Ramsar delegation arrives in Nicaragua to survey wetlands along proposed canal route

January 14, 2015
2 Comments

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – A delegation representing the Ramsar Wetlands Convention has arrived in Nicaragua to evaluate the potential environmental consequences of construction of a massive interoceanic canal through the San Miguelito wildlife refuge in the southern region of the country, Nicaragua’s Environment Minister Juana Argeñal said Wednesday.

The delegation is headed by Ramsar’s Americas adviser, María Rivera, and responds to an invitation by the government of Daniel Ortega, Argeñal told local state-run media.

After meeting with government officials and representatives of the canal concessionaire, HK Nicaragua Development Invesment (HKND), Rivera said it is “very, very positive that Nicaragua has called the convention” to study the San Miguelito wetlands. According to the Ramsar adviser, all signatory countries are obligated to inform the convention about “any type of threat to a Ramsar site.”

The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that seeks national and international cooperation to protect wetlands across the globe. The delegation will present its findings and recommendations after visiting the refuge.

San Miguelito, in the southern department of Río San Juan, spans 43,000 hectares and houses 30 percent of the country’s bird species, as well as a large number of amphibians. It is located along the proposed 278-kilometer canal route, which officially broke ground on Dec. 22, 2014 with the start of a few access roads.

The canal will cross Lake Cocibolca, Central America’s largest freshwater lake, despite growing opposition from environmentalists and other opponents, who accuse the government of irresponsibly launching the massive project without completing a comprehensive environmental impact assessment. That study currently is directed by the British firm Environmental Resource Management (ERM), which promised to issue conclusions in March or April.

The Great Canal of Nicaragua will require a minimum investment of $50 billion, according to  HKND.

Related: Journalists harassed, detained in latest chapter of Nicaragua canal saga

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Eclectic electric: Ocaso Music Festival rages in Tamarindo
Music
520 views
Music
520 views

Eclectic electric: Ocaso Music Festival rages in Tamarindo

Duncan Anderson - January 15, 2019

TAMARINDO, Guanacaste — Raging the largest developed beach town in Guanacaste, Ocaso Music Festival kept Tamarindo wide awake following the…

Rough edges and rich culture: Our Puerto Viejo Deep Dive
Tico Times Deep Dive
707 views
Tico Times Deep Dive
707 views

Rough edges and rich culture: Our Puerto Viejo Deep Dive

Alexander Villegas - January 15, 2019

Puerto Viejo isn’t for everyone. If you need your beach vacation to be peppered with air-conditioned rooms and restaurants; if…

Introducing The Tico Times merchandise
Costa Rica
625 views
Costa Rica
625 views

Introducing The Tico Times merchandise

The Tico Times - January 15, 2019

Who doesn’t love Sloth Kong? Now you can own a little bit of Sloth Kong, support The Tico Times and…