The first public consultation related to the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) report of the Nicaragua Grand Canal Project was held last Thursday, September 24th 2015 in Managua.
Over 400 people participated in the meeting, including representatives from environmental organizations, NGOs, COSEP, AmCham Nicaragua, labor unions, Rama and Kriol Territorial Government, Nicaragua Canal and Development Project Commission, local authorities, university principals, ecological and environmental scientists and resident representatives from various communities along the canal route.
After two years of work, British company Environmental Resources Management (ERM) completed the report comprising of 14 volumes with 11,000 pages and up to 2.75 million words.
The report covers a wide range of scientific disciplines including geology, soil, groundwater, marine and freshwater ecosystems, social studies on the community health, cultural heritage, local economy, employment and so on.
The magnitude and accomplishment of this investigation is unprecedented through the history of Nicaragua. Large amount of highly valuable statistics and information are obtained for the canal project as well as for people of Nicaragua.
According to HKND Group release, the ESIA report demonstrates that the Grand Canal will have a positive impact on social and environmental terms. Upon taking appropriate mitigation measures, the mega project will eventually produce a “net positive” environmental and social impact.
ERM believes that preliminary analysis shows that the design of the canal is safe and reliable and that the Lake Nicaragua will have minimal impact caused by the project.
The meeting, organized by the Government of Nicaragua, lasted for nearly 6 hours.