- Written by Nomadic Resorts
Mauritius - 18 April 2019: Deep in the fern-filled forests of Bel Ombre Nature Reserve; tucked into the bamboo groves next to the meandering Jacotier river, adventurers will be surprised to find two treetop pods have appeared, floating eerily above the forest floor.
The Seedpod is the latest treehouse initiative from award-winning hospitality design company Nomadic Resorts. The pods were originally developed as a pop-up resort concept – a unique opportunity for guests to sleep outdoors and reconnect with Mother Nature without compromising their creature comforts.
At Bel Ombre the concept was adapted for Heritage Nature Reserve to create a unique picnic experience. Visitors to the reserve learn about the endemic forest, have a dip in one of the natural pools, relax in a hammock near the campfire and then have a mosquito free lunch in the Seedpod.
The pods are the fruit of years of research. Louis Thompson, CEO of Nomadic Resorts explains: "Our goal was to take inspiration from the humble seed, to create a floating hotel room that was both ephemeral and robust – comfortable but exciting to sleep in. The idea is that sleeping in the pod, is a transformative experience in its own right – a chance to spend a night in a human nest where you can see the movement of the wildlife below and hear the gurgling of the stream. At Nomadic Resorts, we have struggled with the physical footprint of a traditional hotel development since we created the company in 2011 – in many ways hotels often seem to destroy the nature that they aim to celebrate. Our team has been striving to find a symbiotic, harmonious relationship with the sites we develop. To achieve that, we need to find a compromise between durability and sustainability, environmental integrity and guest comfort – size was an important consideration in that discussion- it is the place not the space that is true luxury. For us our little Seedpod represents a major step in that quest – it shows that E. F. Schumacher was right: small is beautiful."
The form of the structure was a critical consideration for the team - the natural shape of a seed is inherently aerodynamic: when their team of membrane engineers introduced the structure into their computer wind model it showed that using a small number of structural rings, combined with a new generation architectural fabric, the pod can resist wind speeds of 120kmh.
The other critical consideration was installation – the team wanted to be able to quickly and quietly install the pods in remote locations without using heavy machinery or power tools. Having worked in remote wilderness camps throughout Africa, Nomadic Resort COO Neil Hendrikz explains: “Our idea was to create a structural system that could be installed using manpower only on virtually any terrain, anywhere on the planet, within a day. That same structure, if properly maintained, could last ten years.”
In addition to its structural performance the pod can be erected on its own optional tripod and equipped with lighting, a ceiling fan, a cool box and a charging station for devices making it an ideal option for hiking trails, surf camps or silent safaris.
"Seeds, by their very nature, are full of potential," claims Creative Director Olav Bruin "so we created a multifunctional interior that can easily be converted from a seating arrangement during the day into a sleeping arrangement during the night. This way we are utilising the full potential of the relatively compact space. Over the coming years we hope to see our seedpod family adapt, expand and evolve over the coming years." Maybe Lao Tzu was right "To see things in a seed, that is genius".
About Nomadic Resorts
Nomadic Resorts is an interdisciplinary design & project development company servicing the hospitality industry with offices in the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and South Africa. Using a holistic approach, we create sustainable resort and residential projects that fit organically into their natural surroundings as we believe that designs should serve as a bridge to connect nature, culture and people.
Peru: Ecotour operator-munipality partnership improves waste management practices in Machu Picchu region.
- Written by Inkaterra
Lima, Peru - 5 April 2019: Inkaterra, Peru 's leader in ecotourism and sustainable development, in alliance with AJE Group and the Municipality of Machu Picchu Pueblo, succeeded in making Machu Picchu the first destination in Peru and Latin America to manage most of its solid waste sustainably. Continuing with the initiatives for the conservation and environmental care of Machu Picchu, the public-private partnership presented the first Organic Waste Treatment Plant. Through pyrolysis (chemical decomposition at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen), this innovative technology processes seven tons of waste per day to generate bio-char, a natural fertiliser that will help with the reforestation of the Andean cloud forest and contribute to agricultural productivity in Machu Picchu.
"The strategic alliance between Inkaterra, the AJE Group and the Municipality of Machu Picchu aims to make our Wonder be perceived as a sustainable destination and to turn it into an example of sustainable management for ecotourism worldwide. We have achieved to raise ecological awareness in the local community, which now segregates almost all waste from homes and establishments at its origin. Today, we present an innovative technology that will contribute to improve high-mountain traditional agriculture and to help restore the Andean cloud forest in Machu Picchu," added José Koechlin, Inkaterra ́s Founder and CEO, who conceived these groundbreaking projects.
“Machu Picchu is established in a small, deep valley with access by foot or train,” stressed Mr. Koechlin. “Given that there is no space for traditional composting, we figured out an inventive solution for a reduced area, which will not generate any carbon emissions. Pyrolysis to treat organic waste is a process with local usefulness, avoiding costs of transportation. The initiative is not only sustainable but also profitable for the Municipality, as the production cost in situ is lower than Bio-char’s market value”. AJE/Inkaterra delivered a Plastic Compactor Plant to SERNANP, which will be used to clean and compact plastic waste generated along the Inca Trail, the most famous trekking route in South America.
The first initiative led by Inkaterra and AJE was carried out in 2017 when they donated and installed the first Plastic Waste Compactor Plant for the Municipality of Machu Picchu Pueblo. This action helped to prevent our World Wonder from entering UNESCO ́s Patrimony at Risk list. Currently, 14 tons of PET plastic are processed daily in this plant.
In 2018, a Biodiesel Production Plant opened at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Through the collection of used cooking oil from Machu Picchu Pueblo ́s homes, lodges, hotels and restaurants, 20 gallons of biodiesel fuel are produced daily. Every month, six thousand litres of used oil are treated, preventing oil spillage into the Vilcanota River. It is estimated that one litre of oil pollutes one thousand litres of water. On the other hand, petro-chemical free glycerin obtained in this process is used by the Municipality of Machu Picchu to clean its sidewalks and stone floors.
"We are very happy to be part of this change in the city of Machu Picchu and to be able to announce that, with this new plant, the circle of sustainability for which we have been working for three years is closing. Machu Picchu officially becomes a model of sustainability for Latin America," said Mr. Jorge López Dóriga, AJE Group ́s Executive Communications and Sustainability Director.
In 2018, the project to turn the city of Machu Picchu into a model of global sustainability, won in Germany the prestigious “Die Goldene Palme” award in the "Responsible Tourism" category, as well as the Peruvian “Líderes + 1” prize.
- Written by UNWTO
Madrid, Spain, 11 April 2019: Deploying new resources and actions for the progressive adaptation of the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera) to the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, is one of the main objectives of the agreement signed between the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the IMPULSA BALEARS Foundation. Its aim is to jumpstart the process of the strategic reformulation of tourism in order to make an effective contribution to sustainable development.
The planning and execution of new projects focused on local sustainability taking into account the tourism production and consumption patterns of the Balearic Islands, close relations with regional actors, harnessing public-private synergies, and the generation of strategic knowledge on the part of the foundation, are among the key features of this cooperation with the UNWTO, as the United Nations agency responsible for promoting tourism as a vehicle for sustainable development.
The establishment of circular economy guidelines in the hotel sector of the Islands and the identification of best practices already being implemented in this regard are among the first initiatives of the agreement. The objectives are to establish a specific approach to the relationship between hotel activity and its surrounding environment, to obtain intelligence that facilitates decision-making in the implementation of responsible consumption and production measures in line with the 2030 Agenda, and to lay down a strategic framework to activate the network of companies in the sector and other stakeholders.
The memorandum of understanding, signed by UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, and the President of IMPULSA BALEARS, Carmen Planas, will be in force until 31 December 2021.
About IMPULSA BALEARS
IMPULSA BALEARS is a platform for strategic knowledge and regional interaction that is working to facilitate the decision-making of economic and social agents and to put together a productive transformation agenda with a significant impact on the global competitiveness of the Balearic Islands. As a foundation, it recognizes the entire society of the Balearic Islands as the main beneficiary of the work it carries out in a rigorous and systematic manner, independently from the specific conditions of the public and private institutions that support it.
Information on its Board is available at http://www.impulsabalears.org/index.php/estructura/i-gobernanza/patronato
- Written by SEE Turtles
Beaverton OR, United States - 9 April 2019: The World Travel & Tourism Council announced SEE Turtles as the winner of the 2019 Changemakers Award at the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards ceremony. The Awards, now in their 15th year, took place at a special ceremony during the WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain, to celebrate inspirational, world-changing tourism initiatives from around the globe.
The 2019 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award Winners are highly commended and recognized for business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within the Travel & Tourism sector. New to 2019, the Changemakers Award is for a Travel & Tourism organization which has made real, positive, and impactful change in a specific area of focus defined by WTTC. This focus will change each year. This year the award shone a spotlight on fighting the illegal wildlife trade through tourism.
“SEE Turtles is thrilled to have our efforts to reduce the illegal trade in sea turtle shells and eggs recognized. Our hope is that this award will help to reduce demand for this trade and expand our campaign with the tourism industry. It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of our partners around the world and we thank our donors, sponsors, travellers, and others who helped us get to this point,” said SEE Turtles President & Co-Founder Brad Nahill.
SEE Turtles is an organization that supports sea turtle conservation throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia. Since 2008, by support on-the-ground efforts to protect sea turtles throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, SEE Turtles has helped saved more than 1.7 million hatchlings through the Billion Baby Turtles program and educated over 10 million people and creating a coalition 130+ tourism companies and conservation organizations working to end the demand for turtleshell through their Too Rare To Wear campaign.
The Awards are judged by a panel of independent experts, led by Prof. Graham Miller, Executive Dean, Professor of Sustainability in Business, University of Surrey. The panel included academics, business leaders, NGO and governmental representatives who narrowed down the list of 183 applications to just fifteen finalists. The three-stage judging process included a thorough review of all applications, followed by on-site evaluations of the Finalists and their initiative.
WTTC represents the global private sector of Travel & Tourism. Its Global Summit is the most important event in the sector worldwide each year.
For more information on the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and all the Winners, please visit http://wttc.org/t4tawards
- Written by St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism
Basseterre, St. Kitts - 8 April 2019: The St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority are delighted to announce that St. Kitts and its Sustainable Development Council has won a prestigious Tourism for Tomorrow Award from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), presented at their Global Summit in Seville, Spain, April 3-4, 2019, headlined by keynote speaker Barack Obama. Taking home the Destination Stewardship Award for 2019, St. Kitts is now officially recognized as a global leader in sustainable tourism.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by the WTTC alongside organizations pursuing leading practices in sustainable development,” said the Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism for St. Kitts & Nevis. “Our Sustainable Development Council facilitates partnerships and relationships among public and private sectors as well as among all people in St. Kitts, to ensure that development in our destination preserves and benefits our environment, culture, heritage and community livelihoods. We hope this preservation will lead to long-term tourism growth and allow people to enjoy our beautiful island for many years to come.”
WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow (T4T) Awards are the world’s top accolade in sustainable tourism; they recognize the highest ethical standards in the sector and are respected by industry leaders, governments and international media alike. The Awards are aimed at recognizing best practices in sustainable tourism within the industry globally, based upon the principles of environmentally friendly operations; support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage; and direct benefits to the social and economic well-being of local people in travel destinations around the world.
Now in their 15th year, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards took place at a special ceremony during the WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain, held April 3-4, 2019, to celebrate inspirational, world-changing tourism initiatives from around the globe. The Destination Stewardship Award recognizes organizations helping a place to thrive and bring forward its unique identity for the benefit of its residents and tourists. Accepting the award for St. Kitts was Permanent Secretary (Ag.) in the Ministry of Tourism Mrs. Carlene Henry-Morton and Assistant Secretary Mrs. Diannille Taylor-Williams.
Permanent Secretary Morton noted, “In accepting the award on behalf of St. Kitts, it is important to acknowledge the team whose hard work laid the foundation for our sustainability program. Particular recognition goes to the Sustainable Development Council, chaired by Assistant Secretary Diannille Taylor-Williams, the Department of Marine Resources, the St. Kitts Sea Turtle Monitoring Network, the Heart of St. Kitts Foundation, the staff of the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.”
The 2019 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award Winners are highly commended and recognized for business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within the Travel & Tourism sector. Award winners promote inclusive growth and illustrate a strong commitment to supporting change and transformation in business practices and consumer behavior towards a more environmentally conscious sector.
The Awards are judged by a panel of independent experts, including academics, business leaders, NGO and governmental representatives who narrowed down the list of 183 applications to just fifteen finalists. The three-stage judging process included a thorough review of all applications, followed by on-site evaluations of the Finalists and their initiative. The Winner of each category was determined by the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2019 Winners’ Selection Committee. WTTC represents the global private sector of Travel & Tourism. Its Global Summit is the most important event in the sector worldwide each year.
For more information on the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and the winners, please visit http://wttc.org/t4tawards
- Written by Environmental Defense Fund
Belize City, Belize - April 5, 2019: In a bold step for the sustainability of its fisheries and the world’s second largest barrier reef, the government of Belize has approved a plan to set aside 10% of its territorial waters as no-take marine protected areas (MPAs), tripling the size of its existing zones.
This major expansion of the MPAs is coupled with the Caribbean nation’s move to adopt a national secure fishing rights program in 2016. It represents the culmination of more than six years of work led by The National Conservation Zone Expansion Steering Committee, which includes the Belize Fisheries Department, Environmental Defense Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, The Nature Conservancy, Belize Federation of Fishers, Belize Fishermen Cooperatives, Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Belize Forest Department, National Protected Areas Secretariat, Belize Coast Guard, Healthy Reefs Initiative, Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations and Toledo Institute for Development.
“This is a truly remarkable accomplishment that is setting an example for the rest of the world to follow,” said Katie McGinty, Senior Vice President for Oceans at Environmental Defense Fund. “The combination of significant marine protected areas and managed access for fishers will help protect some of the most important ecosystems in the world while ensuring sustainable fishing can continue to provide food, nutrition and livelihoods to the thousands of Belizeans who rely on these valuable natural resources.”
Over more than six years, an international collaboration of scientists led by Belizeans worked to identify zones that can protect marine habitat and allow for recovery of degraded ecosystems, while at the same time helping to replenish fish stocks. A lengthy process of consultations with stakeholders, facilitated by Government of Belize, Belizean community NGOs, EDF and other international NGO partners, resulted in widespread support for these new marine protected areas, and a commitment to stewardship from coastal communities.
The expansion of marine protected areas will have an impact well beyond fisheries. It is a crucial step for Belize to meet the aspirations of its national development plans and its international commitments under the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“A healthy reef and vibrant fisheries sector is necessary for Belize to achieve its goals for reducing poverty, improving food security and nutrition and increasing investment for development in Belize,” according to Belize Fisheries Administrator, Beverly Wade.
This new expansion comes as Belize was recently recognized for the impact of its sustainable fisheries. According to the most recent ‘Mesoamerican Reef Report Card’ by Healthy Reef for Healthy People, Belize’s no-take zones show growing fish populations and biodiversity. That biodiversity is magnificent and unique—mangroves, corals, seagrass and cayes support populations of conch, lobster and a variety of reef fish.
In 2016, in response to growing threats to the health of their fisheries, Belize established a nationwide secure fishing rights program, the first of its kind in the world. Belize’s approach creates incentives for fishing communities to become stewards of their fisheries. At the center of the solution being adopted by Belize is a combination of secure fishing rights and empowerment of fishermen called “Managed Access.” Under this approach, fishers and fishing communities control their own future through licenses, giving them access to fish in specific geographic areas of the fishery, and responsibilities to help manage the areas and observe regulations.
“Together, managed access and no-take zones are designed to help rebuild fish populations while protecting critical habitat,” said Nicanor Requena, Belize Project Manager at Environmental Defense Fund, “The people of Belize deserve tremendous credit for their vision and perseverance to protect their natural heritage while encouraging sustainable fishing practices so that people and nature can prosper together.”
Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships.
- Written by Ecoclub
Athens, Greece - 2 April 2019: Ulcumano Ecolodge of Peru (Web: http://www.ulcumanoecolodge.com) has just been accepted as an Ecoclub Ecolodge™ following a transparent online audit procedure. Ulcumano has thus become the first Ecoclub Ecolodge in Peru and one of just 24 worldwide. Reacting to the good news the founder and proprietor of Ulcumano Ecolodge, Mr Eduardo De la cadena commented "We are really proud and happy for this! It took us 8 years to have everything in place to be able to receive a recognition like this one from Ecoclub. The project originated in my forestry engineer degree thesis and was influenced by the international ecotourism guidelines. Our team will keep on working for cloud forest conservation through Ulcumano, a life and living project, and this recognition will be very helpful!"
Located in the Oxapampa Ashaninka Yanesha Biosphere Reserva, Ulcumano's cabins lie concealed between the mist and the dense green cover of the Andean cloud forests. They are surrounded by impressive views, water streams and a remarkable biodiversity of flora and fauna including 157 bird species of which 8 are endemic to Peru. The lodge is 10 km from the town of Oxapampa, in La Suiza, Chontabamba district. The area is well known for its unique and diverse natural and cultural landscape, crafted first by the Yanesha indigenous people, and later by German, Austrian and Andean immigrants.
Ulcumano's Ecoclub Ecolodge Audit Report can be found at https://ecoclub.com/ecolodges/audit-reports/ulcumano
More information on the Ecolodge can be found at http://www.ulcumanoecolodge.com/
The Ecoclub Ecolodge™ Ecolabel is an innovative, affordable and transparent certification offered to eligible, eco-friendly, accommodation facilities that successfully complete the Ecoclub Ecolodge™ Audit process. For more details please visit http://ecoclub.com/join/ecolodge
- Written by Ecoclub
Bristol, UK - 26 March 2019: A new report published today describes how destinations must uncover and account for tourism’s hidden costs or “invisible burden” so as to stop placing ecosystems, cultural wonders, and community life at increasing risk. Authored by Megan Epler Wood, Mark Milstein and Kathleen Ahamed-Broadhurst, this concise, 40-page study titled “Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism" proves beyond reasonable doubt that the tourism industry's foundation 'will crack under its own weight' unless vital destination assets are protected and managed.
Amid increasing concern about Overtourism, the report uncovers root causes for the problem and offers logical and integrated analysis of why it is transpiring, including the low ability of local government in both advanced and emerging economies. It argues that destination managers, businesses and experts must collaborate using science-based, data-driven analysis to create new local accounting systems that capture the full range of tourism costs, to build new skills and cross sector collaboration to achieve effective spatial planning, manage demand for public utilities, and evaluate the availability of local resources.
- Written by Saint Lucia Tourism Authority
Castries - March 4, 2019: The Month of March is expected to be a record-breaking period in Saint Lucia’s cruise sector.
Between Friday March 1, and Sunday March 3, 2019, twelve (12) cruise vessels including the inaugural call of Crystal Esprit brought an estimated combined capacity of 19,052 travelers to the destination. Expected through March 31, is the arrival of an additional 125,434 travelers.
In an effort to maximize the benefits of tourism locally that is in direct keeping with our current plans and policy trends toward sustainable cruise tourism strategies, special focus is being placed on the development and management of the cruise sector.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure that Saint Lucians benefit more from these impressive numbers. A revenue committee has been established at the Tourism Council to yield greater economic penetration for our people.” said Tourism Minister, Dominic Fedee. "Therefore, the tremendous growth we are experiencing is a great beginning and we are committed to making this count by training our vendors and other stakeholders to focus on revenue.”
- Written by Nicola Bairam - Guyana Tourism Authority
Berlin - 6 March 2019: Guyana has been named the #1 “Best of Ecotourism” destination in the world. The award was presented to Guyana at the ITB global travel trade fair in Berlin, Germany. The second annual “Best of Top 100” Awards is a selection of the finest top 100 destinations selected by a panel of experts who reviewed sustainability success stories submitted by destinations worldwide. The newly created “Best of Ecotourism” category was added in 2019 and put Guyana up against very well-known and experienced ecotourism destinations like Sierra Gorda in Mexico, Tmatboey in Cambodia and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.
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