HKND Group Participates in the National Earth Fair of Nicaragua
HKND Group, the concessionaire of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal Project, participated in the National Earth Fair, whose 16th edition was held on April 21 and 22 in Managua, in the framework of the International Mother Earth Day, which was established 47 years ago. As an exhibitor, HKND Group took this opportunity to demonstrate the public the concept of sustainable development and the company's commitment to the environment in Nicaragua, as well as the good environmental practices of the Interoceanic Canal Project. Likewise, the HKND Group called on the Nicaraguans to join forces and contribute to improving the environment and natural resources, in order to build the Canal in an ecological way and thus promote the harmonious development between human being and nature.
The theme of the 16th National Earth Fair was "Water and Human Development", a message that according to HKND Group should not go unnoticed, highlighting the care for one of the most valuable treasures of Nicaragua: Lake Cocibolca or Lake Nicaragua. To this end, the firm has developed environmental and water management plans, which would be implemented during the construction and operation of the Interoceanic Canal. This project, according to HKND Group, will contribute to the sustainable development of Lake Cocibolca.
Apart from paying attention to Lake Cocibolca, HKND Group has also conducted numerous studies and has implemented plans for the Canal Project to contribute to protecting forests and ecosystems along the route. The firm has also made a series of adjustments and improvements to the Canal's original design in order to protect mangroves, wetlands, natural palm forests and marine reserves, among other natural resources. Although this increased the construction cost of the Project, HKND Group is convinced that it is necessary and it is worth assuming the social and environmental responsibilities, because the firm is deeply identified with the environmental values of the Nicaraguan people.
HKND Group also brings together the efforts of the Government of Nicaragua, educational institutions and NGOs, and motivates the public, especially young people, to promote environmental protection together. Examples include the educational reforestation activity, carried out in Rivas Department since July 2016, the collaboration with the National Agricultural University (UNA) to expand its nursery to support professional environmental education and the hiring of the Nicaraguan NGO FUNDAR to develop the Biodiversity Management Plans of the Nicaragua Grand Canal.
In addition, HKND Group is committed, through the Interoceanic Canal of Nicaragua, to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Once the Canal comes into operation in Nicaragua, vessels will be able to save travel time and thereby greatly reduce CO2 emissions. Globally, the construction of the Interoceanic Canal will reduce 32.5 million tons in annual CO2 emissions generated by the world maritime trade.
Raomir Manzanarez, director of the Young Environmentalist Club of Nicaragua, member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, said: "As organizers, we are very happy and satisfied that HKND participates as an exhibitor in this fair. We have great interest because it is an opportunity for the public to acquire a better understanding of the plans of this company with regard to taking care of and conserving our environment.” “Because of its geological position and its biodiversity, Nicaragua is very privileged. At present, we admit that very difficult situations are arising regarding the biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. We consider that the Canal Project will work to improve our watershed, to conserve water, which also contributes to the conservation of biodiversity,” said Manzanares.
Eugenio Sacasa, a student at the Christian Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UCAN), stated that he initially had a lot of doubts about the environmental impacts of the Canal, but now he has changed his mind “because HKND clarified a lot of things, such as the fact that the environmental analysis has already been carried out, there will be no impact on the Lake's aquatic fauna, the Canal already has its reforestation plan...” He understood that “the Project offers the guarantee that the damage will be compensated with the benefits of the Project, and these will be great”.
"HKND has made a great contribution to Nicaragua with all the studies that it has carried out on water, species, etc.," said the Majority Leader of the National Assembly of Nicaragua and president of the National Earth Fair Platform, Edwin Castro. “Like any work of progress in any part of the world, the Nicaraguan Canal Project entails some ecological disturbance, but compensation measures are being implemented. I am convinced that the logic with which the Canal is designed is precisely a logic in which, ecologically speaking, the benefit is greater than the damage if weighed on a balance. Both the reforestation along the entire Canal watershed and the work done to preserve wetlands and mangroves are extremely outstanding and important actions to highlight. Ecologically speaking, I believe that the Canal will bring enormous benefits in Nicaragua," he added.
The National Earth Fair, which has been held for 16 consecutive years, has become the forum par excellence where the government, companies, social organizations and academic institutions present and discuss their good environmental practices to jointly promote the sustainable development of Nicaragua. The event is promoted by the Young Environmentalists Club, the National Assembly, the Government of Nicaragua and the Municipal Government of Managua. In addition to HKND Group, more than 140 national and international institutions and companies participated in the fair, including the Pan American Health Organization, European Union, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Nestlé, Caterpillar, Claro and Banpro, among others. This year the event attracted about 40,000 visitors.