Ecoclub Member Blogs

Responsible Travel Week 2014

I would like to invite you all to participate on the ONLINE conference "Responsible Travel Week 2014"   It takes place 10-16 of February on the social web, read more: http://planeta.wikispaces.com/rtweek2014   On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/337144946403377   On Google+ : https://plus.google.com/events/ccl0a3u9lo9pp53m0e2m7mid9lc   On Twitter: follow hashtag #rtweek14   See you next week!        
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Zoos and scientific green/magic imagemaking

Zoos, that historically originate in the private entertainment of rulers and gradually moved on to the 'edutainment' of the general public are now trying to convince us that they are undertaking serious research and conservation work, perhaps as a reaction to increasing environmental and public awareness that the days of all animal abuse and incarceration facilities (including circuses, dolphinaria) are numbered. The green-(magic) imagemaking effort sometimes includes producing articles by prestigious researchers in prestigious journals, such as this one http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0080311 which claims that up to a quarter of species 'kept' in zoos are officially-considered endangered. (This by itself is one more way in which a designation of a species as endangered may be counter-productive under the currently prevailing socio-economic system (capitalism) as the designation increases its monetary value.). If zoos really wanted to clean up their act, they would gradually transform themselves into research & conservation institutions, abolish public animal enclosures,...
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Some thoughts on the question of Community Ownership in Tourism.

Determining what an ideal situation or solution (or ultimate goal) could be in every real-world problematic situation is not a utopian exercise but, on the contrary, it is a useful rule of thumb: to evaluate how far we are from achieving the goal, how likely we are to achieve it and if we are currently moving closer or further away. For a meaningful discussion of alternatives, we have to choose a broad political and philosophical framework. On this occasion we will examine the concept of community-owned tourism (COT) and try to tackle four key questions: (a) what constitutes a "local community" (b) according to which criteria an individual can be considered a member of a local community (c) which types of organisation are compatible with 'collective or community ownership' and (d) who should decide and who decides in practice about the previous three clarifications, in each case, or in general. The...
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Enter the CREST Responsible Travel Contest

Enter the CREST Responsible Travel Contest
Hello to our friends at ECOCLUB.com - International Ecotourism Club!   As you are as passionate about responsible travel as we are at CREST, we wanted to offer the opportunity for you to share your stories with us by entering our "I Love Responsible Travel Because..." contest!   The rules are simple. Between January 15 and February 7, post one of the following to The Center for Responsible Travel's Facebook , explaining why you love responsible travel, via: 30-60 second video Photo with narrative (up to 250 words) Poem Digital poster The winner will receive a 2 night stay at the LEED certified Orchard Hotels, a luxurious and eco-friendly boutique accommodation in San Francisco!   Check out our website for complete contest information! http://www.responsibletravel.org/events/index.html
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Booming Vietnamese National Park at risk of unsustainable tourism development

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Who will lead the way towards more sustainable tourism?

Who will lead the way towards more sustainable tourism?
  There is a lot of talk about sustainable tourism. Sustainability should be the responsibility of all those involved in tourism. But, who will play a lead role in walking the talk, making tourism more sustainable in real life? Governments? International organizations? Destination managers? Tour operators?   “Consumers hold all the power when it comes to the sustainability movement” , says  Bruce Poon Tip , the founder of  G Adventures , world’s largest adventure travel company with 2000 employees and operating in more than 100 countries.   What do you think?   Read more   http://creatingbetterplaces.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/who-will-lead-...  
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CAMAT Qualifies for UIAA's Mountain Protection Award 2013

The Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism (CAMAT) is a non-profit tourism association whose aim is to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the Chitral district in Northern Pakistan and to support sustainable ecotourism activities in the region. It has developed a one-year project that focuses on tourism educational programs. The objectives of the project are: Protect and promote indigenous culture of the communities in the Hindu Kush region. Incorporate tourism into the education system of the region to impact positively on the tourism industry. Enhance the capacity and skills of the local stakeholders such as tour guides, drivers, porters and hoteliers. Identify and promote local destinations for sustainable tourism in the region. There are economic, cultural and environmental impacts as a result of this project. They include: Income generation for select stakeholders who will be linked with potential customers. They include tour operators, guides, artisans, festivals organisers who will...
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Happy New Year 2014

CAMAT wish all ECOCLUB friends and colleagues a happy new year with a strong wish that 2014 may fill you with peace of mind, good health and prosperity.
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"Stitching Our Stories" at the Luang Prabang Film Festival!

"Stitching Our Stories" at the Luang Prabang Film Festival!
More great news about the Stitching Our Stories Project! The short films from last year's participants will be screened at the Luang Prabang Film Festival . The film, which was edited by local Hmong film students, will be shown at 11:00 AM at the LPFF Visitor Center from 7 – 10 December. On Wednesday, 11 December, there will be a special presentation by the SoS filmmakers, subjects, and film editors at the Luang Prabang Film Festival. The film assembles four documentary shorts shot by the projects' filmmakers Bao Song, Pasong Lee, Sia Yao, and Ma Ying. These examine the intricate artistry of Hmong batik and embroidery and the complex and often challenging roles of the medicine women and shamans who care for the bodies and spirits of their communities. More details on that event here .   The Stitching Our Stories project, a partnership with PhotoForward, is currently in the middle of its...
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Responsible Tourism in NE Thailand: Having Fun & Making Friends

Responsible Tourism in NE Thailand: Having Fun & Making Friends
Whilst mass tourism to Thailand is one of the mainstays of the Kingdom's economy, individuals and small groups who are keen to promote responsible, sustainable tourism in the country are starting to offer experiences to the increasing number of visitors who want their holiday to make a difference.   At Gecko Villa  a fully catered private pool villa set on working rice paddies in Udon Thani province, a warm welcome is extended to visitors who wish to get off the beaten track and immerse themselves in a resolutely authentic region of Thailand. Here, a natural symbiosis exists, whereby:   - Guests enjoy unusual, fun & experiential holidays, and direct interaction with the locals, and - The local community benefits directly via the creation of sustainable local employment, funding to protect its eco-systems, and the preservation and promotion of its culture.   Making Responsible Tourism Fun The small scale of Gecko Villa...
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