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  1. #1
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    Default Island consciousness

    I've noticed on other forums that people like to forget that Hispanola is an island. Although it is a huge island, it is, nevertheless an island. I once vacationed on a small island off the coast of Maine. We had to bring all our garbage back with us on the passenger ferry, since any garbage would remain on the island forever. Can you imagine if each tourist had to bring their garbage home after their visit? In any case, I think we need to discuss the special realities of an island environment for residents and tourists. Haiti does share the same island. Dominican forests are disappearing. The coral is dying. We are subsidizing the travel industry with our lands, mangroves and oceans. They will leave us and find another island. We'll be stuck with the garbage. BTW, I'd appreciate it if we can avoid personal attacks on this thread and stick to the issues.

  2. #2
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    Gabby Baby.

    It is that same Tourist industry that is subsidizing enviromental protection. Every time a Hotel goes up on a beach that is one more beach that will be protected and a reef offshore that won't be fished out. The Tourist industry is behind most of the Portection of the Natural resources of the DR. Makes sense $
    What is it that you want? No development at all? It is Developed Nations that can spend money on enviromental issues. Poor countries are to busy trying to get by.

  3. #3
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    It's usually the change in the market (tourists awareness) that drives tourism related businesses to become more environmentally aware. It's the old chicken before the egg situation.

    Do you build an ecco friendly resort to attract a particular type of tourist, or do you adapt to try and attract that type of tourist?

    To increase the US$ yield per tourist, the ecco component is a very important part of the equation, but also expensive to implement.

    To make tourism sustainable in the DR they will all need to do more. Tourists are becoming more aware and the environment is slowly becoming part of the decision making process for tourists.

    At the current rate of growth the DR cannot sustain tourism and many ecco related issues will become a problem. Whatís worse is that the growth rate is likely to increase a lot more, that makes the situation even worse.

    Tourism is the future of the Dominican Republic, but is the Dominican Republic able to see the future?

    Iím happy to say that some people very close to DR1 are working hard to get the message across. Unfortunately it needs to involve effort from everyone, proprieties, government and people...

  4. #4
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    I agree Robert that Tourism is the future of the country no doubt.

    It is already the largest industry in the world and is expected to keep growing as transportation between countries increases and becomes more inexpensive, and faster.

    It is also been noted in many studies that the things tourists worldwide look for when on vacation are: Good Weather, beaches, fun activities, culture, among others.

    The D.R. has them all, but to be sustainable we need to protect these assets namely the ones we tend to have a negative effect on (At least we know the sunshine will never fade,lol)

    I don't agree with Gabriela that they will "look for another island sindrome".

    That is a fatalist outlook on a very positive industry. We need to look for niche markets and specialize in those areas of tourism.

    Case in point: We need to focus on our history. No one will be able to claim that Santo Domingo is not the oldest city in the new world, just as no one can argue the Louvre is not in Paris, Sagrada Familia not in Barcelona or the Grand place is not in Brussels.

    We can also identify eco-activities that are $$ producers (my favorite being scuba diving) and learn how to incorporate it in the portafolio of activities in a way we can compete with other diving destinations.

    We need to identify what makes us different and protect and "exploit" those things. Protecting the enviroment is part of basic issues any country in the world should do not just because they need it for tourism.

  5. #5
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    Default Keith?

    We're generating a variety of opinions, but haven't really addressed the unique problems (or strengths) of Hispanola as an island. Can you guide us here?

  6. #6
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    Default Hispaniola has always been divided..for economic purposes

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela
    We're generating a variety of opinions, but haven't really addressed the unique problems (or strengths) of Hispanola as an island. Can you guide us here?

    Well, let me put my 2cents in here. Hispaniola has always been divided since the beginning when the french pirates landed in Ile de la Tortue and then made there way to the main land. The frenchmen and the spaniards were always at war with each other because as space became sarce and population grew the french were taking more territory from the spaniards and eventually became Saint Domingue, Hispaniola and Santo Domingo, Hisp. I'm not going to get into the slave revolt because I hope everyone knows that the slaves drove the french out and later the spanish....

    Now Gabby,

    To answer your question or an attempt to answer ur ? both former colonizer had different influences on their former properties(slaves) thus lead the slaves on each side to relate with their masters customs and languages. Obviously the western half invented a language mixture of african dialects, arawak and taino indians,english, spanish and of course the base was french.(Beautiful Kreyol)
    The eastern side to some extent form a sort of dialect form the Cervantes which also had the same mixture of languages as I mentioned above(dominican spanish). I mentioned all of the above because that's what shaped the mind and the opinions of the now former slaves we call Haitians and dominicans. Basically, we have of course alot in common but obviously have differences because of those barriers and mis-education. Due to our history we kept the ball rolling and kept the on going struggle of our colonizers fighting for space and trying to keep their respective identities.

    Would unity be best for the island (yes) but for the people I would have to say (no). Due to the globalization that Big frere is imposing on L. America and the world eventually the former colonizers and the Big hermano will benefit by uniting the island but not the former slaves and maximize their profit by exploiting the population thru divide and conquer and can be seen at its best on the island. Par exemple, look at Saint Martin and St. Marteen(French and Dutch properties) you never hear them distinguishing themselves as if they were from another planet like haitians and dominicans do. although they have differences in language and culture. They weren't brain washed to think they were french nor dutch but just former slaves coping with their masters laws and government.

    I hope that gives u an overstanding of the situation of Hispaniola...

    a plus tard....better yet a pis tad

  7. #7
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    Default Good points

    What I'm driving at is not political unification of the island. What I'd like to see is for both Haitians and Dominicans to accept that they share an island. When the forests are gone, the soil will wash to the sea. When the coral is dead, the snorklers will go elsewhere. The Haitians have already won the race to destroy their forests. Can't we learn from their mistakes?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela
    What I'm driving at is not political unification of the island. What I'd like to see is for both Haitians and Dominicans to accept that they share an island. When the forests are gone, the soil will wash to the sea. When the coral is dead, the snorklers will go elsewhere. The Haitians have already won the race to destroy their forests. Can't we learn from their mistakes?
    Deforrestation and its direct effects(Erosion, silt..ect) are related to a lack of economic oppourtunity which is related to too much gov. interference. Adopt free market economics. Privatize utilities. Cut taxes. Then people will think about not having to cut down a tree to cook dinner

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela
    What I'm driving at is not political unification of the island. What I'd like to see is for both Haitians and Dominicans to accept that they share an island. When the forests are gone, the soil will wash to the sea. When the coral is dead, the snorklers will go elsewhere. The Haitians have already won the race to destroy their forests. Can't we learn from their mistakes?
    That sounds all very nice and dandy, but it's not todays reality. We live in the Dominican Republic, not some Utopia state in a far away land.

    If you want to save the beaches, trees and the environment in general, then you better start with the most basic flaws the exist in the majority of the population in the DR.
    Trash, out of sight out of mind. How often have you seen people throw it out the car window or dump it down the side of the hill. Any place they don't have to look at it.

    You need to start with educating people from a very early age, children. This educating is only going to come from the people, as the governments or local authorities couldn't careless unless they can politicize it or make money from it. So as you can see, if it's down to the people, you have a long hard road ahead of you.

    The reality is, the majority of Dominicans are not going to do it, of course some are trying very hard to effect change, but they are fighting a loosing battle.
    Change is going to come from the outside. It's going to be tourism that will drive environmental change in the Dominican Republic.
    When they demand a more environmentally aware resort or country to visit. Then you will see tourism related business work to accommodate them. It's already happening, yes it's slow, but it's happening. Slowly that change will have a trickle down or positive effect on the general population.

    I could go on and on....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert
    That sounds all very nice and dandy, but it's not todays reality. We live in the Dominican Republic, not some Utopia state in a far away land.

    If you want to save the beaches, trees and the environment in general, then you better start with the most basic flaws the exist in the majority of the population in the DR.
    Trash, out of sight out of mind. How often have you seen people throw it out the car window or dump it down the side of the hill. Any place they don't have to look at it.

    You need to start with educating people from a very early age, children. This educating is only going to come from the people, as the governments or local authorities couldn't careless unless they can politicize it or make money from it. So as you can see, if it's down to the people, you have a long hard road ahead of you.

    The reality is, the majority of Dominicans are not going to do it, of course some are trying very hard to effect change, but they are fighting a loosing battle.
    Change is going to come from the outside. It's going to be tourism that will drive environmental change in the Dominican Republic.
    When they demand a more environmentally aware resort or country to visit. Then you will see tourism related business work to accommodate them. It's already happening, yes it's slow, but it's happening. Slowly that change will have a trickle down or positive effect on the general population.

    I could go on and on....
    I wish you were right, Robert, but I see the opposite happening. Economically, all inclusives are the most profitable. So the AI builders bulldoze down ancient growth and replace it with 200+ room complexes. The beach is polluted? Build a pool. And I've been reading about Santo Domingo on the other forum. All the cultural tourism in the world isn't going to make up for the pollution in that city. We've sold our souls and our land to the Tourism Gods. You are right about education being needed. I just believe it is possible. I've talked with young Dominicans in university. Yes, they are idealistic. And that's wonderful.
    And they are learning from our mistakes. They just have no power...yet.

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