Al JazeeraCan Cuba maintain its cultural and natural heritage in the face of a “tsunami” of American tourists visiting the island as relations between the U.S. and Cuba normalize and the end of the economic embargo draws closer? Al Jazeera accompanied Ocean Doctor and Cross Cultural Journeys to Cuba in June 2015 to explore how Cuba went green and what the future holds. Interviewed in this segment: David E. Guggenheim, President, Ocean Doctor; Cecilia Utne, President, Cross Cultural Journeys; Miguel Coyula, Cuban Architect & Urban Planner. Video provided courtesy of Al Jazeera.


Cuban organic farming

Travelers visited the Organopónico Vivero Alamar near Havana, a cooperative urban farm focusing on agricultural production and services. Seventy percent of Cuba’s agriculture is organic.

How Cuba Went Green and What the Future Holds

Al Jazeera accompanied Ocean Doctor and Cross Cultural Journeys on a first-ever trip to Cuba focused on the country’s environmental history, exploring how Cuba “went green” and examining what the future holds, especially in light of normalizing relations with the United States.

Visitors were able to see healthy corals in Cuba’s Bay of Pigs, guided by an expert marine scientists from the University of Havana.

This unique journey explored the history, culture and sustainable practices of Cuba through meetings with researchers, university officials, organizations and with the local people to learn and discuss Cuba’s ecological and environmental issues. In Havana visitors met with leading environmental research and conservation institutions and visited an organic cooperative urban farm; visited an ecological planned community in Artemisa Province within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; explored healthy coral reefs in the Bay of Pigs; visited Zapatas Swamp, the “Cuban Everglades;” and visited the beautiful city of Cienfuegos to learn of how Cuba, both by necessity and through strong environmental laws, has set a high bar for sustainability in the Caribbean. Visitors also learned from Cubans about their concerns for the coming “tsunami” of Americans with the end of the economic embargo likely drawing closer.

Based on the success of this first trip, two additional trips are scheduled for 2016:

  • March 31 – April 9, 2016
  • December 1-10, 2016

Learn more about How Cuba Went Green and What the Future Holds. Booking requests are now being accepted. Book early to ensure your spot for this unique experience.

Visitors were able to see healthy corals in Cuba's Bay of Pigs, guided by an expert marine scientists from the University of Havana.

Visitors were able to see healthy corals in Cuba’s Bay of Pigs, guided by an expert marine scientists from the University of Havana.

What We’re Doing

Cuba-U.S. Sustainability Partnership (CUSP)In partnership with the Center for International Policy, Ocean Doctor has launched the Cuba-U.S. Sustainability Partnership (CUSP), to help ensure a sustainable future for Cuba in a post-embargo world. CUSP comprises entities that recognize that it is in their best business interests to contribute to creating a sustainable future for Cuba who are working collaboratively to develop guiding principles and best practices for investment and development in Cuba. Learn more…

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