HKND, the Hong Kong-based Chinese company behind a mooted Nicaragua Canal plan, is teaming up with an environmental NGO in the Central American nation to devise biodiversity management plans for the ambitious and controversial project.
Friends of the San Juan River Foundation (FUNDAR) is the group that has signed up to work with HKND to find ways to protect ecosystems that would be impacted by the Canal, which is projected to cost $50bn.
HKND has undertaken this agreement in order to meet recommendations made by British firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM) in an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) it was commissioned to provide.
Last November the Nicaragua government gave HKND an environmental permit for the canal deeming that it would have a beneficial environmental and social impact.
If it comes to fruition the Nicaragua Canal would stretch 172 miles, be between 230m and 520m wide and 27.6m deep, all greater numbers than the relevant comparisons with the Panama Canal, situated to its south.
The length alone would be more than three times that of the well-established Panama waterway, which celebrated its centennial in 2014 and which just this weekend inaugurated new expanded locks, expanding its ability to handle very large container ships.