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:12/6/2016)... Dec. 6, 2016 Securus Technologies, a ... solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring, ... today a five (5) year funding commitment by ... expand the rehabilitation and reentry support to more ... Established in 2004, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 1, 2016   SoftServe , ... BioLock , an electrocardiogram (ECG) biosensor analysis ... a key IoT asset. The smart system ensures ... vehicle,s steering wheel and mobile devices to easily ... As vehicle technology advances, so too ...
(Date:11/29/2016)... BOSTON , Nov. 29, 2016 BioDirection, ... rapid point-of-care products for the objective detection of concussion ... the company has successfully completed a meeting with the ... company,s Tbit™ blood test Pre-Submission Package. During the meeting ... Tbit™ system as a precursor to commencement of a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... From ... innovation is taking over sports. On Thursday, December 15th a panel of entrepreneurs, ... disrupting the playing field at a Smart Talk session. Smart Talk will run ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Biotheranostics today announced that ... of the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) in identifying ... are most at-risk for disease recurrence and might ... from three studies advancing the understanding of the ... tumor biology and inform decisions related to patient ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- Eurofins announces the appointment of Sean Murray , National ... (ESI). Mr. Murray will bring valuable expertise to ... in leading international business teams. As the National Division Leader, he ... Eurofins, status as the global leader in bio-analytical testing services. ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... the FrontPanel SDK that provide essential device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, ... require FrontPanel support. The FOMD-ACV-A4 is a small, thin, SODIMM-style module that fits ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: