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14 Mai 2015

Chris Kraul, ChinaDialogue

Nicaragua Canal: A giant project with huge environmental costs

...The US$50 billion canal project is the brainchild of Chinese businessman Wang Jing and has the full support of the Nicaraguan government...Many Nicaraguans back the canal project, and preliminary work has already begun — even before the completion of an environmental impact assessment. But other Nicaraguans, as well as local and international scientists, say the canal would be an environmental catastrophe, threatening a host of ecosystems across the country...it would also displace tens of thousands of Nicaraguans, including indigenous people...Scientists say the damage to Lake Nicaragua could be enormous...

For most Nicaraguans, environmental concerns about the canal run a distant second to the economic stimulus that President Daniel Ortega has promised the canal would deliver...special laws passed by the National Assembly gave HKND the right to build on native lands previously designated as quasi-sovereign. Estimates of how many residents would be displaced by canal construction run from 30,000 to more than 100,000 people...