- Written by ECOCLUB.com Team
- Hits: 128
"Little steps can be made to lead us together into a happier and more sustainable world"
Roi Ariel is currently a Sustainability & Social Responsibility Associate at PATA based in Bangkok. He has recently been the Partnership Manager for the Responsible Tourism Awards at Wild Asia and an Environmental Affairs intern at UN-ESCAP. He has worked as an Independent Ecotourism Advisor in China, Taiwan, Madagascar and in his native Israel, where he was an Advisor to Friends of the Earth Middle East and a Radio host and producer at the Israel Broadcasting Authority. He holds a Master's degree in Applied Economics and Social Development from National Chengchi University of Taipei (Taiwan) and a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
ECOCLUB.com: Please explain to us the general philosophy and specific aims of the Wild Asia Awards. How are winners chosen and what do they gain?
Roi Ariel: The tourism industry in Asia is growing very quickly. We believe that sustainable destinations can be made a reality by promoting, sharing and inspiring change from within the travel industry. Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Awards is one of the first tourism award in Asia specifically focused on sustainable tourism best practices. Since 2006, the annual awards identify accommodation and tourism operators and projects who are making a positive difference in the destination where they operate. By rewarding the bright sparks, more operators from the region will be encouraged to step forward and to share and inspire change from within the travel industry, beginning with operators closest to us. We have aligned our Responsible Tourism Checklist according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Sustainable Tourism Criteria. We keep supporting the winners to showcase their practices. For example, Yurie Nagashima of Kinyei, winner of Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Initiative category for 2015, gave a talk about “Building Partnerships with Local Communities: The Key To Community-Based Tourism” at IBT Asia 2015 Responsible Tourism Clinics arranged by Wild Asia.
Our Judging Advisory Panel is made up of senior level sustainable tourism experts. All members have at least 10 years of experience in tourism in general and in responsible tourism in Asia in particular. They review the answers and evidences provided in the application forms, and the required documentation. Each Judge selects their top 2-3 operators for each category. The two operators with the most votes are selected as Finalists. Likewise, the operator in each category at the second round of judging with the most votes is selected as a Winner. Allowing the Judges to vote as an independent Panel gives us assurance and fair judging. In case of a conflict of interests, the judge does not vote in the specific category. And a few tips to those who plan to apply for such kind of awards: make sure to apply for the right category. This can be critical for being selected as a finalist or a winner. Also, giving more information helps the judges understand better what the business does. Using concrete numbers and examples help to show the positive impact.
- Written by Desmond Brown
- Hits: 191
CHARLESTOWN, St. Kitts and Nevis, Jan 25 (IPS) - Legislators on the tiny volcanic island of Nevis in the northern region of the Lesser Antilles say they are on a path to going completely green and have now set a date when they will replace diesel-fired electrical generation with 100 per cent renewable energy.
The island, with a population of 12,000 currently imports 4.2 million gallons of diesel fuel annually, at a cost of 12 million dollars, a bill it hopes to cut down significantly. Nevis consumes a maximum of 10 mw of energy annually.
Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism of Nevis, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of St. Kitts and Nevis Mark Brantley said geothermal energy is something that sets Nevis apart.
"About 10 years ago we discovered that we have geothermal energy here. It has taken a while but we are not at a stage where all the exploration work has been done and we have been assured that geothermal goes live in December of 2017," Brantley told IPS.
"What that means is that when that plant switches on in December of 2017, fully 100 per cent of Nevis' electricity will be supplied by renewables. Nowhere else in the world can boast that and so it will make us the greenest place on planet earth. That's the new tagline – the greenest place on planet earth."
- Written by Serena Lucrezi
- Hits: 78
Scuba diving is an important tourism market, generating a billion-dollar industry worldwide. African countries are highly recommended for divers; 20% of the best dives in the world are located on the continent.
Some of the most popular destinations include:
the high latitude reefs of southern Mozambique; and
Scuba diving has grown in popularity over the past two decades. This is evident from the rapid growth in the number of certifications issued worldwide. The number has grown to 23 million at a pace of about one million every year.
But the industry is not without its fair share of challenges. Some of these, such as environmental degradation and the effects of climate change, are threatening the industry.
- Written by ECOCLUB.com Team
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"Ecotourism can open the door to a genuine contact with locals and their culture, which is practically impossible in a more conventional touristic package"
Natali (Anastasia) Dologlou is a Greek Ecotourism Expert who works as a Researcher at the National Technical University of Athens. She holds a BSc in a Biology (University of Crete, Greece) and an MSc in Environmental Science (Brunel University, UK). She first got involved with Ecotourism research in 2002, working as environmental consultant for Agrotouristiki, an organisation affiliated with the Greek Ministry of Development. One of her main tasks was to create a register for all companies involved in ecotourism and agrotourism activities and prepare material for a new, national agrotourism portal. She also coordinated the preparation of the Greek “National Master Plan for the Organization and Development of Ecotourism”. Since 2005 she is a research/laboratory member of staff of the Metsovion Interdisciplinary Research Center (MIRC) at the National Technological University of Athens. She is a long-time Member of ECOCLUB.com - International Ecotourism Club and an active member in various non-governmental organizations and associations including the newly formed Greek Ecotourism Society and the International Association of Cultural and Digital Tourism. She lives in Athens with her family (2 kids) and always searching for small escapes in nature.
- Written by ECOCLUB.com Team
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The Encyclopedia of Sustainable Tourism
Edited by Carl Cater, Brian Garrod and Tiffany Low
CABI International, ISBN 9781780641430, October 2015, Hardback, 662 pages.
This, like many quality encyclopaedias, is a fine example of "crowdwriting", in this case a collaborative effort by 163 Contributors from 28 countries in 5 continents. This reference work was originally meant for publication in 2013, to follow the release of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria in 2012 but there were delays as at least two members of the editorial board, we are told, had to peer-review each entry. But it paid off as the style is on the one hand largely consistent and on the other hand you can refreshingly still detect subjective opinions e.g. “the world's largest concentration of tourist traps is Las Vegas”.
Nicaragua's Interoceanic Canal will have "significant environmental and social impacts" according to Impact Assessment study commissioned by the developers
- Written by Jose Adan Silva
- Hits: 372
MANAGUA, Nov 03 (IPS) - The international scientific community's fears about the damage that will be caused by Nicaragua's future interoceanic canal have been reinforced by the environmental impact assessment, which warns of serious environmental threats posed by the megaproject.
The report "Canal de Nicaragua: Executive Summary of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment" was carried out by the British consulting firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and commissioned by the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development (HKDN Group), the Chinese company that won the bid to build the canal.
The 113-page executive summary sums up the study, whose unabridged version has not been made publicly available by the government, ERM or HKND.
In the study, ERM says the megaproject could be of great benefit to the country as long as best international practices on the environmental, economic and social fronts are incorporated at the design, construction and operational stages, for which it makes a number of recommendations.
But it spells out specific risks and threats to the environment in this impoverished Central American country of 6.1 million people with a territory of 129,429 square kilometers.