01 Jul 2013
- By Junhan B. Todeno - email@example.com - Variety News Staff
THE Northern Islands mayor’s office welcomes a Russian investor’s interest in offering eco-tourism tours to Pagan.
Russian businessman Vlad Melnik, general manager of Volcano Tours Travel, has a limited “camp-type tourism plan for Pagan,” according to the mayor’s office program manager Jerome Aldan.
He said they learned about it following the submission of an eco-tourism plan by local architect Herman Cabrera to the Department of Public Lands.
Cabrera wants to establish a bungalow-type, bed-and-breakfast venture on the volcanic island.
It was the consensus of those who attended the 2012 Northern Frontier Resettlement and Redevelopment Conference to push eco-tourism on Pagan instead of turning it into a military training site.
He said the Northern Islanders have already “given up” Farallon de Mendilla to the military including a 12-nautical mile stretch of open airspace, ocean space, and surface land space.
“What more should the indigenous residents give up?” Aldan asked.
He said it is time for DPL and the CNMI’s elected leaders to help protect the surrounding waters and ocean life as well as the natural landscape and wildlife in the CNMI’s “most pristine and fragile ecosystem” which now includes the federal Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.
Aldan said the military should be required “to make adjustments and not the native people who do not want their natural environment to be recklessly destroyed by man’s cruelty to the land, ocean, and airspace using weapons of destruction and unknown contaminations.”