HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Rockets or rainforest

A commercial launch pad will bring jobs, but at what cost?

ONE of the Caribbean's last jungles could soon echo to the sound of rocket launches. Guyana has agreed to sell a large tract of pristine swampy rainforest to a Texan rocket-launch company, Beal Aerospace, for just $7.50 a hectare.

The deal, signed last month, replaces Beal's original plan to build its $250 million launch pad on the Caribbean island of Sombrero in Anguilla, which angered environmental scientists (New Scientist, 12 February, p 22). Guyanese prime minister Samuel Hinds hailed the project-which could see more than 20 commercial satellite launches a year -- as "a quantum leap for Guyana into the new millennium".

But critics say the country will gain little economically, while rainforest dwellers will be thrown out of their homes, swamps drained, forests cut down and ancient archaeological remains trashed.

In the US, Beal Aerospace is testing 70-metre rockets fuelled with a mix of aviation fuel and hydrogen peroxide, which will carry 5-tonne payloads. The vice-president of Beal, David Spoede, says the company hopes to be launching from the site in Guyana in three to four years' time. Guyana is close to the equator, which is the best place to launch satellites into geostationary orbit above the equator. The European Space Agency's spaceport is in nearby French Guiana. From Guyana, the launch route eastwards will be over open ocean in case of mishaps.

Beal plans to buy, then partially drain, 100 square kilometres of swamp on the north bank of the River Waini and lease from Guyana a buffer zone three times as large. Hinds calls the site "generally unproductive land never before commercially utilised". But the deal documents acknowledge that up to 54 families living there would have to be moved. Sharon Atkinson of the Amerindian Peoples' Association in Guyana says many others will lose their right to hunt, fish and gather thatch and timber there.

The
'"/>

Contact: Claire Bowles
claire.bowles@rbi.co.uk
44-207-331-2751
New Scientist
30-May-2000


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Save the rainforest - eat a tree
2. Deserts and rainforests are equally productive during drought
3. Conservation International & SC Johnson invest in Ecuadors rainforest to offset climate impacts
4. First phylogeographic study of a rainforest tree
5. A realistic way to save rainforests
6. Chimpanzees with little or no human contact found in remote African rainforest
7. Oregon power companies offset carbon through investment in Ecuadors rainforest
8. Amazon rainforest could be unsustainable within a decade
9. Weeds in disturbed areas may be source of more medically important compounds than plants in tropical rainforests
10. Amazon roads may lead to peril for rainforest
11. Amazon rainforest field research facility opens for ecological, global change studies

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, ... Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  The latest ... comprehensive analysis of the global Border Security market ... of $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In ... in software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... -- Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the ... latest premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC ... today announced the opening of an IoT Center of ... strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris biometric ... unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric ... one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... the release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” ... and retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. ... microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... FRANCISCO , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome ... has secured $1 million in debt financing from Silicon ... ramp up automation and to advance its drug development ... its new facility. "SVB has been an ... beyond the services a traditional bank would provide," said ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: