Thursday, February 11, 2010

Waterway Resorts vs. Species Extinction

One reads Nature magazines and adds another worry: the world is losing its waterways plants and animals at an alarming rate. Of around 10,000 bird species worldwide, 6,700 are in decline. 1,100 species are nearly extinct or threatened with extinction. The relentless spread of human habitation and destruction of forests especially in the tropics seem to make total extinction of such animals a certainty within a few generations. Waterway plant species are just as threatened. It seems other life species cannot survive wherever man is around.

Somehow a way has to be found to reverse the tragedy. What’s left of birds, fishes, amphibians, mammals and plants that live within and around rivers, lakes, swamps and watersheds have to be conserved. This difficult task has to be performed together with a task even more difficult: address rural poverty around such waterways. Doing so tones down if not totally stops human economic and habitation pressures on such natural resources. We must be reminded at all times: once we lose a species, we lose it forever.

So how do we bloggers begin the reversal act? Most promising tactic may be an appeal to what destroys nature: the profit motive. Since the problem is planet-wide, we initiate a ‘save our waterways’ campaign among the world’s two billion employees. Blogs, websites, pamphlets, lobby groups are some ways. Bloggers’ creativity can be unlimited. We tell all world employees that they can earn a lot of money while preserving their local waterways. How? First by pressuring their governments to pass a Save our Waterways (SOW) law. The SOW law provides 2-5% of yearly state budgets for the following: (1) Gradual state purchase of unpopulated riverside, lakeside and swamp-side lands a thousand meters from water line, on both banks for rivers; (2) Appropriation of SOW budgets towards lending to thousand-employee groups that set up forest resorts and resort-related businesses along said waterways banks; (3) Requiring all such forest resorts to operate facilities for breeding of threatened species (plant, bird, freshwater animals) that inhabit the waterways.

In the Philippines, billions of dollars of SOW funds from all countries should gradually reforest all the country’s sparsely-populated waterway, lakeside, swamp-side and upland watershed lands. Resort personnel reforest the waterway areas and perpetually guard perimeter grounds against encroachers, hunters, subdivision ‘developers’, land price speculators, squatters and destroyers of nature. High resort profits make perpetual care possible. All the while, the world’s rivers, lakes and swamps gradually transform into similar well-cared nature reserves. Reason: good laws take effect forever so billions of dollars in ‘loan capital’ for resort development and related industries flows each year for all time.

How may the resorts perform the delicate balance between nature preservation and destructive tourist pressure? Several ways: (1) The resort builds large plant-camouflaged concrete observation pillboxes connected by camouflaged tunnels along riverside and lakeside stretches. Near-zero level disturbance of the surrounding forested environment ensues. Bird and amphibian feeders near the pillboxes concentrate the resident birds into binocular view. (2) Three-meter high freshwater aquariums display the fish, crustaceans, crabs and turtle species that inhabit the resort. (3) Electric motor powered boats that are camouflaged with canvas tents silently glide along swampland waterways that have feeders in strategic areas. Tourists view the colorful migratory birds thru a binocular ‘window strip’ cut out along the tent. Tourists are encouraged to take pictures, identify species and record bird populations to help in scientists’ conservancy activities. (4) Animal-breeding facilities breed and care for threatened species in full sight of tourists to inculcate among all viewers the need to preserve what remains of our world patrimony. (5) Within every forested resort, multi-story condominiums with ‘flowery cliff’ facades are leased to operators of inns, restaurant chains, retail shops, spas, clinics, hospital recovery homes, retiree residences and serviced apartments. Local employee groups are encouraged to buy inn or apartment spaces for 'sideline income' tourist rentals. The effect are ‘hidden cities’ within hundred-hectare resorts, enabling tourists and residents to enjoy both ‘unspoiled nature’ and all city amenities at the same time. (6) Swimming pools with waterfalls, obstacle courses and airsoft ‘battlefields’, kiddie rides, basketball, volleyball, tennis courts, fiesta street dancing, ballroom dancing facilities, convention halls for rent, and low-cost food encourage tourist groups to stay for weeks or months on end. All facilities are camouflaged by thick vegetation or ‘flowery cliffs’ for a ‘total escape to nature.’ (7) Similar resorts worldwide link by internet to exchange views on profit-based nature conservancy and ways to encourage resort-hopping among the world’s tourist hordes that number 150 million yearly, and rising.

How is the poverty problem addressed? Hundred-hectare waterway resorts all over the world should spawn millions of jobs for rural poor. Supplier and service industries rise up and create millions more jobs. The resorts and industries are employee-owned as a consequence of the SOW law, so billions of dollars worth of stock shares and dividends flow among employee masses, for all eternity. The SOW law’s exemplary effects spawn more laws that finance more employee-owned industries to ultimately redeem all the world’s poor. Tourism industries set up follow our waterway resort model, this time to spawn breeding reserves cum resorts that preserve what remains of the planet’s other threatened life species: ocean-crossing birds, coastal animals, desert plants and animals, grassland ruminants, marine animals, frigid zone mammals, endemic animals and plants, etc. Humans begin to co-exist with all remaining plant and animal species instead of keeping the planet only for themselves. All because our blogger army made the first moves.

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