Klaus Hart Brasilientexte

Aktuelle Berichte aus Brasilien – Politik, Kultur und Naturschutz



The awards ceremony of German NGO Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung www.todo-contest.org  at the International Tourism Fair ITB in Berlin today shows that there are alternatives for destructive and speculative Tourism Development. The communities in Peru, Switzerland and Brasil are idealized and managed by people like you and me.


 The aim is to generate earnings, jobs, reduce poverty and conservation of nature. The award is given every year since 1995 to 2 or 3 communities around the world for socially and environmentally responsible tourism projects. Community tourism, as it is also called, is on the rise in developing countries around the globe, just in time for climate change which will require some changes in tourism consumers behavior. More on the winners REDE TUCUM, Ceará, Brazil; the MOUNTAIN LODGES OF PERU, Cuzco and the UNESCO BIOSPHERE OF ENTLEBUCH, Switzerland on March 13 at the ITB.

Communities which compose the community tourism network TUCUM, winner from Brazil www.tucum.org have another motive to develop tourism, they defend the right to their territory and act to save the coastal region of their state of Ceará from being turned into a real estate project which will destroy the landscape, drive poor coastal fishers from their beaches to benefit speculators from Brazil and abroad.

A first wave of mega tourism projects took over virgin beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean in the 70´s, one prime example being the World Bank driven project of Cancun, Mexico. This resort on the Caribbean coast of Mexico has become the scare example against mass development of tourism, among other things Cancun has become a drug traffic center controlled by the Mexican Drug Cartell.

But the brother bank “ Inter American Development Bank “ did not learn much from that experience, when it helped the Brazilian Government to design a project called Prodetur to bring tourism to 11 coastal states in the northeast of the country. There was absolutely no participation of communities, civil society and grass roots organizations. But communities in Brazil were better prepared and organized.

With the help of NGO´s, coastal forums and federal attorneys they have been defending their territory. As Tourism Experts showed at the World Social Forum in Belém 2009 only in the northeast of Brazil there are 33 mega resorts on the drawing board with investments of over 10 billion Dollars. Most of these resorts contain Hotel projects to qualify for government support with infrastructure, subsidies and fiscal incentives, but the main attraction for investors are the real estate developments which bring profit at the time of sales and provide down payments for capital investments at a time where no investors can be found.

One of these ”wonderful projects by the Spanish group Sanchez can be admired on the web “  http://www.grandnatalgolf.com . Should it ever be built “ environmental licenses have been challenged by Federal Attorneys “ it would build 40.000 housing units on what is today a moving dunes field close to the capital city of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal. The apartments, villas and luxury houses are already on sale on the international market.

Since Spanish real estate companies find it difficult to go on destroying Spain´s coast line because of increasingly stringent environmental requirements, they are looking for new horizons, rediscovering the Americas. Since most Spanish real estate groups are ailing from the real estate bust in Spain, they are looking to make up for the losses  on these shores. But communities in Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Jamaica and other countries are mobilizing against the invasion. There are equally daring resorts planned for the state of Ceará, but at this time 8 out of  8 projects have either been blocked by fisher communities, indigenous peoples and NGO mobilization or have been challenged by Federal Attorneys for environmental reasons.

For example the resort* http://www.gruponovaatlantida.com, which the Spanish group Afirma plans to build on land which is also claimed by indigenous groups. Neither the visit of the Spanish ambassador, who had the audacity to declare that indigenous people were an invention of NGO´s, or the Governor of the State of Ceará to the site were able to sway Indians or attorneys to resist. The promoters of this resort claim that the investor Juan Ripoll Mari is no longer part of Nova Atlantida, as he had some bad press about investigation by Swiss police into Mafia connections in Italy and since Brazilian authorities were investigating his financial dealings in Brazil (possible money laundering). But Juan Ripoll denies that he quit the project (see on his website http://www.grupojr-iae.com ) and he is also working on a new resort further north in the state of Piaui – www.ecocity-brasil.com .

The location of this resort with the fantasy name ECO-CITY RESORT** is in a federally protected environmental area not far from the world famous and highly vulnerable dune fields of ”Lençois Maranheses”. There are several consultants giving support to the resort promoters like the Spanish group www.iac-arquitectura.com and the Swiss company SOARBAU AG.  According to information from official federal government sources (IBAMA) no licences have been issued for the project so far.

So the network of communities, TUCUM and Brazilian NGO Instituto Terramar are now sharing know-how to defeat Real Estate Tourism Projects with communities around the globe. A worldwide network will soon start to distribute internet action alerts and look for allies in communities and civil society organizations.

The idea of the network was a central part of the tourism intervention of alternative tourism groups from countries like India, Brazil, Nicaragua, Costa Rica who participated at the World Social Forum. In Asia the NGO Equations of India and the Tourism Investigation & Monitoring Team (tim-team) in Bangkok are observing the scene; in Mexico the group SAVE is defending mangroves and turtle nesting places on the coast of Quintana Roo; in Spain and Central America a group from the University of Baleares, the NGO Albasud and Greenpeace keep a watchful eye on Spanish Hotel Chains and Real Estate companies. Of a more global nature there are: MAP “ Mangrove Action Project and RedManglar which mobilize the mangrove protection and anti shrimp and salmon farming organizations, ICSF “ Collective in Support of Fishworkers and WFFP “ World Forum of Fisher Peoples will mobilize fisher communities.

A variety of groups like the Tremembé, Tapeba and Jenipapo Kanindé in Brasil or the Garifunas in Honduras are leading indigenous people to take advantage of the newly gained rights with the UN Indigenous Rights Declaration of 2008 and the global network for responsible Tourism NGO´s will be spreading the word to the travel trade and consumers in developed countries.

As Economy Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman pointed out in his NY times column on March 3 ”Revenge of the Glut: ”The saving glut is bigger than ever since suddenly impoverished consumers have rediscovered the virtues of thrift and the worldwide property boom, which provided the outlet for all those excess savings, has turned into a worldwide bust. Even properties on Palm Islands in Dubai, valued over 3 million dollars just six month ago, are now worth less then 1 million.

The slow down in resort development thanks to the financial bust and coastal communities, will benefit marine ecosystems, fisheries and turtle populations, and coastal ecosystem health is likely to improve in the next years and will help provide protection from the impact of global warming and tsunamis by saving mangroves, dunes and coral reefs from destruction. Just a few weeks ago the government of Bahamas surprised the world by reacting to a global campaign and saving a pristine environment from the bulldozers of real estate developers and golf course promoter at the Bimini Bay Resort.

Global responsible tourism NGO´s will all gather at the ITB in Berlin on March 13 and join award winners and award givers to celebrate the news and map their strategies.

Author: René Schärer, feed back to turisolcom@yahoo.com.br

Inititative of:

Forum in Defense of the Coastal Zone of Ceará, Brazil

Instituto Terramar, Brazil

Rede TUCUM, Brazil

Amigos da Prainha do Canto Verde, Switzerland

To sign up for the initiative please send your e-mail to turisolcom@yahoo.com.br

Indicating the name of your organization, person responsible and website or blog.

You will hear from us as we go along structuring the network.

* according to the website of Juan Ripoll, the resort NOVA ATLANTIDA will be the WORDS LARGEST RESORT with 32 square kilometers, with 30 hotels and seven golf courses

**  according to the website of Juan Ripoll, the resort ECO-CITY with an area of 80.000.000 m2, will be the WORLDS LARGEST ECOTOURISM RESORT and will become the world capital of the environment.

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Dienstag, 24. März 2009 um 22:02 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Kultur, Naturschutz abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen.

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