Ecoclub Member Blogs

On the Australian Bushfires

On the Australian Bushfires
    The dry summer/autumn season still has 4 months to run, and most of Australia is facing the highest ever-recorded temperatures, so danger still lurks. We have slashed all the grass around our house to make a firebreak and our gutters are covered so that sparks cannot get into the roof cavity - here in Australia that is how most buildings go up in flames during a bushfire.   Despite the enormous damage in contemporary-built Australia, in a sense fires are 'natural' in our landscapes because for 40,000 years Aborigines practiced 'firestick management' - burning forests and grasslands to improve conditions for their hunting and gathering. Over the centuries, the environment adapted to regular burning, and much of our native flora, from delicate ground orchids to huge eucalyptus trees, can only regenerate after fire since the seed casings need the heat of fire to crack open and release the seeds....
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Protecting the Loggerhead Turtle in Zakynthos

    Earth Sea and Sky 2013 - PRESERVE, RESCUE and INFORM - With the help of the Sea Life Centres in England we have taken many steps to save the Loggerhead Turtles and Marine Life of Zakynthos. We want to preserve this very special and rare animal so our children’s children will learn and cherish them in their time.   The Caretta, caretta (Loggerhead) Turtle has existed since the dinosaurs, gets older than humans, as heavy as 100 kilos and even grow to 1 metre in diameter. A fully grown turtle has almost no natural predator, only we humans are the biggest problem to them.   So before coming on holiday get some information from our website how you can spend a ‘turtle friendly’ holiday in Zakynthos and, once on the Island, make sure you find time to come and visit our Information and Rescue Centre at Gerakas. Also take a look at our new DVD on the following link: http://youtu.be/z8Z86zbIZuA  ...
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Summary of Andaman Discoveries' 2012 Volunteer Program in Thailand

Summary of Andaman Discoveries' 2012 Volunteer Program in Thailand
The number of volunteers has been increasing yearly and led to a grand total of 60 volunteers for 2012. All the volunteers’ efforts contributed immensely to the projects we support.   We have also hosted families at our projects, this is a wonderful way to have the Thai, Muslim and Burmese children learn from their peers.  Kirsten and family came to teach at our learning center and nursery project with her two sons and husband, Tobin.  Kirsten said each day was just more fun than the next, she appreciated the interaction with the local children and her own children, knowing the value and insight it gave to her own children.  Each day her older son, Mathew would go to school only to be whisked away by the local children, they wanted him to talk, spend time and play with him. There was no need for a translator, as communication was made...
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Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries 2013 Seminar Update

Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries 2013 Seminar Update
Crete's Culinary Sanctuaries 2013 Seminar Update:   Our Study Away Program for Missouri State University is full. Registration is now closed.   There are a few spaces left for our accredited study tour for the University of Missouri and our fantastic open program covering Historic Food & Wine Routes of Crete from June 22-29, 2013. A rare and fantastic opportunity to explore Crete's magnificent countryside and historic sites with resident specialists; enjoy botanical hikes, visits to organic wineries and tranquil villages. http://www.cookingincrete.com/Schedule.html     All the best, Nikki  
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tourism in the time of apocalypse

tourism in the time of apocalypse
  At the end of the month and of the year 2012 we may not see the end of the world, to the disappointment of mayan calenderists, survivalists, and assorted ufologists, yet, the situation is rather apocalyptic. During 2012 the climate crisis brought extreme weather phenomena, while the economic crisis became a permanent fixture in parts of the global north. The global south, with a few exceptions, did not really catch up as it also suffers from the repercussions of the global economic slow-down. Inequality within most countries grew as well. So were tensions, violence, unemployment, bigotry and fascism.. The system’s holy pillars – supposedly too big to fail/fall on our heads, the banks, have been re-erected with public, tax payers money – money now missing from Health and Education – and essentially unreformed, they are back to business as usual. A few dictators were replaced by new ones, while regional...
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Responsible Tourism Hangout Today

  Google Hangout on responsible tourism and ecotourism today.   "Responsible tourism", "sustainable tourism", "green travel" - What does it all mean, who is doing it, how & why should consumers get involved?   Travel Coffee Break (Wed 19 Dec 2012, 1700 GMT / 1200 EST / 0900 PST) see here http://www.travelcoffeebreak.com/2012/12/responsible-tourism-hangout.html
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Slum-Tourism: The Human Zoo?

Slum-Tourism: The Human Zoo?
Over the past decade ‘slum tourism’ has sky-rocketed to popularity, seen as a new way to branch outside the more conventional tourist activities. It was further fueled by a rising demand helped on by films such as 'City of God' and 'Slumdog Millionaire'. This form of tourism can actually be dated back to Victorian times, when the curiosity of the upper-classes drove them to London’s East End to witness the living conditions of the poor. A century or so later and slum tours were being offered in India, Africa and Brazil. Now the idea has spread all over the world. UN-Habitat define slums as urban areas that lack one or more of the following: durable housing; sufficient living space; easy access to safe water; access to adequate sanitation; and security of tenure that prevents forced evictions. Many become uncomfortable with the idea of a group of wealthy tourists visiting a slum...
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Croan Cottages Christmas 2012

Croan Cottages Christmas 2012
We always enjoy compiling the Christmas Newsletter more than any other as it gives us a chance to review the successes and failures of the year and to plan for the coming seasons.   Despite continuing challenges in the wider economy, it’s been a good year here at Croan. We’ve done our best to keep our costs low, we doubled the government’s VAT reduction and have focused on providing quality holidays for families and groups.   We continue to compile itineraries with as many free activities listed as possible and to develop partnerships with local producers and providers to offer the best possible value to Croan’s visitors.   This year, we’ve been focusing on fishing in the local area and have increased the options available to guests at Croan: we’ve put in place arrangements with Thomastown Anglers, Mount Juliet Estate and, most recently, Jerpoint Park which is a truly magical place...
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Food for Thought Symposia: Cretan food and wine event

Food for Thought Symposia: Cretan food and wine event December 10, 6:30 pm, Baltimore, MD The Inn At The Black Olive, The Institute for Integrative Health and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, introduce the Food for Thought Symposia: A return to the ancient Greek ritual of gathering to partake in good food, fine wine, and communal discourse which, when shared together, provide sustenance for intellectual and cultural growth. Internationally known advocate of Cretan food and lifestyle, Nikki Rose, will be autographing her book Crete: The Roots of the Mediterranean Diet. http://www.examiner.com/article/food-for-thought-symposia-cretan-food-and-wine-event
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International Development Best Practice

International Development Best Practice
Adventure Alternative have spend recent years working to support the indiginous Penan people who live in the rainforests of the Sarawak region of Malaysian Borneo. A number of villages are represented as a whole, by a central community co-operative, the total number of people represented is estimated at around 1000. The initiative involves providing a sustained source of income for the Penan that compliments their traditional way of life and actively incentivises protection of the natural environment and of their cultural heritage. This income is provided firstly through sensitive and controlled access by small groups of carefully selected paying expedition groups and secondly through funded direct payment of local people for activities associated with active reforestation measures.   Through careful planning, selection and briefing of the expedition groups, the initiative also seeks to instil and reinforce, within the Penan people, that their efforts to maintain their land and culture are of...
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