Dominica: The world’s leading eco-tourism destination?

Sharing is caring! 46 Views   no discussions Share The Freshwater Lake in Dominica.BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Of the 249 places in the world in which human beings live and work, the small Caribbean island of Dominica (751 sq km) ranks at 187 in size.  Even so, it is bigger than well-known Caribbean tourism destinations such as St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Cayman Islands, St Kitts-Nevis, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and St Marten.  Two reasons account for Dominica being left behind by neighbouring Caribbean islands in the development of tourism. The first is that it has no white, sandy beaches – the iconic symbol of “Caribbean tourism”; and, second, it doesn’t have an international airport.  It is served by small aircraft operated by American Eagle from Puerto Rico, and LIAT for inter-island transportation.   Nonetheless, the island is a veritable garden of trees, plants, and colourful flowers.  Much of it is luxuriant rain forest, majestic in its spread over mountain ranges and into lush valleys. The entire terrain is adorned by gushing waterfalls; narrow, flowing rivers and hot sulphur springs.  Not surprisingly, it is home to hundreds of species of birds. Private operators in Dominica have also developed a vibrant whale-watching industry, taking advantage of the country’s marine life, and providing an added attraction for its visitors.  The island, therefore, is as an eco-tourism paradise.In an effort to expand the tourism plant on the island, the government has considered borrowing US$60 million from the Export-Import Bank of China.  The loan would amount to 16 per cent of GDP and, if it is consummated, Dominica would not achieve the debt to GDP ratio of 60 per cent which the IMF considers desirable.  For the time being, this potential borrowing from China is on hold unless a private sector partner can be identified.But, millions of dollars have already been ploughed into spectacularly natural eco-tourism resorts in Dominica by dedicated private investors, and there could be even more financiers if the country’s future as a desirable eco-tourism destination had a greater level of confidence than now exists.  Dominica is agriculturally well-endowed.  But that endowment is in the ground and doesn’t translate itself into income and employment.  The island’s last viable agricultural product, bananas, was dealt a mortal blow by a combined US-Latin America challenge at the World Trade Organization to its traditional preferential market in the European Union. A once vibrant small farmer community of some 9,000 persons has been reduced to about 500. Still, Dominica has the capacity to supply neighbouring Caribbean islands with fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance if it can overcome two constraints: no regular and scheduled refrigerated-transportation; and high quality packaging that satisfies the requirements of the tourist markets in these islands.  Both are a tall order, and beyond the resources of the Dominica government alone.  Therefore, eco-tourism is the star that shines brightly in Dominica’s economic sky.  It could guide the country to a prosperous future, but this will depend substantially on the ecological policies that any government of the country pursues.  Among those policies should be a serious and unshakeable commitment to maintaining Dominica as an environmentally friendly island. This means any government there will have to adopt and maintain international best practices with regard to the island’s maritime and land resources, creating both as sanctuaries. It will also have to instill in its young people, from kindergarten to tertiary education, that a foremost value of Dominican society and culture must be the protection and preservation of the environment.Already the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) – an influential conservation organisation with a global outreach – is working with the Ministry of Education in a very popular “Floating Classroom” project in which fifth graders study the ocean as an integrated part of their school curriculum. The project combines cross disciplinary classroom study, hands-on learning during an ocean excursion, and a student-led conservation initiative.  Children who undertake the programme have become the custodians of their heritage in the sea, and are strong advocates of conservation, showing their elders the benefits of protecting and preserving their natural environment.It is also in Dominica’s national interest for the government to assert itself as a Champion of the environment in the international community.  In return, Dominica would earn the respect of the world’s environmental and conservation organizations, and the support of their millions of members worldwide.As an example, after the Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, moved his government away from supporting Japan’s continuing determination to overturn rules at the International Whaling Commission so as to legitimize killing of hundreds of whales, including endangered species, Greenpeace – another major international conservation organization with regional offices in 48 countries – told its millions of supporters: “If you are going to spend your hard-earned cash on a vacation to a Caribbean island, why not make it to one that has made the commitment to ending whaling.” That is a mighty message, one that has already brought many new Eco-tourists to Dominica and could bring thousands more every year, particularly if the call is repeated by every major conservation organisation in the world.  Such support is possible if Dominica demonstrates that in all aspects of conservation it will be amongst the first countries to stand-up. Undoubtedly there would be a coalition of international groups ready to reward the Dominican people by putting their millions of members behind them.  If only a small percentage of the worldwide supporters of conservation and environmental groups said ‘Yes to Dominica” for their vacations, its tourism would boom and contribute substantially to the country’s GDP and to employment and foreign exchange earnings. The demand for seats into Dominica would encourage large airlines to allocate much more space to the island on their flights into Caribbean hubs such as Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe and Martinique.  In light of the money that could be made, feeder carriers, such as LIAT, might then be ready to schedule pick-up fights from the hubs into Dominica.The potential for sustainable economic growth, led by eco-tourism, is great.  Dominica could become the world’s leading eco-tourism destination. Sustainable environmental policies by its government and strategic alliances with global environmental bodies could take it there.  By: Sir Ronald SandersCaribbean 360 News LocalNews Dominica: The world’s leading eco-tourism destination? by: – May 6, 2011 Tweet Share Share read more

LRA Boss Gives Reasons for Depreciation of Local Currency

first_imgAt a meeting with stakeholders and the media yesterday at the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), the Commissioner General of the Authority, Elfrieda Stewart-Tamba, blamed the depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the US dollar – which she said has affected the revenue generation of the country’s tax authority and impeded economic growth – on several factors. Madam Tamba said the local currency is depreciating because of a deteriorating trade environment and a high demand for imports, which have increased the need for foreign exchange while at the same time increasing government’s expenditure in Liberian dollars. However, Commissioner Tamba noted that the depreciation of the Liberian dollar is adversely affecting revenue performance “because of the trickle-down effect from trade.”She said tax collection is enhanced when there is a boost in trade, “but as the case stands with the rate of the US dollar to that of the Liberian dollar, trade is negatively impacted and it is also affecting revenue collection.” The Commissioner pointed out that income generation at some major income generating entities of the Government of Liberia (GoL), such as the National Port Authority (NPA) and other ports of entry, including the RIA, depreciated in the current fiscal year (2016/2017) by – 4 percent. Presenting statistical data, she noted that the NPA generated US$27,145 from July 2015 to January 2016, which dropped to US$26,027 from July 2016 to January 2017, “which is equivalent to a minus 4 percent drop in domestic revenue.” “Due to the depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the US, there has been a great decline in the purchasing power of Liberians and foreign nationals residing within our borders,” said the LRA boss, adding that false declaration and under-declaration by unscrupulous business entities and individuals have to some extent affected the revenue generation of the country as well. Madam Tamba made specific mention of five ‘top’ hotels in the country that are among business entities that have ‘under-declared’ their intakes in business revenue. She, however, failed to name any of the hotels on grounds that they will be disclosed at a later date.Meanwhile, the country’s revenue collection head has disclosed that several vehicles were stolen from the United States of America (USA) by some Liberians residing there (USA), which were falsely declared here.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Mbeki slams UN lack of progress

first_img16 September 2005In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday, South African President Thabo Mbeki slammed the inadequate progress in implementing poverty-reduction goals set by the world body in 2000, and criticised the lack of UN reform. In this he added his voice to similar comments by the leaders of India and Brazil.Mbeki described as a “miserable performance” the failure of UN member countries to agree on a comprehensive package of reforms.“In truth we have not made the decisive progress we thought we would make with regard to the critical issue of the reform of the United Nations,” he said. “We have therefore had no choice but to postpone to a later date the decisions we should have made.”Speaking on the second day of the world’s largest gathering of heads of state and government, the president pointed to the Millennium Development Goals, which include an undertaking by rich countries to commit 0.7% of national income to development aid to poor nations by 2015.“Our approach to the challenge to commit and deploy the necessary resources for the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals has been half-hearted, timid and tepid,” Mbeki said.“We firmly believe that the reason we have not made the progress we should have, during the last five years, is precisely because we have not as yet achieved what the outcome document described as ‘a security consensus’.”Mbeki was referring to the UN reform package approved by the UN earlier this week.“We have not achieved that ‘security consensus’ because of the widely disparate conditions of existence and interests among the member states of the UN, as well as the gross imbalance of power that define the relationship among these member states.“It is the poor of the world whose interests are best served by real and genuine respect for the fundamental proposition that we need the ‘security consensus’ identified by the outcome document. The actions of the rich and powerful strongly suggest that these are not in the least convinced that this ‘security consensus’ would serve their interests.“Thus they use their power to perpetuate the power imbalance in the ordering of global affairs. As a consequence of this, we have not made the progress of the reform of the UN that we should have.“Because of that, we have the result that we have not achieved the required scale of resource transfer from those who have these resources, to empower the poor of the world to extricate themselves from their misery.“Simply put, this means that the logic of the use of power is the reinforcement of the might of the powerful, and therefore the perpetuation of the disempowerment of the powerless.“This is the poisonous mixture that has given us the outcome that will issue from this Millennium Review Summit to the peoples of the world. We should not be surprised when these billions do not acclaim us as heroes and heroines.”SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Pirates into Champs League semis

first_imgThe four-time PSL champions came close to paying for their wayward finishing shortly after that when Walid Soliman broke free with only goalkeeper Meyiwa to beat. However, his shot across the face of goal passed narrowly wide of the left- hand post, leaving Pirates breathing a sigh of relief. South African club Orlando Pirates won through to the semi-finals of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League after a goalless draw against Egypt’s Al Ahly in Soweto on Sunday. Group BTunisia’s Esperance topped Group B, with Cameroon’s Coton Sport taking second place. The Tunisians, who will face Pirates in the final four, put together the most impressive record in the group stages, winning five and losing only one of their six matches. 23 September 2013 After Zamalek outplayed Leopards 4-1 in Cairo, the Buccaneers reached the semi-finals in second place behind Al Ahly in Group A. The Egyptians, winners of the Champions League four times in the last eight years, had entered the match already assured of a place in the semi-finals, while Pirates needed a victory or Zamalek to defeat AC Leopards to ensure their passage into the final four. The Egyptians started the match brightly, with Mohamed Aboutrika and Zaher getting off shots on Senzo Meyiwa’s goal, but the home team then began to dictate play. Pirates’ shooting was poor, though, with only one shot finding the target. In the second half, they improved, but still couldn’t conjure up a winner. Best opportunityPirates’ best opportunity of the contest fell to Thulisizwe Mbuyane, but the substitute, with his first touch of the game, fired high over the crossbar after picking up an inviting through ball 20 minutes from time. Previous winnersOrlando Pirates are the only South African team to have won the Caf Champions League. That victory was achieved way back in 1995 with a team that featured, among others, Mark Fish, Marks Maponyane, Helman Mkhalele and Williams Okpara. Daine Klate had a diving header blocked near the end of the game by Sherif Ekramy and the teams settled for a goalless draw. On their way to the final against the Ivory Coast’s Asec Abidjan, they defeated Swaziland’s Eleven Men in Flight 5-0 on aggregate, Nigeria’s BCC Lions 2-1, Gabon’s Mbilinga 4-2 and Uganda’s Express 2-1. Coach Roger De Sa’s Sea Robbers had shocked Al Ahly in Cairo, winning 3-0, but despite dominating the contest at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday they couldn’t find a winner. After drawing with 2-2 with Asec Abidjan in Johannesburg in the first leg of the 1995 final, they produced a fine performance in Abidjan in the away leg of the title decider to win 1-0 and take the title 3-2 on aggregate.last_img read more

Faster At What Cost

first_imgMost of the things that make sales go faster are bad for long term relationships–and longer term results.Trying to close faster only creates resistance on the part of your buyer. Making sure that you take them through all of the stages of their process, even if it feels like it may take you longer, gets you to the final commitment sooner and with your relationships in tact.Telling the client what they want to hear so that you can make a sale might get you the business faster than telling them the truth about what they really need, but your deal will be short lived. By trading time for what is right, you damage the long term relationship, and you most certainly leave yourself open to be competitively displaced by a truth-telling salesperson.Avoiding consensus-building and collaboration because you fear it will take longer to strike a deal by involving more stakeholders might seem like a good plan to compress time and get the win across the line. But if for some reason your power sponsor gives you the green light, you will struggle with all kinds of execution problems because you didn’t really do the work to discover what your client needs and you didn’t allow the people you serve to collaborate on the solution. By neglecting and/or avoiding people, you damaged relationships.If you feel like you have to race to make your number, it’s because you don’t have enough opportunities to reach your goals and you aren’t gaining all of the smaller commitments you need to move forward the opportunities you do have. To go faster, you have to take your time and do better work during every sales interaction. Fast is slow, and slow is fast. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Home of the NHL Winnipeg Jets gets new moniker after Bell MTS

first_imgWINNIPEG – The home of the National Hockey League Winnipeg Jets is getting a new name.After 13 years as MTS Centre, the downtown arena is being renamed Bell MTS Place.The change reflects the recent takeover by Bell Canada of MTS. There are no other changes to MTS’s naming agreement that expires in 2021.Jets co-owner Mark Chipman says since there is already a Bell Centre in Montreal, using the word “place” in the new moniker avoids any potential confusion.The arena opened in 2004 and was initially home to the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.In 2011, the Jets moved in after being relocated from Atlanta.“It’s been an era where building name changes have been common. I think we’re one of the longest-standing-name buildings in the country and we’re really proud of that,” Chipman said Tuesday.“I love the fact that Bell has kept the MTS name as a part of their name going forward.”last_img read more

Ontario fire marshal to conduct tests after flamejetting injuries and death

first_imgTORONTO – The Ontario fire marshal’s office says it will conduct tests this fall to better understand how hand-held fuel containers could ignite and inadvertently become flame-throwers when used around products like ethanol-fuelled lamps and recreational fire pits.The analysis comes as the office said it has noted four incidents in the last six years where the phenomenon — known as flame jetting — has occurred, leaving people with horrific injuries and, in one case, killing a woman.“The impact of the injuries and fatalities are extreme on the people who are directly involved or in the area when it happens,” said Jeff Tebby, a supervisor with the quality assurance and risk management unit at the Office of Ontario’s Fire Marshal, which conducts fire investigations and provides fire safety guidelines in the province.The office’s testing will look at the factors behind flame jetting, and will eventually result in a report to Health Canada, Tebby said, noting it would be up to the federal agency to decide what to do with the findings.The results of the testing will also help the fire marshal office’s staff if they are called to testify about flame jetting in court, he said.Flame jetting occurs when fuel is poured on products like lamps and fire pits that appear to be extinguished but aren’t, Tebby explained. Flames follow fuel fumes back to the fuel container, travel inside and combust. That propels liquid fuel out, turning the container into a flame-thrower, Tebby said.“The person who is doing the pouring is usually not the one hurt, it’s the victim in the direct path of the flame jet,” he said.One way to guard against the phenomenon is by having a flame arrester — plastic or wire mesh that absorbs heat from a container and prevents fire from travelling inside — on fuel containers, said Tebby, noting that it’s up to the product’s manufacturer to install one.The four incidents of flame jetting the office is aware of all involved ethanol-fuelled appliances, Tebby said, adding that Health Canada was notified of the one that involved a fatality.Hana Engel, an Ottawa woman who suffered severe injuries after a flame-jetting incident this spring, welcomed news of the testing.Engel said she was in a friend’s backyard when a guest poured fuel on an outdoor fire pit, thinking the flames had died out. The container carrying the fuel ignited and was thrown, hitting Engel, she said.The 24-year-old said she was left with second-and third-degree burns on a third of her body and underwent extensive surgery. She has since called for firmer regulations around fire-related products.“You can’t be scared of (fire), but you can use it properly and have safety measures around it,” she said. “It’s never too late.”The fatal incident involving flame jetting that the fire marshal’s office is aware of took place in August 2016, when a Peterborough, Ont., dentist was killed after an ethanol-fuelled lamp exploded.Dr. Judith Buys was sitting near the lamp at a cottage when a friend, who thought the lamp’s flame had gone out, tried to re-fuel it, Buys’ family said.Flames that flew out of the open refuelling container hit Buys, who died of severe injuries days later, said her husband, who is currently suing the maker of the lamp, alleging its product was unsafe.James McGorman said it’s time for rules around fuel containers to change and called for flame arresters to be required on all containers with volatile substances.“It’s time we had some action,” he said.Health Canada said ethanol bottles are subjected to regulation under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, which requires the products to be labelled correctly with warnings of possible hazard. The rules contain no information about flame arresters.One company that makes products like fire pits and lamps, and also sells bottles that contain fuel, said it puts instructions on its products warning users not to pour fuel directly onto a fire.“It’s kind of a common-sense product,” said Justin Orr, sales director of Bio Flame, which does not make the fuel containers it sells. “You’d never pour fuel on a fire.”Orr said Bio Flame recommends other companies in the industry put warnings on their products too.last_img read more