What does the future hold for Cuba's environmental resources?

June 14, 2012

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You’ve probably seen pictures of classic cars on the streets of Cuba, seemingly frozen in time. But the embargo has put a freeze on other aspects of island life as well.

Cuba enjoys many ecological riches that some of its Caribbean neighbors don’t. The country is home to some of the most pristine coral reefs in the region, as well as many animal and plant species that only exist on the island.

Although there may be a lot to see in Cuba, tourism remains somewhat limited. The island is just 90 miles off the coast of Florida, but Americans aren’t allowed to spend money there, which makes visiting tough.

Cuba has prioritized and protected its ecological resources, but concerns loom large about what will happen when the embargo goes away. Could an influx of tourists put the country’s natural resources at risk?

Environmental Defense Fund Chief Oceans Scientist Doug Rader has been collaborating with Cuban scientists for more than a decade. He joins us Thursday on Worldview to discuss Cuba's environmental outlook along with WBEZ blogger Achy Obejas.

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