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:3/9/2016)... YORK , March 9, 2016 This ... and future states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) ... segments such as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, ... Analyze various segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as ... services Identify the main factors affecting each segment and ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... Fla. , March 9, 2016  Crossmatch ... authentication and enrollment solutions, today announced the addition ... ® Altus multi-factor authentication platform. New ... InfoSec managers to step-up security where it,s needed ... Washington, DC . --> ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic ... of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership in Education, and, ... is the 9 th year of the FLEXI ... companies and individuals from past years . Judging ... a pre-described set of criteria, by a panel of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 NanoStruck Technologies Inc. ... ( Frankfurt : 8NSK) gibt bekannt, ... 13. August 2015 die Genehmigung von der CNSX ... 200.000.000 Einheiten auf 400.000.000 Einheiten zu erhöhen, um ... wurden 157.900.000 Einheiten mit dem ersten Teil der ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... British Virgin Islands (PRWEB) , ... April 27, ... ... Holding Company Ltd. (d/b/a Biohaven) is pleased to announce the appointment of John Tilton ... he was an Executive Director and one of the founding commercial leaders responsible ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Lamka, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lamka will assist PathSensors in ... pathogen detection. , PathSensors deploys the CANARY® test platform for the detection ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group ... Ross is the founder of GSCG affiliate Kimera Labs in Miami. , In 2004, ... hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematologic disorders and the suppression of graft vs. host ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: