Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Royal family, David Beckham, endangered turtles and Natal. We are all abuzz today with news of the battle of the two Davids. Natal continues to find itself at the centre of attention for the world's media ever since David Beckham's revealed his bronzed biceps on our beaches. The previous owner of Cultura Inglesa, the British Consul rep, a personal aquaintance and keen conservationist David Hassett has gone to the English papers to haul David Beckham's project for a Natal-based football academy over the coals because of the potential dangers to the wildlife.

This is typical of Mr Hassett, a man who has invested a great deal in research into and protection of endangered species and habitats in this part of Brazil. He is an important public figure in Natal and his opinions won't be treated lightly - the question is, how much clout can he possibly weild in the face of the Beckham brand machine? My guess is not a lot. I am pleased he is waving the flag for the environmental cost of what is/will happen to Natal's coastline as the rich and famous deposit themselves and their mansions on turtle breeding grounds. But, I imagine David the conservationist might get a bit of flack from some quarters - David the footballer's presence in Natal raises the profile of the city and is supposed to lead to community development initiatives and employment.

Read more about the "scandal" here at thisislondon.co.uk.

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