EU- economic assistance

The Canary Islands, Azores and Madeira all face economic issues due to remoteness to the rest of the EU. Their unemployment rates are all higher than the EU average. The Canaries have a GDP per capita which is less than 80% of the EU average.

They classify as highest priority for assistance from the European Development Fund, which is intended to close the gap between the richest and poorest areas of the EU.

Between 2000 and 2006 the islands received 145 million euros in economic assistance. About 1/3 of this went to improving infrastructure such as the water supply and waste supply.

Dalai Lama- the 15th?

Although this is really not relevant at all to the A Level Geography course, I did a little random research on the Dalai Lama a few days ago (I’m really not sure why, I just had a sense of curiosity about him), and found some comments I thought were interesting, at least.

The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is well known as a proponent of a free Tibet, and as one of the few internationally respected heads of state, at least by the people. In the 1980s he proposed taking the middle ground and granting greater autonomy to Tibet, if the government of the PRC did not want a truly free Tibet. After this, he said something along the lines that the next Dalai Lama might not be born to the PRC, as clearly such an “authoritarian” state did not lead a spiritual leader. It was then speculated that a future Dalai Lama might be born to another geographically close country, like Nepal, Bhutan or even somewhere like Bangladesh.

(Since these comments, one spokesperson said something along the lines that if the middle way could not be fulfilled, Tibet must campaign for full independence once more.)

At another point, the Dalai Lama then stated that he might not reincarnate at all, as the world needs spiritual leaders less now.

And after that, he said that even if he did, he might be a woman in a future life.

Regardless of whether anyone reading this believes in reincarnation or not, I think these are still very interesting comments.

The Dalai Lama is normally found by a series of signs, such as which direction smoke is flowing at the time, or from visions. I think it would be interesting to see if these comments are taken as signs to a 15th Dalai Lama’s identity, and if, if they are, this would mean someone from outside Tibet could become the spiritual leader of the region, and even if a female Dalai Lama would take a traditionally male role. And of course, the implications if no Dalai Lama were found, would be culturally enormous.

There’s even a question of, if reincarnation is possible and has occurred 13 times for the Dalai Lama- can the Dalai Lama choose who he reincarnates as in any way, and, can he choose whether he reincarnates at all?

There hasn’t been a female Dalai Lama, and very rarely have there been female leaders in the Himalayan region, so that is especially interesting in a way.

Of course, I’d like it to still be a while before anyone finds out, as the 14th Dalai Lama, at least from what I’ve seen, is an incredibly good leader, and a brilliant person.

Haiti Earthquake- Causes of Vulnerability

The temperature had been 28 degrees celsius average, with 137cm of rainfall average each year. This climate means that soil is often damp and therefore prone to moving easily.

The Caribbean plate moved east while the North American plate moved west. A large movement in the north section of the Caribbean plate occurred, causing the earthquake. Rocks break when the tension is released, which is what then causes the damage.

The earthquake was shallow, and the plates hadn’t shifted for years. The plate boundary ran through the capital, Port au Prince.

The epicenter was very close to Port au Prince, while the focus was not far underground.

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, so was ill equiped for this situation. Building quality was awful- and they lacked infrastructure. They had poor architecture, and many buildings were made of low quality concrete blocks.Roo

Roofs easily collapsed, trapping people underneath. Many houses were on slopes, causing slips.