It doesn’t exist yet, but the threat of “El Canal” – a 260 kilometre canal through the heart of Nicaragua – is already wreaking havoc on farming and fishing communities, including indigenous people.

At a minimum, tens of thousands of people would have to be relocated for the canal, which is being financed by a Chinese investor. Legislation for the project was hastily approved by the Nicaraguan government, despite the fact that it clearly violates the Nicaraguan Constitution and the country’s indigenous and land rights laws.

In 2015, Both ENDS conducted a field trip to the region, meeting with Nicaraguan partners and communities to assess their needs and develop joint plans for raising awareness about land rights.

Thanks to the new Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA), a strategic partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by Nicaraguan-based Fondo Centroamericano de Mujeres (FCAM), Both ENDS will be expanding its collaboration with Central American organisations.

Supporting communities that would be affected by the planned canal will be a top priority in the coming years.

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Both ENDS will collaborate with Nicaraguan partner POPOL NA, among others, to inform communities about their rights and to push for rigorous implementation of the right to free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC). Both ENDS has already raised concerns about the planned project with the Dutch government and water sector companies, which are exploring business opportunities related to the canal.