Nicaragua is an interesting country to study environmental issues in, as it is both the largest country in Central America and the least populated. The country has the unique opportunity to protect and conserve a large amount of natural resources, with less risk of disruption by overpopulation. Yet, the country is still facing a lot of issues in conservation, including rapidly increasing deforestation and pollution.
Many of the natural forests are currently being turned into agricultural land from substantial logging, and the government is doing little to intervene. I believe, and many other Nicaraguans would agree that we have a moral obligation to protect the future of Nicaragua and the rest of the world.
Non-profit organizations like Sonati are stepping in to combat these environmental issues that the government is neglecting to address. In their mission statement, they explain that because of the environmental degradation occurring in their country, many Nicaraguans have no drinking water and in extreme cases, even live in trash dumps. At the end of the dry season, there is no drinking water and there is nothing to eat because of too high temperatures and acid rain destroying crop because of deforestation. They provide a number of programs for the community, including education, recycling and conservation projects.
Water.org is currently not involved in Nicaragua, but is active in other Central American and Caribbean countries.WaterAid is a similar organization that works towards getting clean water to Nicaraguan peoples. According to their website, a third of the country is without access to safe water or proper toilets. It explains that Nicaragua has abundant sources of freshwater, but little of it is safe to drink or is readily accessible.
A current events issue that is currently being petitioned by environmentalists and Nicaraguan peoples is a canal project started by a Chinese-backed group HKND in Nicaragua’s government. The canal would cut the country in half through Lake Nicaragua, the country’s major source of fresh water. Many indigenous people of the area would also become displaced, losing their lands and homes. This relates to the issues faced by the Inuit people described in the article by Sheila Watt-Cloutier.
Nicaragua has long been referred to as the “Lung of Central America” as it is a beautiful country rich in dense ecosystems and wildlife. It is our duty to preserve these lands and make sure that this beauty is able to be preserved for generations to come. There will come a point when we are unable to recover from the environmental damage we have caused, so now is a better time than ever to start making meaningful steps towards preserving our earth.
Here is a video about how Club Verde, an environmentalist group of young people from Granada, Nicaragua, are making efforts to clean up their city. The cumulating effect of efforts like these, in communities, can end up making a huge difference in the environment around us: