Stop lime mining! Your voice for the Hönne Valley!
The Lhoist Group, a globally active Belgian company for the extraction of lime and minerals with 12 plants in Germany, wants to push ahead with lime mining in the Hönne Valley. The valley with its many caves, natural and cultural monuments is a gem in the Sauerland region. This unique, wonderful karst area with its special flora and fauna must be preserved as a whole for future generations (read more here). The large-scale lime mining that is destroying the landscape must be stopped. For this we ask for your vote! *)
The facts: Well-known sights such as the Balve Cave, the Recke Cave or the Felsenmeer near Hemer have long been protected. The surrounding karst plateaus, on the other hand, are planned lime mining areas. Much has not even been explored yet. Only recently, a new promising cave was discovered near Hemer-Brockhausen, in the limestone range of the Deilinghof plateau (pictures here). The internationally known dinosaur site in the Balve-Beckum quarry, which provides deep insights into evolutionary history, is also endangered.
Progressive lime burning in the Hönne Valley means that the CO2 bound in the limestone is released. In addition, the lime-burning process generates huge amounts of CO2, which further fuels the climate. The Group wants to solve this problem by capturing and injecting CO2 into the North Sea. "Carbon capture & storage" is an extremely energy-intensive process that is still largely untested in practice. Facts are to be created in the Hönne Valley on a scientifically uncertain basis.
The Group presents itself as a pioneer in climate protection. It is currently one of 100 companies nominated for the German Sustainability Award. The company promises the production of "green lime" (see Lhoist website LEVEL|BLUE). This is pure greenwashing. Yet concepts for truly green, climate-friendly lime production based on nature's example have long existed.
For its growth strategy, the Group demands planning security from politicians. Advancing mechanization and automation are destroying huge areas of land, with fewer and fewer workers. The damage to the landscape in the Hönnetal karst is already gigantic.
In order to be able to produce the planned 650,000 tons of lime per year, Lhoist now wants to deepen the Asbeck quarry by another 60 meters, far below Hönne level. In doing so, he is endangering protected species such as the noble crayfish, which is threatened with extinction, through the foreseeable drying up of the Hönne.
After the deepening, the company's efforts will be broadened: the uplands of the Hönne Valley have long been in the company's sights and grasp. "We need these deposits to be able to continue our operations reasonably in the long term," says the plant manager.
Lime mining endangers the water balance. The stone deserts cannot hold the water. Retention areas are becoming more and more restricted. Heavy rainfall makes severe flooding in the lower Hönne valley inevitable. The potential danger from unbridled lime mining is extremely high in the medium and long term - especially for the town of Menden and the Ruhr Valley.
The drinking water reservoir of the Hönnetal karst must be preserved. The karst is a reservoir that will become much more important in the extreme weather events expected as a result of climate change. 20 percent of the world's population is supplied with water by so-called karst water aquifers.
The ancient cultural landscape of the Hönne valley is being destroyed for lime mining. The river valley of the Hönne becomes a scenery landscape. In a few decades, the culturally and historically significant Klusenstein Castle, a protected monument, will be a gigantic quarry, a beacon of misguided regional development. The destruction of the landscape in the Hönne valley is final and irreparable.
Instead of a sustainable, climate-friendly and culturally aware development, a backward-looking raw material policy is being pursued in the Hönne Valley, destroying climate and landscape. In other words, the exact opposite of homeland protection.
In this valley, nature and landscape protection must have absolute priority over the profit interests of international corporations. What is needed is land development with a sense of proportion. What the politicians of earlier times allowed to happen in karst regions such as the Neander Valley (home of the neanderthal man) and elsewhere must not be repeated here. Lessons must finally be learned from these senseless, wanton destructions of landscape-shaping karst formations. It is a stroke of luck that the Hönne Valley still exists today in large parts in its original form. In accordance with its significance, it could be designated as a National Natural Monument in the future (more on this here).
Once before, citizens of the Hönnetal managed to save the valley from the threat of lime mining. What succeeded 100 years ago is also possible today. There will be no more conflict-free exploitation of further lime deposits in the Hönne Valley (voices of those affected).
Help with your signature to avert the unrestrained overexploitation in the Hönne valley. Help to preserve our homeland.
*) This petition is supported by the Naturhistorischer Verein Hönnetal e.V.