El Moghraby and El Sammani (2009). Environmental and Socio Economic Impact of the Jonglei Canal
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The Jonglei Canal Project has received wide publicity, especially after the United Nations Conference on Desertification,
which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1977. From the massive amount of literature that has been published on it during the past few years, by 'supporters of' and 'opposers to' the Project, emerges one important fact: that writers on both ends of the controversy have based their
arguments on general indicators. Apart from the difficulty of quantifing the impacts that might ensue from the Canal Project, a difficulty that obscures the situation could be that of predicting with precision the future behaviour of the ecosystems involved, while another could be due to the many parameters involved and the complexity of their interrelationships.
Furthermore, opposers do not discuss the idea of the canal in the light of its multifold role in development, and
do not take much interest in examining the basic economic and social goals which it is anticipated to serve. Instead,
they resort directly to condemnation, on the assumption that the final excavation** of the canal would cause irreversible and mostly adverse effects, rendering the involved ecosystems incapable of sustaining the current Man-natural resources relationships.
The primary aim of the present paper is to project the brighter side of the Jonglei Canal Project and to encourage responsibility on the part of Sudanese scientists and policymakers towards the environment. Our goal is to maximize the rational use of the environment while preserving as much as possible of it for continuing use. We realize that it would be impossible to alter the flow-pattern of the White
Nile without interfering with the existing processes in the 'Sudd'. The questions are: to what extent can we do that safely, and what are the limits to which we can go?