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AUGUST caribbean, west indies, real estate, property, land, retiring, moving, relocating, living, working, expats, international living, overseas, abroad, caribbean property magazine, caribpro 2 0 0 8
Issue 19
EDITORIAL
Ramblings, thoughts and occasional sense from the Eastern Caribbean >>
HOT OFF THE PRESS
Events and news from around the region >>
SUSTAINABLE LIVING
Sharing resources and best practices >>
TOURISM TREATS
Lesser known corners of the Caribbean, where to go>>
DID YOU KNOW?
Interesting stuff, websites we find, people we meet >>
THE RICH REPORT
Offshore insights from a Manhattan realty guru>>
FREE entrance to Caribpro readers at the AIREEC Expo in Los Angeles
An online magazine about investing, living, working and relocating in the Caribbean.
SPECIAL FEATURES

Caribbean Property Magazine, Real Estate, jobs, relocation, living and working Lost Among The Forgotten : Part 2
Caribbean Property Magazine, Real Estate, jobs, relocation, living and working Caribbean Carnival : A Bold Bacchanal
Caribbean Property Magazine, Real Estate, jobs, relocation, living and working Costa Rica : Beyond The Obvious
Caribbean Property Magazine, Real Estate, jobs, relocation, living and working Reflections Of The Rock : Part 2
Caribbean Property Magazine, Real Estate, jobs, relocation, living and working Living Your Dream While Finding A New Life
Caribbean Property Magazine, Real Estate, jobs, relocation, living and working
Caribbean Pirate's Havens

COUNTRY FOCUS: PANAMA
Caribbean Property Magazine, Real Estate, jobs, relocation, living and working Panama : The Islands Of San Blas
Caribbean Property Magazine, Real Estate, jobs, relocation, living and working Panama : It Will Never Leave You
Caribbean Property Magazine, Real Estate, jobs, relocation, living and working Panama : The Canal
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PROPERTY PAGES

Caribbean Investor And Owner Notes News, opportunities, tips and announcements from last month's CaribProperty Club Notes>>
Off-Plan Pre-Development Offers Our recommended deals from the best developers >>
Pick of the Month Editor's choice of interesting business and real estate opportunities >>

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S U S T A I N A B L E caribbean, west indies, real estate, property, land, retiring, moving, relocating, living, working, expats, international living, overseas, abroad, caribbean property magazine, caribpro L I V I N G caribbean, west indies, real estate, property, land, retiring, moving, relocating, living, working, expats, international living, overseas, abroad, caribbean property magazine, caribpro

RESEARCHERS NOTE THE ALARMING PLIGHT OF CORAL REEFS

The stark conclusion from the first global study to assess the extinction risks of corals is that a third of the world's reef-building coral species are facing extinction.

"The picture is frightening," said Alex Rogers from the Zoological Society of London, one of 39 scientists involved in the assessment. "It's not just the fact that something like a third of all reef-forming corals are threatened, but that we could be facing the loss of large areas of these ecosystems within 50 to 100 years. "The implications of that are absolutely staggering - not only for biodiversity, but also for economics."

The most dramatic decline in recent years was caused by the 1997/8 El Nino event, which caused waters to warm across large swathes of the tropics.
The new analysis shows that before 1998, only 13 of the 704 coral species assessed would have been classified as threatened. Now, the number is 231.
"It was a devastating event in terms of the destruction of corals, with 16% of reefs irreversibly destroyed - an incredible amount," said Kent Carpenter from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, in the US.
Coral Reefs
Adding to this, scientists have come to realise in recent years, is ocean acidification. The water absorbs some of the atmosphere's extra carbon dioxide, making it slightly more acid, enough to compromise the capacity of corals to build their skeletons, and snails to build their shells.
But carbon dioxide is not the only culprit.

Overfishing in many regions, heavy trawls that reduce reefs to rubble, the excavation of building materials from reefs, coastal development, invasive species and pollution are all fingered in the new analysis.

The following scenario uses the Caribbean example to show how the complex and threatening jigsaw fits together:

1.Coastal development and farming produce effluent, which stimulates the growth of types of algae that smother growing coral.

2.Meanwhile, fishermen are catching fish that would usually graze on these algae.

3.In this stressed condition, coral then fall prey more easily to disease. The line taken by many scientists and campaigners is that these problems should be easier to tackle than the rising tide of greenhouse gas emissions; so this is where attention should be concentrated.
"Could you imagine if a single event wiped out 16% of the Amazon forest, or 16% of ecosystems in the UK?" he asked. "I don't think politicians and the public are aware of the gravity of the situation we're in regarding coral reefs and other marine ecosystems."

About one quarter of marine species are believed to depend on coral at some stage of their development. Many fish live their entire lives on reefs, while others use them as nurseries; presumably if the coral dies out, so do the fish.
The economic impact of losing coral is also significant.
Estimating the monetary value of natural ecosystems is far from being an exact science.

But one assessment published two years ago by the UN Environment Programme (Unep) concludes reefs provide services worth on average between $100,000 and $600,000 (£50,000 and £300,000) per square kilometre each year.
That gives a total global value between $30bn and $180bn (£15bn and £90bn) annually.

The same assessment concluded that protecting areas of reef costs about 0.2% of the value they bring. The IUCN's director general, Julia Marton-Lefevre, said world leaders faced a stark choice. "We either reduce our CO2 emissions now, or many corals will be lost forever."
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ECO TOURISM IS CAUSING DAMAGE IN BELIZE ACCORDING TO ONE EXPERT

Peter Kumble of the University of Massachusetts Amherst is working with the government of Belize to limit the environmental impact of eco-tourism on sensitive natural wonders. According to Kumble, one of the main things that eco-tourists need to remember is how fragile these lush, tropical sites can be, suggesting visitors adopt a “leave no footprint” policy.
Sustainable Living August 2008
“On a recent trek through underground caverns, which required swimming into the entrance, my students and I were asked to wear socks when we came out of the water,” says Kumble. “Just the oils on our feet would have been enough to coat the rocks and prevent stalagmites and stalactites from growing on their surface.” Kumble is currently working with the government of Belize to identify areas that can sustain visitation, while at the same time determining which locations should remain closed to visitation by the general public. He is also assisting in the Belize Ministry of Forestry in the development of a remote mountain village to better accommodate eco-tourism.
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BRANSON ENVISIONS MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY RESORT

Richard Branson, the adventuring chairman of the Virgin Group of companies, says his two private Caribbean islands will prove that the Caribbean can lead the globe in renewable alternatives to carbon fuels.

“It is actually inexcusable for the Caribbean to need to use dirty fuels anymore when it has all these natural resources on its doorstep,” said Branson, a high school dropout who built the Virgin empire into a world brand.

He plans for his newest B.V.I. property, Mosquito Island, to be transformed into what he touts as the most environmentally-friendly resort on the globe. Branson envisions 20 villas and a beachfront restaurant powered entirely by wind turbines and solar panels. He told reporters that the eco-resort’s buildings would capture cool thermal airflows, eliminating the need for air conditioners. The guests’ food would come from an organic orchard, and beach buggies would be powered by biofuels.

Branson said he believes soaring global oil prices can be the catalyst to spur governments worldwide to develop their own eco-projects. To replicate his vision across the region, a planned-for consulting group, Virgin Green Owls, is expected to start advising governments and corporations in carbon neutral projects this August, he said.

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HOW TO TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY

Carbon Off Set

• When you book your airline ticket, consider purchasing a “carbon offset” to compensate for the greenhouse-gas emissions of your flight. Late last year, Delta Airlines began offering passengers the option of donating $11 per international flight to The Conservation Fund (conservationfund.org) to be used for tree-planting in the U.S. and overseas.

Sustainable Travel International

• Sustainable Travel International (STI) will invest an offset donation in large-scale tree-planting and energy-conservation programs and in funding sources of renewable energy.

• Divers with Grand Cayman operator Ocean Frontiers can calculate the emissions from their flights and dives and purchase an offset through STI.

Buy and Consume Local Products

• When you cruise the buffet line, pile on the local fruit and vegetables; you’ll be supporting local growers and reducing the environmental cost of importation.

• Make responsible seafood choices by avoiding items from overfished areas or those farmed in ways that harm the environment or other marine life. The Cayman Sea Sense program offers a seafood guide that’s useful throughout the region.

• Shop for locally crafted souvenirs. You’ll be directly supporting the economy of the community, and you’ll enjoy a richer and more authentic vacation experience.

Volunteer Vacation

• Guests at Grenada’s Paradise Bay resort can book a “volunteer vacation” of no fewer than three weeks by contributing four hours’ daily work on the hotel’s community and energy-conservation projects. Guests pay a service charge and the cost of their meals, but accommodation is free.

Travelocity makes it easy to find volunteer vacations in a variety of locales, including Cuba and Costa Rica.
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Last Updated On : 23 Feb 2014