Natural resource provision to be added to constitution Skip to content

Natural resource provision to be added to constitution

The leaders of the Independence and Progressive Party, which form the coalition government in Iceland, have reached a decision on the national resource provision and want it to be added to the constitution.

Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and Minister of Industry and Trade Jón Sigurdsson will submit a bill to parliament today regarding national ownership of natural resources and will recommend a change in the constitution. Fréttabladid reports.

The provision includes that the Icelandic nation has ownership of all natural resources and not just the resources of the sea, as the government agreed upon in 2003.

According to Sigurdsson, the purpose of this provision is that the exploitation of resources remains the same. Fishing allowances, for example, will not depend on direct ownership, but on a utilization right which is reclaimable, he explained.

“This has a symbolic meaning, but this doesn’t mean the current arrangement will be changed, neither that the basis from certain industries can be removed nor that certain industries can increase their ownership [of natural resources],” said Haarde.

The new provision reads: “Iceland’s natural resources are owned by the nation, although the right of individuals and legal parties is to be respected, according to the 72nd article. The natural resources should be used for the nation’s benefit, according to law.”

“This should not prevent private parties to be given allowance to use or exploit these resources, according to law,” the provision continues.

Click here to read more about the controversial natural resource provision.

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