right thing for Muhlenberger Loch."
 
     Editor Notes: For more information visit www.AirbusThinkTwice.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X54752494
 
 SOURCE  The International Fund for Animal Welfare