Forget about the Deepwater Horizon! If Nicaragua’s $50 billion trans-oceanic Canal scheduled to start construction December 22 becomes a reality, it could be the world’s biggest environmental disaster in recent memory.
That’s the conclusion of many environmental experts upon hearing the first detailed public presentation of the pharaonic project by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Chinese consortium HKND to build a new waterway that would compete with the Panama Canal. The mega-project was reportedly negotiated with HKND by Laureano Ortega, the president’s son, who is acting as the government spokesman on the issue.
Ecologists are appalled, among other things, by the fact that construction will start next month without any serious environmental impact study.
At the Nov. 20 public presentation of the project in the Nicaraguan capital, Laureano Ortega announced that construction will start Dec. 22. But officials in charge of doing the project’s environmental studies conceded that a full report on its possible environmental impact won’t be finished until April 2015.