Bellona Celebrates 20Th Anniversary With An Open House And A Jubilee Concert


Publish date: June 15, 2006

After lean years and triumphant years, after two decades of hard-won victories, the Bellona Foundation will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on Friday, June 16 with an open house at Bellona’s head office in Oslo followed by an evening gala concert at Oslo’s Rockefeller hall.

“It is important on this anniversary that we have shown that it is possible to fight and win and we have always done that based on fair, scientific and political methods, and that it has worked very well” said a proud Bellona President and founder Frederic Hauge on the eve of the anniversary.

But much has changed on the political and environmental landscape since the organisation began it work, so the organisation has changed in tune with those shifts, said Hauge.

“The work we are doing now is more important that the work we were doing 20 years ago,” said Hauge. “We always need to be an organisation in transition, and able to turn on a dime when the big accidents come.”

He added that: “We have reason to be optimistic because changes are possible, and we see conceptually, many areas were we can make an impact.”

The open house will be from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 2 Nordregate, and the concert, beginning at 8:00pm, will feature such acts as Norway’s Dum Dum Boyz, Morten Abel, Ralph Myerz, and Marit Larsen. See Ticketmaster for tickets to the concert.

This date is a benchmark in the history of Bellona, which began as a small direct action organisation raising hackles in Norway , and grew into a powerful and unparalleled environmental force with offices in Murmansk and St. Petersburg Russia, Brussels, and Washington, DC, extending its reach world wide.

“Bellona’s 20-year history bears witness to the fact that, even in the conditions of opposition that exist in undemocratic countries, non-governmental organisations can work successfully and achieve good results,” said Bellona’s Alexander Nikitin on the eve of Bellona’s anniversary.

Bellona’s influence consists now mostly in making connections, and developing cooperative relationships with, authorities in its various spheres of environmental influence―be those relationships with Members of European Parliament who are for the development of alternative energy solutions to members of the Russian Parliament and authorities in Russia’s nuclear and energy circles, to industry partners with whom Bellona works to help to promote the best possible practices to preserve the ecosystem.

With these alliances, Bellona continues to blaze new trails in the promoting alternative energy sources, legislation guiding pollution limits, laying out constructive guidelines for a safer nuclear future in Russia and Europe, and to persuade in industry and policy-makers world-wide to consider the impact of their actions.

This mode of co-operation, said Hauge was key to forging a dialogue between outmoded and dangerous forms of energy production and bumping the level of discussion up to a political levels and introducing new technologies and frameworks to business and policy-makers.

These relationships are not always easy to forge, as witnessed by the trial on espionage case against Nikitin, now the director of the Environmental Rights Centre Bellona in St. Petersburg. Arrested on charges of treason in 1996 for contributing open information about submarine accidents in the Russian Navy to Bellona’s report on the northern fleet, Bellona lawyers in Russia and Norway worked for almost five years to secure his full acquittal in the presidium of the Russian supreme court in Sept 2001. .

Nikitin will be one of Bellona’s featured guests for tomorrow’s anniversary jubilee, as will his former lead council, the renowned Russian human rights lawyer Yury Schmidt.

During the open house, Bellona President Frederic Hauge, Nikitin and Schmidt will deliver key-note addresses. Also in attendance will be members of Norwegian government and industry, business, research organisations and others.

Bellona’s expert staff, in the areas nuclear energy, as well as renewable and alternative energy such as hydrogen, CO2 emission-free gas power plants, and wind power will be present at the open house.

For more information , call 23 23 46 00, or write