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LAOS ECOTOURISM PIONEER 'MISSING'

Athens, 21 March 2007

The world may be celebrating Earth Day today, but in Laos, award-winning Ecotourism activist Sompawn Kantisouk will not be celebrating.

Melody Kemp, a journalist living in Laos reported that witnesses had seen Sompawn being escorted by "men in green uniforms". Story details here: http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/1872

But, apart from Sompawn's disappearance, ECOCLUB has been told by a credible source that the story is otherwise inaccurate. A second source said that "there are many leads and theories about what happened".

Sompawn is co-owner of the award-winning The Boat Landing Guesthouse
(http://www.theboatlanding.com) in Luang Namtha province, an ECOCLUB Ecolodge Partner. He was recently commenting at the destruction of the ecosystem by rubber plantations, following a disastrous flood in August. Bill Tuffin, manager of The Boat Landing, had also written an article for the October 2006 issue of the ECOCLUB Magazine, which talked about the "widespread clearing of forest for rubber tree plantations in all of the major watersheds of the upper Nam Tha".

Laos is to hold an Ecotourism Forum in July 2007, and ECOCLUB has been appointed as an official Supporting Media. In that capacity, ECOCLUB, the International Ecotourism Club (Web: www.ecoclub.com ) sincerely hopes that the Laos authorities, who have so far been very pro-Ecotourism, will urgently investigate the matter and locate Sompawn Kantisouk.

Despite Sompawn's disappearance, apparently since January 2007, The Boat Landing Guesthouse remains open for business, and continues to support the local community & environment. Ecotourists are recommended to visit The Boat Landing as a sign of solidarity to Sompawn, his family and the local community.

Related Websites:

The Boat Landing Guesthouse
ECOCLUB - International Ecotourism Club
Laos Ecotourism Forum
ECOCLUB Interview with Bill Tuffin


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