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The 'Cultural Highway' for a 'Change.

Are You Ready to Build it?

In a recent press release from the Natural Resources Defense Council, among the topics addressed were coastal flooding due to an Arctic meltdown, a Clean Energy Police for the 21st Century, environmental changes through new legislation, green living and greenhouse gases emulsion and Global Warming through the production of air pollution.

However, Global Warming offers more and is not only about the environment that envelopes us, it is about people and a self awakening process that takes place from within. It is a learning process for all cultures to coexist through social and cultural interaction relevant to a Sustainable Peace.

The vehicle that will drive this phenomena and link a united world with Global Warming is the 'Cultural Highway'. It is a 'highway' with a vision for 'change', creating an environment in which people of all cultures learn to live with no boundaries, while at the same time helping to bring the ends of the earth closer together.

The 'Cultural Highway' is to be ongoing in its 'metaphoric' construction, built by people (its infrastructure) and will be largely comprised of cultural resources indigenous to our heritage. And therefore, building bridges of communication and cross cultural exchange, will encourage peaceful coexistence where we live. The 'highway' becomes a catalyst to link the peoples of the world together through their similarities and as well as their diversities.

In that culture is only acquired through a learning process, building the Cultural Highway not only means investing in ourselves, but in our communities as well. This exercise will help to bring the 'changes' needed as we embark on our journey from self discovery to world peace.

Building the 'Cultural Highway' is one way to celebrate our diversity while fostering social equity the world over. Educationally 'driven', the highway's resources will be comprised of the Arts, Humanities, History, and Heritage, and will serve as the common denominator for all cultures. In that sharing a common sense of purpose while identifying cultural differences, education becomes the key to opening doors and developing social relationships in divided regions of the world.

With these 'changes', it is our hope that warring factions will reconcile and the 'principles' behind the 'Cultural Highway' Concept will become an axium by which we can start to realize a renewed freedom, a democracy for the Ages. Walls will start to break down and tourism begin to flourish as the 'Cultural Highway' takes shape.

As an incentive for tourism, the 'Cultural Highway' will encourage international trade, and economic and social stabilization, all of which will attract political stability, foreign investments, social integrity, cultural biodiversity and religious harmony, vital components for a Sustainable Peace.

Whether you are from a country war torn from a political upheaval or a rich sociodemocratic country, this sharing of a common sense of purpose will help to ease cultural and religious differences in various parts of the world. It's only by sharing our similarities, that we can begin to heal our differences, with all cultures participating in the Peace process.

In addition to Global Warming's social and cultural aspects and The "Cultural Highway's" Journey of Self Discovery, we must turn our attention to travel again naturally. EcoTourism, a 21st Century phenomena, is about both natural and cultural resources, not only of our flora and fauna, but of our cultural Heritage as well. It is the showcase for environmental disciplines in the 21st century.

Prior to the advent of The 'Cultural Highway', EcoTourism and Global Warming evolved the term Cultural Tourism, which found its roots on the Island of Bermuda. It is there that the employ of the Department of Tourism, I saw the need to increase off-season tourism. The result was that I utilized the Arts, Humanities, History , and indigenous Heritage to link Bermuda's nine parishes via a common bond, while packaging the Island as a single entity. It worked, and Bermuda perhaps became the prototype for The 'Cultural Highway' and its principles. Cultural

Tourism had caught on and was here to stay, and to this day, destinations throughout the world use the 'principles' to advance a better quality of life. The Arts, adversaries of the Tourism industry for decades, now had become an important attraction for the Tourism industry and are here to stay.

It was inevitable that EcoTourism would follow Cultural Tourism, that in the same way, The 'Cultural Highway' Concept would stimulate renewed awareness in people's cross-cultural awareness. EcoTourism would promote their natural resources. Whereas in the past, EcoTourism was used to describe native based travel to relatively undisturbed areas of the world while protecting natural resources.

Today, people have become part of the process in all three stimulants &emdash; 'Cultural Highway' (Cultural Tourism), EcoTourism (environmental awareness), and finally Global Warming (People to People for Peace).

Whether it becomes Peace through Tourism or Tourism through Peace, these three proponents stand to play an important role in your part of the world. Make it part of you where you live.

Now is an opportunity for each of us to take the lead in our communities by investing in the Arts as a cultural resource to partner with our natural resources. Not only will the Arts help to improvequality of life, but they will humanize our neighborhoods as well. Let's make the 'Cultural Highway' the cornerstone between Global Warming and EcoTourism. Not only is it economically correct, but it invites a new greening of the planet earth. Global Warming can also become a cultural and environmental 'change'. Perhaps Africa, its membership and its member nations of The Africa Travel Association will become a case study for developing EcoTourism in the years that lie ahead.

Start today to celebrate the 'Cultural Highway' Concept, its cultural resources, and EcoTourism, its natural resources, marketing Peace as a natural resource. You can make a difference while helping to warm the globe all over. Are You ready to build it? People first - for a 'change', a Culture ofPeace! If not the greening of the earth's planet the seeking of a culture indigenous to World Peace.


Jonathan Meigs