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"Ben Magec - Ecologistas en Acción", the federation of environmental

associations of the Canary Islands, wants to show its solidarity and empathy
with the social movement that protects Mauna Kea, and we express our
respect for the Kahunas. Their determination inspires us.

We can understand what is happening in Hawaii concerning the TMT. On the


small island of La Palma, with a similar surface area as the island of
Moloka’i, the development of astronomical infrastructures has been done
without respect for the people and for the natural and cultural values. It has
cost us a notable part of our nature and we have lost archaeological sites
that were very important for the understanding of the culture of our
aboriginal ancestors.

Garafía, the municipality with already 14 telescopes and 20 more projected,


is however the poorest municipality in the Canary Islands. They have never
received a financial compensation for the use of their land. That is why the
struggle for dignity that is being fought in Hawaii is not strange to us.

The Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory (TIO) claims to have a


backup site on the Canary Island of La Palma, an argument used to put
pressure on the Hawaiian authorities, but that has now turned against them
when used by TMT opponents. It has been assumed that the supposed
arrival of the TMT on the Canary Islands will not be hindered by
administrative or judicial procedures and that the people and local
organizations will not oppose it. However, here the feeling is growing that
our mountain has already exceeded the capacity to house more telescopes
and that we have already paid a high price for astronomical science. We are
strongly opposing a project that will have a very negative impact on a
unique natural area of high value that is part of the European Natura 2000
network, one of the world's largest networks of protected natural areas.

Actually, the “Plan B” for the TMT is not a very solid plan at all. The only
thing TIO had achieved so far on La Palma is a 75-year concession of 9.8
hectares of land for the construction of the TMT for the ridiculous amount of
approximately $ 1,250 annually. But Ben Magec Federation took legal action
against this concession and a judge of the Superior Court of the Canary
Islands recently has revoked this concession because of violations of
European environmental laws and a wrong estimation of the value of the
concession. This means they will have to start the procedure from the
beginning, causing a substantial delay.

If they insist in getting authorisation to build the TMT in this legally


protected area on La Palma, each step will lead to additional legal action on
our part. We will not hesitate to take it to the Supreme Court of Spain
because we are convinced that, in relation to the TMT, public
administrations are making decisions that are in conflict with Spanish and
European Laws. We have no less reason or less determination than the
Hawaiian TMT opponents.

La Palma. Islas Canarias. 5 de agosto de 2019