bm265 Developing Ecotourism in Cambodia

by bicyclemark 2 Comments

It is not easy to go to a country like Cambodia and develop an ecotourism project that involves preserving forests while generating income. Many obstacles will appear, not to mention the amount of people who simply don’t believe it can be done right.  Katie Matlack has been working on one such project, and on one recent afternoon we sat together in a park in Bangkok, to discuss that project.

We discuss:

  • Wildlife Alliance
  • Cambodia, the situation
  • How the project works
  • Downside to ecotourism
  • Green Architecture
  • Funding and progress
  • And more–

Music:

  • Elvis- Crawfish
  • LCD Soundsystem – Watch the Tapes

Starving Out the Hungry

by bicyclemark

Ever since Lindsay started writing for In These Times, I’ve become a regular reader of their work. One recent article on food donations from the US and how the food donation system works has sparked my attention as a topic for an upcoming podcast.

According to their investigation, the US food aid system, which is supposed to feed starving people throughout the world, actually works against that goal. By selling off much of the food, encouraging factory farming, using genetically modified foods, and seeking to boost US influence in different regions, the food aid program can actually increase the level of hunger in the world.

50% of the world’s food donations are said to come from the US… but clearly that fact in itself does not tell the whole story. And while you often hear about how a country donates food to help starving people, there is significant evidence that what is really happening is the creation of a corrupt and inhumane shadow economy where political agendas and profit seeking supersede the aim of assisting those in need.

More on this topic coming soon in a podcast.

Venezuela Gives the Most

by bicyclemark

I read a recent report from the AP that Venezuela gives more money to Latin American countries than the United States. An interesting fact, if it proves true.

Through direct investment, aid, and grant programs, Hugo Chavez’s government has offered 8.8 billion dollars for development and infrastructure to countries like Bolivia and Nicaragua.

Of course it can be said that through private companies and supragovernmental organizations like the world bank, the US provides more funding… but any student of history knows that a loan from the world bank is more often a curse then a blessing.

For all the criticism and hate directed towards Chavez’s administration, seeing this fact is an example where they’ve done right for the region. By right I mean leading the way to provide an alternative to the US influence and domination over the region. If nothing else, making it OK for Latin American nations to stand up and say “we can do things our way” instead of feeling dependent on international loan schemes or empty private investment promises.

bm190 Struggle for Change in Guinea

by bicyclemark

The president of Guinea has ruled this west african nation for over 20 years. Under his rule the nation has become one of the world’s poorest and more corrupt. But recently the people have taken to the streets and declared a general strike, making demands of this president who previously seemed to answer to no one. What is really going on in Guinea and why… Pauline Bax, my friend and a journalist based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast joins us to explain.

Her Blog: West Africa Wins Always

We Discuss:
-The last month in Guinea
-The strikes
– Lansana Conté, what should we know about him
-Where the country gets income
– Working as a journalist in Guinea
– Mining and mining companies
– Who Benefits from the present situation
– Plenty more, download the show.