Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog Action Day

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future.

Blog Action Day is about MASS participation. That means we need you! Here are 3 ways to participate:


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So what am I going to do for Blog Action Day?

In about 5 hours I have to get up to spend two days on a boat touring Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin. This will be my 20th World Heritage Site. This is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

There are areas in the Marianas worthy of International Cultural and Natural recognition, too. I list some of the Beautiful Places on the right hand column of the Beautify CNMI blog, but the places I think are worthy of World Heritage Status (which is not a protected status) are the Northern Islands and the Marianas Trench.

If you were to ask someone to name the three most impressive natural formations in the World, I bet they would say, Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, the Grand Canyon, the biggest canyon in the world, and the Marianas Trench, the deepest part of the ocean.

As the people who live closest to the trench, why are we not using this? Why don't we have a Marianas Trench hotel? Why don't we have a national drink named after the trench? Why don't we sell T-shirts that say, "I survived the Marianas Trench...and all I got was this T-shirt?"

The trench is both inside and outside the Marianas' 200 mile exclusive economic zone, but the potential exists to create a status for part of the trench, a place worthy of protection...and utilization.

Before we even consider what it would take to do something like earn World Heritage Status, think of the marketing opportunities.

What if people around the world starting saying, "I'm going to go visit the Marianas Trench?" What if they said they were going to go dive the Marianas Trench?

When people around the world go to visit natural areas...and nature is usually given as Saipan's #1 tourist draw...they tend to seek out places that have a status or some type of management. They go to Grand Canyon National Park. They go to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. They go in droves to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica...to see a toad that has been extinct for 20 years!

A simple name change, some new management practices, and some good marketing and we'd have an increase in the number of flights in no time.

This sort of thing has been done successfully around the world. It is time for the Marianas to follow suit. The days of unlimited cheap labor are over. It is time to start thinking differently.

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Now that I have your attention with the economics of the trench, maybe we can start to discuss the ecological and the social benefits. Stay tuned.

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