The Scottish member of parliament and independence activist Fulton MacGregor seized on August 19 the Scottish Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Scottish Government, raising concerns about the forest fires that have been ravaging Kabylie since the beginning of the summer. Below the letter in its entirety.
The Scottish Parliament
Pàrlamaid na h-Alba
Fulton MacGregor MSP
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Coatbridge & Chryston
Mr. Ben Macpherson
Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development
St. Andrew’s House
19 August 2019
Dear Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development,
I have been alerted by one of my constituents to a distressing situation arising in the Kabylie region of Northern Algeria.
Presently, there are a number of fires which are destroying forests, domestic animals, and wildlife, as well as endangering lives. The Algerian public authority responsible for the management of public forests have noted that in the last two months over 9,000 hectares of land has already been destroyed.
Ecologically, many endangered Barbary macaques are conformed to have perished in the infernos.
Rare plant life is also being destroyed and the fires are of course releasing huge amounts of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere.
Economically, farms are being wiped out, putting people’s livelihoods at risk. One of the major sources of income for the region is the production of olive oil, which is now under serious threat as the fires destroy the precious olive groves.
The Algerian government seems to be doing little to assist the Kabyle people to tackle these blazes. The Kabyle people are asking for international pressure to be put on the Algerian authorities to tackle these fires, currently raging out of control in several locations.
Can the minister raise the issue and put some pressure on the Algerian state to address this situation as both an environmental issue and humanitarian issue as a matter of extreme urgency?
Fulton MacGregor MSP.