Date: Tue, 12 May 98 15:55:37 CDT
Declaration from SOLCARSA Campaign Groups
From <email@example.com, Saturday 25 April 1998, 12:06:43 -0400 (EDT)
In light of the official closing down of Sol del Caribe S.A., subsidiary of the Kum Kyung transnational from South Korea, which carried out operations in the municipality of Rosita in the RAAN, the groups and organizations that coordinated the campaign to protect the tropical forests of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua express the following:
1. The turning over of our natural wealth and large areas of our territory to multinational companies due to the current concession giving policies repeats a model that has again and again failed all over the world. This is particularly the case in areas with a highly fragile ecosystem, where the conditions of dependency are made more severe, environmental deterioration becomes more drastic, and poverty levels increase. More creative ways to manage natural resources should be sought...ways in which the local communities can participate effectively and without trampling on their rights to use and enjoy the natural wealth that belongs to them.
2. The SOLCARSA case reveals the lack of administrative management and the public officials' total control over whom would receive such concessions in Nicaragua. In as much, as long as the current concessions policies continue without transparent bidding and open competition, exhaustive studies detailing the economic and technical capacities of potential investors will not take place.
3. The respective authorities both national and local with support from development organizations should contribute to the efforts to find economic alternatives that are sustainable both socially, economically, and environmentally in Las Minas sub-region.
4. The Labor Ministry should guarantee that the former employees of SOLCARSA receive their severance pay and all the corresponding benefits due to the plant closing.
5. The demarcation of the indigenous' lands on Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast is extremely necessary in order for the government to clarify the legal ownership of any of these lands before putting them up for sale to national and foreign investors.
6. The Comptroller General's Office of the Republic has a fundamental role and must complete and make public as soon as possible the Environmental Department's report which details the irregularities in the process of granting the concession and the responsibilities of the officials involved.
7. The Environmental Prosecutor's Office should file suit against SOLCARSA despite the fact that the resolution to close the company's activities has been complied with. This is necessary so that the affected communites receive just compensation for the damages caused by the logging concession.
8. The Nicaraguan government should make a statement as soon as possible regarding the report on SOLACARSA by the OAS' Inter-american Commision on Human Rights.
9. The support of the international community is necessary in order to implement projects that truly guarantee a sustainable natural resource management in which the inhabitants of the autonomous regions can enjoy the benefits of their own resources right now and over the long run .
Declared in the city of Managua on April 22, 1998.
Centro Humboldt, Jovenes Ambientalists, CEDEHCA, AEESCA, CIDCA, CONADES (Bilwi), Movimiento Ambientalist Nicaraguense, NICAMBIENTAL, FUNDECI, Accion Permanente por la Paz, CEPAD, Movimiento Indigena de Nicaragua.
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