In Switzerland, a few kilometers from Lausanne, the multinational cement company LaFargeHolcim seeks to expand the exploitation of the limestone quarry which consumes and attacks the Mormont hill: the area with remarkable flora and fauna. The quarry’s expansion threatens to engulf the hill’s protected forest, its unique biodiversity, its history and the cultivated lands which it is home to. The company is no stranger to such aggressions. Its involvement in over 120 cases of environmental and human rights violations is currently documented in 34 countries.
The Birette plateau is an area of precious biodiversity. It hosts an atypical flora comprising several protected species, including rare species of orchids. It is also of crucial archeological and historical importance. Furthermore, the extracted limestone participates in the colossal CO2 emissions produced by LaFarge Holcim and the cement sector, which is responsible for 12% of the global CO2 emissions. Holcim Switzerland is the company producing the most CO2 territorial emissions in the country.
Since the legal recourses submitted were unable to guarantee the termination of the project, the occupants of the Zone à Défendre (ZAD) de la Colline decided to block it in order to defend the hill’s biodiversity, local farming, cultural patrimony and, more broadly, the climate against the concrete industry. Through their physical occupation of the site, they oppose corporate land-grabbing, the rampant exploitation of resources whose transformation and usage is detrimental to the environment, health and human rights. Additionally, this ZAD seeks to understand and combat the socially and environmentally destructive system of which the company’s extractive project is a part.
First published by Squat!net.
Photo: Zad de la Colline.