Environmentalist and television personality Ómar Ragnarsson has received donations from the public to complete his documentary on Gjástykki, a rift valley north of the caldera Krafla in northeast Iceland.
Ómar Ragnarsson. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Almost 7,000 people have registered to a Facebook group where everyone is encouraged to contribute ISK 1,000 (USD 8.1, EUR 6.3), Morgunbladid reports.
Yesterday, the executives of Landsvirkjun, the national power company, announced that they would donate ISK 2 million (USD 16,000, EUR 13,000) to the project.
“Landsvirkjun is under public ownership and therefore I don’t make a distinction between their contribution and the contribution of others. I am deeply touched by all of this support. I’m extremely grateful,” Ragnarsson said.
Ragnarsson is hoping to premiere his documentary in March 2011. “Gjástykki is unique in the world because there you can see where the American plate goes in one direction, the European plate in the other and Iceland comes up in between.”
“The question is whether the nation will profit more from leaving this area—where the creation of the earth is so evident—the way it is or harness it for an aluminum smelter at Bakki,” Ragnarsson said.
Few people have seen Gjástykki because the area is inaccessible. Ragnarsson is hoping that with his full-length documentary, more people can observe this natural wonder.
On July 15, Ragnarsson received the 2010 Environmental Prize of UMFÍ and the Plastic Bag Fund for his “unselfish and efficient work” for preserving Icelandic nature, dv.is reports. Ragnarsson said at the ceremony that he would use the prize money for his documentary.