The Paris Disagreement

The Paris Disagreement

The kinds of governments and national attitudes in the United States of America and Nicaragua rarely coincide, lately. In fact, it would be unusual and even surprising that Nicaragua and the United States of America would find themselves united against the rest of the nations of the world on any particular world policy or political stance. Even more bizarre would be that the two countries would find themselves formally differing from all of the countries of all the continents in the world, save Syria. Nonetheless, this is what appears to have happened, recently.

At the Paris summit on climate change, held in 2016, a collection of environmental objectives were established, with commitments made by the respective nations for compliance. Most countries have formally signed on, and virtually all the nations in the world participated and agreed on the formal outcome of the summit. The countries which did not, were Syria, a failed state, and Nicaragua, which argued that poor nations are obliged to shoulder an incommensurate burden regarding carbon dioxide, especially when considering that most wealthy nations developed their infrastructure and economies by destroying their forests, centuries ago in most cases.

It merits mention that Nicaragua, which openly opposed the final version of the consensus 2016 agreement, is among the very poorest countries in the western hemisphere. Its carbon footprint, however, is exceedingly low: close to half its electricity is generated by renewable energy sources, and there are far fewer automobiles than in other, more prosperous countries. Furthermore, air travel through the country is a fraction of comparable countries such as Costa Rica. Even the proposed Nicaragua Canal is billed as providing a huge greenhouse gas dividend to the world, if and when it is built.

The USA position, on the other hand, has recently changed dramatically. A guiding force in the agreement just a year ago, the government, now under the control of President Donald Trump, has summarily discounted the agreement as bad for US interests, and has already begun pulling away from the commitments made by the country to comply with the agreement.

Stranger bedfellows were never known than these: Nicaragua, Syria, and the United States, all found outside the Paris Agreement.

Follow the link to an essay in Spanish by Jeffrey McCrary on this subject, published 15 June, 2017, in El Nuevo Diario.

The GAIA Program Wild Nature Conservation Projects

The GAIA Program Wild Nature Conservation Projects

Calocitta formosa Jeffrey McCraryProtecting the environment requires a lot more than just hugging trees. As director of the GAIA program in the Nicaraguan not-for-profit foundation, FUNDECI., Jeffrey McCrary works on technical issues to protect the environment in Nicaragua. How Nicaragua manages its environmental issues in the face of a rapidly growing economy and a deep transformation is key to the sustainability of its success as a nation, and in particular, its wild natural resources are issues of international importance.

The GAIA program works to unify efforts between local people, national and international volunteers, scientists and professionals, the international cooperation and donor communities, and the Nicaraguan government, to promote prosperity among rural Nicaraguans while protecting and improving conditions for wildlife and their habitat.

GAIA has worked on a variety of issues of importance to the conservation of natural resources in Nicaragua, such as:

Jeffrey McCrary

Blue-crowned Motmot, in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua. Photo Jen Moran.

The hydroelectric project TUMARIN

Wind energy in Nicaragua: Covensa, Blue Power, Eolo

The Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal

Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve Management Plan

Chiltepe Peninsula Nature Reserve Management Plan

Estacion Biologica Laguna de Apoyo

Wild animal rescue and advocacy

Protection of the Natural Heritage of Nicaragua


Nicaragua lies in the middle of the Mesoamerican isthmus, with year-round warm weather. Substantial numbers of migratory birds winter here, some of them just pass through Nicaragua during their extensive migrations in each direction, and a few species of birds nest here and then migrate southward during the non-breeding period.

Jeffrey McCrary bird

Other birds, such as the pictured Chestnut-capped warbler (Basileuterus delattrii), are strictly resident species. That means that they never move particularly far from the area where they were born, possibly only excepting what is called dispersal, which occurs as birds mature and depart from parental assistance. Of the more than seven hundred bird species documented in Nicaragua, about a third of them are found in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. One of the more important bird species there is the Chestnut-capped Warbler.

Birds from this location have been reported in a pair of scholarly articles on new and novel reports of birds in Nicaragua. In the first of the two new bird species reports, co-authored by Wayne J. Arendt, Salvadora Morales, Joseph T. Arengi and Lorenzo J. Lopez, first documentations in the scientific literature for ten species were given: Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor), Nazca Booby (Sula granti), Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus), Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia), Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa), Sanderling (Calidris alba), Baird’s Sandpiper (Calidris bairdii), among others.