Wetlands destruction and resistance


About an hour's drive north of Toulouse (sw France)  there is an area of wetlands called the Testet, in the forest of #Sivens . This is the last area of wetlands ("Zone Humide" in French) in the department of the Tarn. It is home to rare and endangered species.

This area (13hectares) will be drowned by a dam. The purpose of the dam is principally to irrigate large-scale maize production.

It will also be used to regulate the levels of water in the river Tescou, so that pollution will be diluted and the local authorities can claim to respect European environment legislation. The water can also be used if difficulties arrive at the Golfech nuclear reactor.

Maize production is not appropriate to this region, it is a highly polluting form of agriculture. European and French rules say that it should no longer receive subsidies. (Dam financed by local, regional and European budgets)

The projected dam is not necessary, smaller, higher dams exist upstream, and are not used.

The studies of water availability and use, of the cost, impact and of the need for the dam are flawed and partial. (Local politicians who favour the project have interests in the company which produced the studies - which just happens to be the company which will pocket the money for building the dam....)

Claims about the need to dilute industrial pollution downstream are nonsense: the milk cooperative which used to pump effluent into the Tescou has had filters since 2006.

Environmentalists have been defending the wetlands for almost a year. Logging started on the 1st of september, the army and military police corps have commited acts of violence against non-violent protestors.

A hunger strike is in progress.

Hundreds of dam opponents are active on the site ( blocking roads, slowing the chainsaws, negociating and demonstrating). Other activists are demonstrating in front of local governement offices (and being savagely beaten for their efforts)

Calls for the public to show opposition to this unnecessary and destructive project are online.

Welcome groups exist for participants in direct action. The struggle is gradually growing, all and any help is needed. Sadly, at the time of writing the GIGN (special forces) are clearing resistance from the Zone.

Futher info: