GEORGETOWN - On behalf of US oil giant ExxonMobil, Belgian company Jan de Nul (together with partners) is building an artificial island off the coast of Guyana, South America.

The island will serve as a base of operations to facilitate the offshore oil and gas industry. In 2015, one of the world's largest oil fields in the past decade was discovered here. Construction of the project is controversial: the shore base is being built without an environmental impact assessment; therefore, no study has been conducted on the potential environmental, social and economic damage the project may cause. Local climate activists and residents are concerned about the environmental impact of the project, and environmental experts in Guyana are not convinced the chosen site, close to the capital Georgetown, is the appropriate one. Already Georgetown is among nine coastal towns in the world likely to be underwater by 2030 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate. The oil could help lift Guyana out of poverty, but in doing so, the government is gambling with the livelihoods of its citizens.

Zoë Deceuninck

Zoë Deceuninck (b. 1994) is a freelance investigative journalist. Since 2017, she has been living and working in Suriname, South America.
Zoë Deceuninck
€1.445 allocated on 20/02/2023