British Seek To Change St. Helena, Napoleon's Place of Exile, To Resort
But the British Government has had a belated change of heart over its remotest prison colony and is seeking to turn the outpost of Empire into a modern-day paradise island, fit for five-star tourists.
Pitted against them is an alliance of conservationists concerned the island's unique biodiversity will be sacrificed in pursuit of a development model heavy on golf courses and jet-liners but light on environmental planning.
On one side is the Government's Department for International Development, determined to bring mass tourism to the tiny, beautiful but very broke South Atlantic island by building, at taxpayers' expense, an international airport, equivalent in size to Birmingham International, on one of St Helena's most environmentally sensitive areas.
Pitted against Whitehall are conservationists, historians and many islanders, fearing St Helena's already precarious wealth of indigenous plants and wildlife, and its exceptionally rare and largely untouched historic buildings dating from Napoleon's time, will soon be lost in the Government's push for mass tourist cash.
St Helena, a mountainous volcanic outcrop just 10 miles by six, has always been celebrated for its remoteness. It is 1,200 miles from Africa, 1,800 miles from South America and 700 miles from Ascension Island, the next nearest land. The island is the deeply eroded summit of a composite volcano, which lends St Helena its extraordinarily dramatic topography.
[Editor's Note: This is a very short excerpt from a much longer piece. See The Independent for more.]
comments powered by Disqus
- 150 years later, schools are still a battlefield for interpreting Civil War
- Where are America's memorials to pain of slavery, black resistance?
- Richmond split over Confederate history
- The World's Jewish Population Is Nearing Pre-Holocaust Levels
- Bernie Sanders’s Revolutionary Roots Were Nurtured in ’60s Vermont
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- How Does It Feel To Have One’s Work as a Historian Cited by the Supreme Court? Cool. Very Cool. Thank You Very Much.
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- David Hackett Fischer wins $100,000 prize for lifetime achievement in military writing