“Developer” can be a dirty word these days, and it’s easy to see why. It seems some developer or other is always failing to deliver on promises, or abandoning a project for lack of funds, or committing environmental transgressions. But not all developers are bad. Let’s use Amble Resorts and The Resort at Isla Palenque as an example.
The right kind of development can actually sustain the land, not deplete it. Our environmental experts told us that Isla Palenque will actually get healthier now than it was previously. Small farmers cutting old-growth trees, eating endangered animals, and raising pigs and cows that erode the soil can do more damage than you’d think. That’s why working to educate and train local workers is an essential part of a sustainability effort like ours. Deforestation is a serious issue that could be alleviated by teaching Panamanian farmers more sustainable methods that can still enable them to provide for their families. “Good” developers also rely on sustainable hardwood sources and rapidly renewable materials to avoid deforestation.
As far as the local workers go, besides providing employment opportunities, we will be adding infrastructure that we hope will lead to better quality, consistent running potable water, responsible waste disposal and reliable power for everyone in the area. See more about that in our interview with East Bay Group’s Rick Reikenis.
In my opinion, the developers who give all developers a bad name are the ones who have a very short view and want to cash in quickly. Our company is taking a very long view, and is working to sustain the natural beauty of the area for decades to come, even if it means spending more time and money up front for careful planning and innovative design.
The short view may be very common, but it’s not very wise. People who want to buy a home or stay in a hotel on a beautiful, unspoiled tropical island are not likely to continue to want to if the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. Sustaining and preserving the land, the flora and fauna, and the local culture are all good business decisions that will ensure the development retains its appeal for a long life as a pristine travel destination.