by 1999 Goldman Environmental Prize Winner Jorge Varela Marquez
For more than a decade Messrs. shrimp aquaculturists in the Gulf of Fonseca pressed the government of Honduras to pass a law allowing them to legalize and treat as private property the lands that belonged to the government of Honduras, allowing them to rent concessions.
A large section of civil society has opposed such intentions, considering that this is more an act of plunder, which actually takes place at the expense of the national treasury, allowing certain "aquaculturists" land speculation before the stimulus production, and without generating any compensation for the state in financial transactions that occur.
Thus shrimpers have sold, mortgaged, and transferred under any title or concessions received condition. This lucrative speculation in "real estate" has stimulated the expansion of shrimp farming, and led to the destruction of mangroves, lagoons, mudflats and all kinds of wetland ecosystems in violation of the agreement in 1999 regarding the "Ramsar Site # 1000" and the declaration Protected Areas of the South in 2000. Moreover, it has also violated the Constitution in Article 107, to allow a large area of coastal concession to now possibly be "donated" to transnational fishing and aquaculture.
The media report that shrimpers claim legalizing transactions past, present and future by a decree that Congress would approve to allow the above transactions be legalized, pseudo benefit of entrepreneurs and Deputies who need fresh money to pay their political campaigns in this election period. If this goes through, the congressmen would be giving away all and sundry natural resources of the nation (as seems to have done with the "Model Cities" and the granting of rivers among others).
We propose that better legislation in favor of the majority who will give or deny the vote according to his ways. In contrast, we request the issuing of a decree stating: "The concessions shrimp companies to be declared bankrupt, or declare UNABLE TO CONTINUE OPERATING, MUST END CLOSING THEIR COMMITMENTS, AND RETURN TO THE STATE, AFTER THESE LANDS are made available to the LOCAL COMMUNITIES FOR ONCE THESE trained and initial funding, to take responsibility for managing the FARMS, PAYING WITH PRODUCTION improvements that have been made and are involved and to allocate 10% of their profits to fulfill their corporate social responsibility. NON-STATE COMMUNITY INTEREST EXITIR should proceed to a public auction, and if it fails then the state PROCEED TO RESTORE THE ENVIRONMENT FOR SERVICE OF HUMANITY.