Rebranding Libya: We’re Eco-Friendly!

Travel Blog  •  Julia Ross  •  09.12.07 | 4:25 PM ET

imageTalk about rebranding. In a surprise move earlier this week, Libya rolled out a plan to transform a swath of its Mediterranean coast into the “world’s largest sustainable region.” British architect Norman Foster has been brought in to design three “green” luxury hotels near the ancient ruins of Cyrene, while additional initiatives in the Green Mountain region will focus on archaeological conservation, eco-tourism and production of organic food and drink.

Today’s Guardian reports that the Libyan government signaled its commitment to the eco-friendly resort by pledging 1.5 billion pounds. But observers are wondering whether the initiative, helmed by Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (Muammar Gaddafi’s son), will actually come to pass.

“It was a declaration that Libya are [sic] now more interested in saving the planet than bankrolling terrorists, and that one day soon the Green Mountain region would be a very nice place to come on holiday,” reports the Guardian. “It would be a bizarre irony if Libya’s international exile and lack of development in previous decades enabled it to steal a march on the pack and become an ecological model for the world.”

Related on World Hum:
* Journey to Libya
* Singapore: Brand That Nation!

Photo of Tripoli by StartAgain via Flickr, (Creative Commons).

Julia Ross is a Washington, DC-based writer and frequent contributor to World Hum. She has lived in China and Taiwan, where she was a Fulbright scholar and Mandarin student. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Time, Christian Science Monitor, Plenty and other publications. Her essay, Six Degrees of Vietnam, was shortlisted for "The Best American Travel Writing 2009."

4 Comments for Rebranding Libya: We’re Eco-Friendly!

Christopher Hill 09.12.07 | 7:35 PM ET

To my knowledge, Hands Up Holidays is the only travel company with trips in Libya that blend sightseeing in this fascinating country with meaningful interaction with the local people through a taste of volunteering…so in the World Heritage city of Ghadhames, you can help restore the buildings, including the old mosque and learn more about the Islamic faith…or you can help renovate a hospital for disabled people, and even take one of them on part of your trip, enabling them to experience their own country, a pleasure hitherto now denied them. Come and join us for a true adventure that counts!

Dan Tobin 09.14.07 | 1:06 PM ET

I am disgusted that the naive have fallen for the War Criminal Abu Minyar(“colonel"Muammar Gaddaffi)‘s slick public relations campaign for tourism, and that the diplomatic and tourist communities have not insisted on his trial and conviction for supporting terrorism, suppressing freedoms of dissent, assembly, jailing dissenters, bombing planes, and deporting the Libyan national population, and enslaving the population in Libya. If you want to learn more about the Islamic faith, a simple trip to the local library should do. The real adventure has been for survivors of the Libyan terrorist regime to prosecute his accomplices and boycott businesses who turn a blind eye to his criminality.

friendly to the environment 05.18.08 | 10:23 PM ET

It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.

green thinking 06.05.08 | 11:19 PM ET

We’ve got to ride the global-warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing - in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.

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