Link of the Day 011808: Conserving Cuba, After the Embargo [NYTimes]

Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs

From the NYTimes

Through accidents of geography and history, Cuba is a priceless ecological resource. That is why many scientists are so worried about what will become of it after Fidel Castro and his associates leave power and, as is widely anticipated, the American government relaxes or ends its trade embargo.
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Cuba has not been free of development, including Soviet-style top-down agricultural and mining operations and, in recent years, an expansion of tourism. But it also has an abundance of landscapes that elsewhere in the region have been ripped up, paved over, poisoned or otherwise destroyed in the decades since the Cuban revolution, when development has been most intense. Once the embargo ends, the island could face a flood of investors from the United States and elsewhere, eager to exploit those landscapes.

Accompanying NYT slideshow

Tocororo, Cuba's national bird
Tocororo, Cuba’s national bird

Also from Treehugger

In a report last year, the World Wildlife Fund said that Cuba’s beaches, mangroves, reefs, seagrass beds and other habitats are most at risk by “the prospect of sudden and massive growth in mass tourism when the U.S. embargo lifts.”