Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 29 Apr 2017 12am

Headlines:

     

     

     

     

     

    Friday, April 28, 2017-8:06:56A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Northern Islands mayor touts Pagan’s eco-tourism potential

PAGAN’S thermal energy could fuel the light for submersibles during deepwater excursions to the Marianas Trench, an added attraction to Pagan’s geo-tourism attractions, Northern Islands Mayor Tobias Aldan said in a report to his constituents.

Tobias Aldan
The mayor said south Pagan was reported to have an estimated power generating capacity of 50-125 megawatts based on a geothermal assessment completed in 2008 and announced by Dr. James Quick during the Pacific Islands Environmental Conference on June 22 to 25, 2009.

Aldan said the intense electrical energy generated by geothermal power is required in splitting hydrogen and oxygen atoms in water for commercial applications.

Geothermal power could also be used in certain fine jewelry, another potential industry for the Northern Islands, Aldan said.

On Friday, the mayor met with his constituents at his office on Capital Hill to brief them about the progress of his administration as it tries to achieve its twin goals of re-settlement and re-development of the CNMI’s “Northern Frontier.”

The mayor reported on the free-trade-zone proposal, land ownership and mineral resources, agriculture, the fishing community, eco-tourism based on geo-tourism principles, geothermal energy applications, cruise-liner tourism, and survival and adventure films and filming.

Free zone

Aldan said Public Law 18-16 gives the Northern Islands mayor authority over the designation of 30 hectares of public property to be identified as a free-trade zone on any island in the Northern Frontier.

“This law strengthens the Northern Islands mayor’s authority over the disposition of public lands as already provided for in P.L. 16-8,” he said.

The law, he added, complements other existing legal authorities as provided in Public Laws 2-13, 8-9, 11-96, 14-66 and 16-50.

Collectively, Aldan said these laws give homestead rights to qualified residents in the Northern Islands and to beneficiary and rightful homestead owners.

Aldan said these statutes parallel House Bill 18-19, which intends to compel issuance of actual land deeds or titles by Department of Public Lands to beneficiary homestead owners based individually and collectively on the homestead laws for the Northern Islands,

He said “the ministerial act of issuing a land deed or title does not preclude or foreclose the vested beneficiary interests or rights as provided for by the lawful authorities.”

He added, “This is critical given the increased military interest in the Northern Islands following the establishment in 2009 of President Bush’s Blue Ocean Legacy in the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument.”

In his report, he said the protracted litigation over Pagan’s pozzolan has been finally resolved in the local court and is now ripe for action which “calls for a plan that would optimize public benefits to the Northern Islands and the CNMI.”

Agriculture island

Aldan said the agricultural revival for the Northern Islands is outlined in a blueprint developed and presented by Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension and Resource Services during the Northern Frontier summit last year.

His office, he added, has learned that PDI Inc. is interested in pineapple and sugar cane farming and the conversion of waste materials to alternative energy.

He said his office submitted two proposals to the Department of Land and Natural Resources: a cold-storage proposal that will receive $20,000 in funding, and the other is the Pagan-based fishing community budgeted at $85,000.

Both grant proposals were approved by DLNR’s review committee but actual fund disbursements had not been executed by the department as of yesterday.

Aldan said his office also learned through a third party source that a private party has expressed interest in caged-fishing in Pagan, but he added that he has yet to confirm this.

Tourism

Aldan at the same time said eco-tourism developer and architect Herman B. Cabrera recently secured a temporary authorization to clean up and landscape certain areas on Pagan for the Silver Explorer cruise liner visit in 2014.

In addition to the cleanup and landscaping that will commence next year, Cabrera also secured a temporary permit from DPL to conduct archaeological, biological, geological and historical/cultural assessment of Pagan’s eco-tourism potential.

Film

Aldan said the downsizing of the film program at Northern Marianas College did not fare well for his office’s proposed plans to fully engage NMC in providing technical assistance to get the project off the ground.

His office, however, will work with the Marianas Visitors Authority to include the Northern Frontier in its advertisement campaign.

Aldan said his office was recently visited by a representative of Konferentia Chamorro from Guam regarding the possibility of a three-day Chamorro conference in June or July 2014 on Pagan.

In his report to his constituents, Aldan recognized the “valued assistance” provided by Gov. Eloy S. Inos, Lt. Gov. Jude U. Hofschneider, the 17th and 18th legislatures, the 17th and 18th Saipan and Northern Islands legislative delegations, the 11th and 12th Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council leaders, the members of the Saipan business community, Secretary of Commerce Sixto Igisomor, NMC-CREES program director Ross Manglona and Aldan’s constituents.