April 29, 2003 - 13,000+ subscribers and growing!
  • Clintons, Lovejoy, Butch & Sachs at conservation meeting
  • The Clintons in Santo Domingo
  • Bachata rules
  • Keeping with airport regulations
Clintons, Lovejoy, Butch & Sachs at conservation meeting
“In the next 30 years, the world will be more affected by environmental challenges than by terrorism,” former President Bill Clinton said during his opening remarks at the “Making Biodiversity Work for your Travel Business” meeting, held from 24-26 April in Punta Cana. “In the 21st century we won’t have economy if we do not protect the ecology,” Clinton emphasized. Clinton, was vacationing with his wife, senator Hillary Clinton in Punta Cana, and took time off to press for a commitment to the ecology.
Private sector, civil society, government and ecology institution representatives gathered for the meeting to listen to several success stories of how profitability can be increased while conserving the environment for future generations. 
Those attending unanimously committed themselves to work towards the implementation of actions leading up to the Alliance for Business & Biodiversity in the Caribbean, proposed by Lisette Gil, executive director of the La Romana/Bayahibe Hotel Association and seconded by Glenn Prickett, of Conservation International. 
Scientists, government officials, businessmen, cruise ship lines, tour operator representatives and environmental defense organizations committed to join forces to reduce the effects of human degradation in the Caribbean, today regarded as one of the most delicate “hot spots” in the world. Hot spots are defined as areas of exceptionally high species abundance, especially of concentrations of localized rare species that occur nowhere else. 
The event was organized by the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business and the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International, the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) at Columbia University, the Punta Cana Resort and Club, and the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation. 
The meeting gathered speakers ranging from the Clintons to Thomas Lovejoy, who coined the word “biodiversity” and the concept of the nature debt swap, to Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and to tourism experts, Gordon (Butch) Stewart of Sandals and Bill Wright, first captain of the Voyager of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship. 
This meeting of the minds sought to bring awareness regarding the Caribbean’s wealth of resources already available and the challenges that now need to be tackled. Those present were introduced to the resources available online, in print and in institutions, and were encouraged to discover the success stories, and emulate these to save the Caribbean region. 
The attendees committed to shake complacency and work towards the celebration of a second meeting in Punta Cana in 2004 to review actions taken. 
Click here for more details
The Clintons in Santo Domingo
Former US President Bill Clinton and his wife, New York Senator Hillary Rodham, had lunch with President Hipólito Mejía and First Lady Rosa Gómez on Friday in Santo Domingo. The Clintons were in the Dominican capital on their Easter holiday. Vice President Milagros Ortiz Bosch also attended the luncheon, as well as other Mejía family members. Shortly after, the Clintons toured the Colonial City. This is the third Easter Week vacation for the Clintons in Punta Cana and they have become enthusiastic promoters of Dominican holidays.
Bachata rules
El Caribe newspaper highlights today what is becoming very apparent: bachata has nudged merengue aside as the most popular current genre of music in the Dominican Republic. Leading Dominican contemporary musician Luis Días attributes the merengue’s decline in popularity to the resistance of the orchestras and bandleaders to pay good Dominican composers. “The national music now is the bachata, no one can doubt that. The Dominican people know that it is the music that best reflects their feelings.” 
Popular bachata artists include: Aventura, Antony Santos, Yoskar Sarante, Monchy Alexandra, Nueva Era, Teodoro Reyes, Zacarías Ferreira, El Chaval, El Gringo, Ruben del Río, Frank Reyes, and Alex Bueno, among others. Click here for more details
Keeping with airport regulations
Ellis Perez, director of communications for Aerodom, referring to the lack of adequate medical supplies at the Las Americas International Airport as reported in the Diario Libre, sent the following statement to DR1: 
“Regardless of the state of supplies of the public medical facilities at the airport, in order to comply with requirements of the International Organization of Civil Aeronautics (OACI), we maintain, as administrators of the airport, a full medical staff at all times with more than adequate medical supplies. We also maintain effective communications with the government medical staff, so as to supply them with whatever is needed so that the airport’s clients are always serviced properly.”
Diario Libre had reported on the use of white rum in the absence of alcohol supplies and the announcement that rum firm Brugal would donate needed real alcohol to the airport dispensary. Meanwhile, the Public Health authorities have promised that the necessary supplies were on their way to the airport, and attributed the delay to the Easter week holiday.

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