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18 de febrero de 2010 | | | |

Helpless Wetlands

Honduras: authorized projects threaten wetlands and communities

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Only 24 hours after Lobo took office, his administration was already granting new environmental permits for projects on wetlands which are part of the environmental richness of Honduras, threatening species and communities.

What is happening to these protected areas of Honduras, also occurs at international levels, violating environmental, human and cultural rights.

This is what Jorge Varela, Executive Director of the “Committee for Defense and Development of the Fauna and Flora of the Gulf of Fonseca”, told Real World Radio.

Varela has been awarded the environmental Goldman Award due to his work on the conservation of ecosystems of the Gulf of Fonseca, shared by Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

“We feel helpless because Honduran authorities are not complying with their international commitments”, Varela said.

The activist also said that when grassroots organizations and communities are asked to participate it is only to “comply with some requirements” and that several permits have been granted without the approval of them.

“We come from a coup d´etat, the new authorities took office on January 25th and on January 26th the permits were authorized. This is a true record.”

The role of wetlands in terms of climate change and preventing natural disasters is known internationally. However, more and more projects are promoted and authorized by countries aiming to receive investments.

Varela stated that the commitments taken by industrialized countries are useless if they do not include transnational corporations.

On behalf of the Red Manglar International, Jorge Varela denounced the agreements signed in a meeting in Paris, in which the World Wildlife Fund and other organizations participated. These agreements certify the industry of shrimp.

“If it is true that these organizations are committed to the environment, they should help us ban the industry of shrimp, because otherwise we will end up without wetlands, which will increase hunger and poverty. In my opinion, they have taken the side of the corporations to obtain some profit”, Varela said.

Meanwhile, the Committee has serious obstacles, not only because of the lack of resources, but also for the repression, which grew during the dictatorship that ousted Jose Manuel Zelaya and continues with Porfirio Lobo.

(CC) 2010 Radio Mundo Real


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