The US logging giant Simpson Forestry announced it would abandon its operations in Guatemala since a Constitutional Court ruling prohibited its access to the Rio Dulce for the transportation of logs. Guatemala’s National Commission of Protected Areas (CONAP) played a very important role in the matter by presenting a study before the Court, showing that the dredging of the river needed for log transportation, was very risky for this biodiversity-rich area. Facing the criticism of both Simpson Forestry, stating that CONAP is unqualified to talk about the matter, and that of the Chamber of Industry, according to which such kind of decisions makes Guatemala less atractive to foreign investments, CONAP and other environmental groups claim that the region should develop its ecotourism potential as a way of conserving the environment and, at the same time, creating jobs. The ruling is considered a significant and hopeful act in placing environmental protection above export profits.
Source: Ann Heinderich. NGONET.