nicaragua canal 2Posted: July 8, 2013
More news about the canal, following our post last week. Amongst the articles and analysis:
More information about the Rama Kriol Government, including a video. See here.
Article from COHA, Council on Hemispheric Affairs in the US: see here.
In the meantime, Nicanet has included two different views from environmentalists from Nicaragua about the canal in its latest update:
El Nuevo Diario carried two important interviews in the past week with environmentalists who expressed differing views on the impact the inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua could have on the nation’s ecology, especially on Lake Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua). Salvador Montenegro Guillen of the Center for Research on Aquatic Resources at the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (CIRA-UNAN) said that, while at the moment only a few towns get their water from Lake Cocibolca, many more could do so “and if there were to occur an oil spill, even a small one, it would be the end of hopes for supplying national needs and for the export of water to neighboring countries. A very small spill, say 5,000 barrels, could take more than 20 years to eliminate, given the conditions in Cocibolca, and would be sufficient to cause the suspension of consumption of water from the lake for drinking and for irrigation.” Montenegro said that there are several other options for a canal route that would not use the lake. “A route excavated completely on land could connect the two ports and industrial cities that are planned,” he insisted. In the interview he did not describe the possible routes.
Jorge Jenkins Molieri, the first head of what later became the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA), agrees on the importance of protecting Nicaragua’s water resources for irrigation and human consumption but he believes that the Lake can successfully be used as part of the canal. He said that water from the vast watershed that drains into the Lake would be held in reservoirs for use to maintain the necessary water levels for the passage of ships through the canal. It would be from those reservoirs that water would be taken for drinking and for crop irrigation. He said that for the first time the funding would be available for investment in the restoration of forests destroyed by timber companies and farmers clearing land for agriculture. He stated, “If you don’t protect the environment and the natural resources there will not be enough water and without water there is no canal.” On the subject of the ethnic communities of the Caribbean region, Jenkins said that there would be communities that wanted to participate and gain benefits from the project while others would prefer to conserve their traditional lifestyles. “I believe that the latter should be respected” and the indigenous communities should all be compensated for the use of their territories, he concluded