On Wednesday, May 16th, I arrived on the island of Kosrae. Known as the Island of the Sleeping Lady, Kosrae is one of the four states that makes up the Federated States of Micronesia, and let me tell you, it is a stunning place. I have never seen such pristine, natural beauty like this anywhere. Download this KMZ file to locate/view Kosrae with Google Earth.
I was invited to the island to meet with the Governor, as well as many state and local government department heads, to discuss how Autodesk technology can help sustain, preserve, and protect Kosrae (pronounced Ko-shry). These visionary people understand that Kosrae is virtually untouched by Western influences, that it’s terrestrial and marine beauty is unrivaled, and that it is vulnerable.
The islanders want tourists, diving magazines, the Discovery Channel, etc. to discover Kosrae, but they understand that proactive planning will make the eventual onslaught of tourists manageable, profitable, and sustainable. This situation reminds me of what I found on Easter Island, but with one big difference–with regard to tourism, Easter Island is in a reactive situation. On Easter Island, a Boeing 767 loaded with tourists arrives several times a week. The island is struggling to meet the demands made to their infrastructure and the natural environment. By the way, my work with the Easter Islanders continues . . . more about this later on in the fall.
On Kosrae, we created the Kosrae Sustainable Asset Management Project (KSAM), a new committee that brings together the stakeholders from government, land management, public works, marine resources, survey and mapping, historic preservation, and tourism. Acting as a single unit, adopting one standard, and working toward the ultimate goals of preservation, sustainable design, and private development, this group will create processes, procedures—and maybe even laws—that will welcome tourism, but manage it wisely to preserve their magnificent island.
I was fortunate to visit, survey, and map several unique sites on Kosrae, including prehistoric ruins, World War II sites, and even an underwater survey—all completed with AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008. Look for my posts (some with video) about them in the near future.