27 April, 2010

The Wonders of Soqotra

Three years ago - when I did an extensive search on 'Soqotra' or 'Socotra' on the Internet - the Island had very little written on it in English; very little of the Island is mentioned in even such sites as the National Geographic or World Wildlife Fund or Greenpeace . Very thankfully, in 2008 - UNESCO recognized the island as a world natural heritage site and it now has world attention.

There are now several books on Socotra, the best probably being: Socotra: A Natural History of the Islands and Their People. The other good news is that, carrying qat to Soqotra has been banned for almost ten months now. The latest good, encouraging news is: the government will now control and regulate the setting up of tourists camps on the Island; since the Island's joining UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, the number of tourists to the Island has greatly increased. Many of whom put up camps wherever they feel like; that will be no more.

TreeHugger had this to say bout the stunning Island: The island of Socotra may lie a mere 150 miles off the coast of Africa, but judging from its strange and exotic organisms that live there, it could be 150 light/years away. From towering, umbrella-shaped trees, to yellow-faced vultures and architect crabs, the island's wildlife evolved for millions of years, isolated from the rest of the world. With so much construction going on in Soqotra: with a new port now being planned, many roads already built on the Island; many tourists visiting the island, more investors pouring into it and much more attention on it now - Sooctra is no longer isolated. Whether that will be good or bad for the Island, only time will tell.