- Written by ECOCLUB.com Team
"The economic crisis has been the perfect time to improve the economic results of big businesses on the backs of salaries and working conditions of workers. This cannot be sustainable tourism"
Nuria Chacón has a Degree in Environmental Sciences and a Master in Ecosystem Restoration from the University of Alcalá. She is the co-founder of STIPA Estudios Ambientales SL, an environmental consultancy and ecotour operator. Nuria specializes in management and conservation of wildlife and protected areas, with a strong and growing interest in the social impact assessment of conservation projects and Ecotourism as a way to develop and conservation of natural-rural areas. She is an active Member of ECOCLUB.com - International Ecotourism Club and of other organisations such as The International Ecotourism Society and the European Ecotourism Network (ECOLNET). At the local level she participates in the Land Stewardship Network of Castilla-La Mancha and Madrid and Ecotourism Castilla-La Mancha Association.
ECOCLUB.com: What first attracted you to this career and what are your main goals?
Nuria Chacón: I studied a Degree in Environmental Science and later a Master Degree in Ecology Restoration, so my professional career was focused on natural heritage, wildlife and protected areas issues. I founded a consultancy firm in 2008 and we decided to locate at Cuenca city, far away from Madrid because my colleague and I thought that rural areas had the right to develop technical works with young people. Since I live in Cuenca I believe that this region is a treasure hidden in Spain and a potential nature and ecotourism destination as well. Its potential resources and our experiences as ecotourists in Nicaragua where we visited organic coffee farms and several natural places was our beginning into the field of ecotourism.
- Written by Marianela Jarroud
SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, Chile, Sep 22 (IPS) - Chile's Altiplano or high plateau region, pounded by the sun of the Atacama desert, the driest place in the world, is home to dozens of indigenous communities struggling for subsistence by means of sustainable tourism initiatives that are not always that far removed from out-of-control capitalism.
"Here, money talks," Víctor Arque, a tourist guide in San Pedro de Atacama, told Tierramérica. "If you don't have money, no one's interested in you."
San Pedro de Atacama, the capital of tourism, archaeology and astronomy in northern Chile, is home to 4,800 people, 61 percent of whom belong to the Atacameño indigenous group, who refer to themselves as Lickantay in their Kunza tongue.
But during tourist season, hundreds of thousands of visitors come through the town, especially people from other countries drawn by the mysteries of the desert, its volcanoes and geysers.
The desert also offers some of the clearest night skies on the planet, and in the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array or ALMA Observatory, scientists are working to decipher enigmas of the night sky.
- Written by José Adán Silva
ALTAGRACIA, Nicaragua, Sep 07 (IPS) - A group of poor women from Ometepe, a beautiful tropical island in the centre of Lake Nicaragua, decided to dedicate themselves to recycling garbage as part of an initiative that did not bring the hoped-for economic results but inspired the entire community to keep this biosphere reserve clean.
It all began in 2007. María del Rosario Gutiérrez remembers her initial interest was piqued when she saw people who scavenged for waste in Managua's garbage dumps fighting over the contents of bags full of plastic bottles, glass and metal.
- Written by Wild Asia
September 7, 2015 (Bangalore, INDIA) - Today Wild Asia proudly revealed the winners of the ninth Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards. For the first time, the announcement and celebration was held at PATA Travel Mart, this year at Bangalore, India, and generously sponsored by World Nomads Travel Insurance. The Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards are an opportunity for shining stars in sustainability to gain international recognition for their efforts to create better places to live and better places to visit. The Winners represent leadership in commitment to benefiting their local communities and natural environment, whilst providing authentic and meaningful travel experiences for visitors from around the world. The Awards are based in the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, and all recipients go through an in-depth review and assessed by a panel of international travel industry experts.
- Written by Pina Wu
|About the Author
Pina Wu is an Environmental Services Professional based in Taipei, Taiwan. Her specialties include Urban Planning, Community Engagement and International Development. She has a Master in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard University and an M.S. in Building & Planning from National Taiwan University. She currently teaches Environmental Education and English for Tour Guiding in Wenshan and Tainan Community Colleges.
By Pina Wu, ECOCLUB.com Correspondent
The village of Smangus (pop. 178), is located in the remote mountains of central Taiwan (open Map), in the area inhabited by the indigenous Atayal people. Since 2004, in order to develop its tourism sustainably, the villagers formed a cooperative, officially the “Smangus Tribal Labor Co-op”, sharing the land, costs and profits. Today, 55,000 tourists visit this small village of 34 households each year, generating an annual revenue of 0.7 million USD1. The co-op has increased worker salaries four times in the past ten years and currently employs 47 villagers full-time. It offers comprehensive welfare programs and it is also funding the construction of an elementary school. Tourism not only sustains the village economically, but also helps the local community rediscover and reinvent their traditional socioeconomic system.
- Written by Patrick Mills
|About the Author
Patrick Esteves Mills is currently based in Malaysia. He is a Tourism and Geography graduate from the University of West of England. Currently, Patrick primarily focusses in the fields of responsible tourism development, conservation and waste management, having worked primarily in south east Asia.
By Patrick Mills, ECOCLUB.com Correspondent
The Orang Asli, or “original people”, constitute less than 1% of Malaysia’s population (Aljazeera, 2015). Many of these indigenous groups were once nomadic hunter-gatherers with strong links and dependency on their forest surroundings. In the early 1990s, a Malaysian government initiative to introduce indigenous communities to Malay culture brought many of these tribes into permanent villages. It was allegedly an effort to have them join ‘mainstream’ Malay culture and convert to Islam (Tacey, 2013). Over time many Orang Asli have lost touch with their indigenous nature, their culture becoming diluted by sedentary employment such as farming and wage labour and a reliance on non-forest goods such as shop-bought foods. The rapid deforestation of Malayan rainforests is further threatening their way of life as logging and farming creates an ever growing gap between them and the forest.
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