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Nicaragua Canal Development Project Environmental and Social Impact Assessment 2014-7-18 14:31

Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA)

•  HKND has engaged the global sustainability consulting firm ERM to carry out an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for the Nicaragua Canal Development Project

•  Completion of an ESIA is required by Nicaraguan law for major infrastructure projects of this nature

•  The ESIA will comply with Nicaraguan requirements for public consultation and disclosure of the ESIA process and results

Purpose of the ESIA

• ESIA is a systematic process used to identify and assess the potential environmental, socio-economic and community health impacts of a project

• The ESIA ensures that all Project decisions, including those related to design, construction and operations, are made in full knowledge of the potential impacts to people and the environment

• The Project may use ESIA results to adjust design and make planning and management decisions that minimize any negative impacts, and that optimize beneficial ones

ESIA Study Area

The ESIA study will be conducted in communities within three departments, namely Rivas, Rio San Juan and Région Autonómica del Atlántico Sur (RAAS)

ESIA Process

• The ESIA will be completed following a standard impact assessment process and methodology. The main steps involved in this process are illustrated in the graphic at right. 

• To understand current environmental, social and health conditions as part of the first step, an array of environmental and social specialists are conducting a series of baseline studies that involve both desktop and field research. In addition, public consultations are being held to incorporate the concerns of local stakeholders into the understanding of baseline conditions.

Public Engagement in the ESIA Process

In accordance with Nicaraguan requirements, HKND has developed a public engagement program for the ESIA process. The purpose of the program is to:

• Inform the public about the ESIA’s purpose and process 

• Keep stakeholders updated about the ESIA scope, progress and results

• Provide opportunities for public feedback to the process and results

HKND is also developing a program of additional public engagements specifically for communities that meet the criteria for resettlement as specified in the applicable Nicaraguan law

Public Engagement Events

Five types of engagement events will be conducted as part of the ESIA public engagement program, as follows:

• Scoping meetings

• Focus groups

• Disclosure meetings

• Town hall meetings

• Baseline workshops

Scoping Meetings

As part of the ESIA’s scoping phase in July 2014, the Project will hold seven (7) scoping meetings with key stakeholder groups and communities along the route. 

The main objectives of the scoping meetings are to:

• Get public comment and involvement;

• Identify potential impacts, including direct, indirect and cumulative; 

• Identify additional stakeholders ;  

• Review alternatives to the proposed design of the Project; and,

• Discuss the administrative framework for the impact assessment

Town Hall Meetings

While the Project ESIA is underway, town hall meetings will be held in eleven (11) towns and villages along or near the Canal route. The town halls are a formal mechanism for informing residents of these villages about the ESIA process and will act as a forum for discussion and two-way exchange of information. 

Focus Groups

Beginning in July 2014, focus groups will be conducted with specific groups (e.g. women, fishermen, tourism operators) along the Project route to explain the Project and the ESIA process, and to discuss specific topics of relevance and concern for each group. 

Baseline Workshops

Beginning in October, 2014, workshops will be conducted in communities along the Project route to present the ESIA baseline findings, receive feedback and discuss potential impacts with communities. The overall objectives of the baseline workshops will be to promote public understanding of the Project and its ESIA process, and to understand and consider community perspectives on baseline sensitivities and potential Project impacts. 

The specific communities where these workshops will be conducted will be announced at a later date.

Disclosure Meetings

Prior to the final approval of ESIA, the Government of Nicaragua is going to arrange public consultation meeting.

Other Methods of Public Feedback

Other ways that the public can provide input to the ESIA include:

• Public comment form on this website (add link)

• Email address for inquiries: Nicaragua.Canal@erm.com 

• Participation in interviews and surveys conducted as part of the baseline studies

Comments and Questions?

If you would like more information about the ESIA or the public engagement events, please send us a message using our public comment form (add link)

Or contact us at:

Nicaragua.Canal@erm.com