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HKND Responds to the Statement on January 6, 2015 by the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua 2015-1-9 21:16

HKND Group noted the statement released on January 6, 2015 by the U.S. embassy in Nicaragua, which expressed concerns about the lack of information and transparency regarding the Nicaragua Canal and Development Project. 

HKND values comments from all of the Project’s stakeholders. As one of its fundamental principles, HKND is committed to the open, transparent and international nature of the Project, and we strive to include both local and international companies in the development of the Project.  

Below is a list of selective examples of our efforts to achieve these goals:

• HKND keeps publishing the key information of the environmental and social impact assessment of the Project on its corporate website, including the Project Description, the Project Overview Map, the Public Consultations Overview, Terms of Reference and the ESIA report for the Temporary Access Road.

• From December 2 to December 9, 2013, HKND and its advisors had a series of meetings with International Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank, Wildlife Conversation Society, Fauna & Flora International, RAMSAR and International Union for Conservation of Nature in the US, UK and Switzerland. During the meetings we informed these international organizations on the latest developments relating to the Project and sought their comment on environmental and social considerations.

• On April 23, 2014, we presented a comprehensive update of the Project to a group of experts at the World Bank. The audience of experts provided constructive opinions and questions.

• We held a press conference on July 7, 2014 to announce the route of the canal and we and our advisers made presentations on the technical, geological, cultural and environmental impact of the Project. The conference was broadcasted in real time to the public.

• From July 14 to July 16, 2014, we held six briefing seminars about the Project across the country in Managua, Rivas, Bluefields and New Guinea. Our team shared project details and its implications with local government agencies, community representatives and university students. The briefing seminars were widely covered by local media.

• From July 21 to July 30, 2014, we and our environmental and social impact advisor, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), held scoping meetings across Nicaragua.  Approximately 5,000 people participated in the scoping meetings, including housewives, students, professionals, agricultural producers, fishermen, artisans, businessmen and scholars.

• From October 13 to October 31, 2014, HKND and ERM conducted a series of activities involving direct dialogue with 9 indigenous communities. More than 720 indigenous people participated in these activities.

• On November 20, 2014, HKND, together with the Nicaraguan Canal and Development Project Commission, presented the Technical Engineering and Environmental and Social Impact Studies of the Project in the auditorium of the Secretariat of the Presidency. More than 300 representatives from the various sectors of the country attended the event, including representatives of the diplomatic corps in Nicaragua, environmental groups and the Autonomous Regional Council of the South Caribbean Coast.

The financing, technical feasibility studies and the environmental and social impact assessment of the Project are still ongoing, and HKND intends to provide the public with further information on the results of these activities and studies in due course.

HKND Group is committed to promote competitive tendering processes consistent with international best practices for each phase of work and to include qualified Nicaraguan, regional and international firms in each tender. Our current partners include China Railway Construction Corporation as well as ERM, founded in the UK, SBE from Belgium and MEC Mining from Australia. Consistent with customary international practices for preliminary construction work of a similar nature, tender for the initial construction work, including the construction of the temporary access road which connects the project sites and the existing rivers, ports and highways for the transportation of construction equipment, is carried out by invitation to multiple Nicaraguan and Chinese companies. For more substantial construction work to be done in later phases of the Project, we plan to welcome regional and international companies in the tender and ensure the fairness and openness of the process for all parties.

HKND Group        

January 9, 2015