Tartu city residents pick pulp mill halting as event of the year ({{commentsTotal}})

Tartu residents taking part in the Emajõekett (Emajõgi River Chain) protest in summer.
Tartu residents taking part in the Emajõekett (Emajõgi River Chain) protest in summer. Source: Tartu CIty Government

Residents of Tartu have chosen the scrapping of the proposed pulp mill planned for their vicinity as ''Tartu Deed of the Year 2018''.

The episode, which saw mass public protests in the city during the summer, objected primarily to the use that would have been made of the Emajõgi, the river that runs through the city. Pulp mills require large quantities of water in their industrial processes, so are invariably located near fresh water supplies like rivers and lakes. However, they also pollute both the water and atmosphere. The opposition culminated in the shelving of the pulp mill both in Tartu and elsewhere in Estonia.

The competition, the 21st of its kind, is organised jointly by the Tartu City Government and daily Tartu Postimees, awarded honorary certificates and copes of a book entitled ''Estonian National Landscapes in Words and Images'' to people involved in the Tartu Appeal and the Emajõgi Chain, groups which organised peaceful opposition to the mill.

The groups were selected by around 4,000 votes cast by city residents, and a line of conifers is to be planted along the Emajõgi's banks in Tartu city centre as an additional recognition of the groups' actions.

The awards were presented at the city's Town Hall by Mayor Urmas Klass (Reform) ad editor-in-chief of Tartu Postimees, Rannar Raba.

Other events also being recognised as deeds of the year included University of Tartu Students' ''Gaudeamus'' song festival which brought over 4,000 performers from the Baltic States to Tartu, renovations to the university library, and the third phase of construction on the eastern traffic circle as well as other similar projects or events.

Those involved were also presented with a photo album marking the 80th anniversary of the city's Vanemuine Ballet entitled ''Dancing the Tartu''.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte



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