ecotourism news
issue 18, 15 October 2000

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World Ecotourism News

100% Recyclable Car!
8/2000 - Cordis
German company has designed "MEC" the micro eco car, for use in local suburban and inner-city traffic, which is 100% recyclable. Licence / Joint Venture Collaboration sought:

MEDICINAL PLANTS , best medicine
15/9/00 - WHO
The World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of the world's population still depends on medicinal plants for primary healthcare, especially within developing countries where most plant diversity is concentrated.

Canoes in the Seine, 6000 years ago
15/9/00 - AP
Three 6,000-year-old canoes, suggest human settlements were set up at the location of present-day Paris up to 1,500 years earlier than had been believed. The 20-foot canoes, each hewn from a single oak log, will be the centerpiece of a new wing of the Carnavalet Museum scheduled to open later this year.

Humane Habitat
15/9/00 - AP
It took 20 years for Habitat for Humanity to build its first 50,000 homes. Four years later, the organization - which uses volunteers to construct houses for low-income families - is hammering the final nails into its 100,000th home.  Millard Fuller, a former millionaire who used his wealth to start the organization 24 years ago, said the group hopes to raise $5 billion to build 100,000 more homes in five years. With more than 2,000 affiliates in 68 countries, Habitat completes a home every 30 minutes.

Antelope smugglers arrested
18/9/00 - AP
Chinese border police seized 1,800 horns taken from a species of protected antelope and arrested smugglers from Kazakhstan and northwestern China. Agents, searching a vehicle that crossed into China from neighboring Kazakhstan, found 600 horns hidden in a false trunk compartment. A second batch of 1,200 horns was found in another vehicle.

Viet Nam Environment Projects
20/9/00 - UNDP
 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently launched four small-scale environmental projects valued at more than US$90,700, to encourage local communities to participate in the conservation of biological resources and the genetic resources of plants in northern and central Viet Nam. For more information:

Waste Increasing
20/9/00 - WRI
A new report released today by the World Resources Institute (WRI) reveals that the total output of wastes and pollutants in Austria, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and the USA has increased by as much as 28 percent since 1975 despite their increasing efficiency in using natural resources. "The resource efficiency gains brought about by the rise of e-commerce and the shift from heavy industries toward knowledge- and service-based industries have been more than offset by the tremendous scale of economic growth and consumer choices that favor energy- and material -intensive lifestyles," said Emily Matthews of WRI. 

Brazil's 1st whale sanctuary
20/9/00 - ENN
Bowing to pressure from environmentalists, Brazil's president Fernando Henrique Cardoso has approved a pact to create the country's first whale sanctuary. Cardoso signed a decree that will establish an official Environmental Protection Area in the southern state of Santa Catarina. The breakthrough follows an 18-month battle by members of Brazil's Southern Right Whale Project, who fought on in the face of strong objections from the local fishing industry.

Souvenir Shame
23/9/00 - Birmingham Post
 Passengers flying into Birmingham International Airport brought in record numbers of illegal holiday souvenirs during the first six months of the year. Customs officers discovered almost 200 items of illegal wildlife including stuffed animals, shoes and handbags made from lizard and crocodile skin, ivory products and furs. 

Anti-environmentalists exposed
24/9/00 -
A book  'Secrets and Lies - the anatomy of an anti-environmental PR campaign', written by New Zealand writer/researcher Nicky Hager and Australian environmental journalist Bob Burton has been launched. A complete review can be found at: -

Royal Blue turns "green", almost
25/9/00 -  Orlando Sentinel
Royal Caribbean, which last year pleaded guilty to various environmental crimes, wants to "help Florida scientists study the atmosphere and ocean". Royal Caribbean International announced a "unique science research partnership" with the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. The cruise line's newest ship, Explorer of the Seas, will be equipped with a high-tech atmospheric and oceanographic laboratory managed by scientists from Rosenstiel. Royal Caribbean last year was fined $2.5 million for dumping oil and other hazardous materials into U.S. waters and then lying about it to the Coast Guard. 

80 Drown near Greek Holiday Island
26/9/00 - Ecotouring News
Monopoly-induced decadence and a football game showing on TV, were blamed in Greece's worst nautical disaster in 35 years. A 35-year old ferry boat, Express Samina, hit a beacon-marked islet off the Aegean island of Paros and sunk within 20 minutes taking 80 lives with it. Thanks to tourism, the Aegean Sea is one of the most lucrative ferry-boat markets in the world. However, the ferry fleet remains overage and is owned by a few local companies with strong political affiliations. Following the disaster, the government promised sweeping changes.

2000 Red List published
29/9/00 - AP
11,046 plants and animals risk disappearing forever, according to the most comprehensive analysis of global conservation ever undertaken, the World Conservation Union's 2000 Red List of Threatened Species. The report examined some 18,000 species and subspecies around the globe. Earth has estimated 14 million species - and only 1.75 million have been documented. Conservationists estimate that the current extinction rate is 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than it should be under natural conditions.

Everglades Hope
3/10/00 - Buffalo News
The $7.8 billion Florida Everglades restoration project approved by the Senate and headed toward a House vote is a stunning vote for nature and the environment from a Congress that has passed no other major environmental bill.  Today, the Everglades are only half the size they once were. The marshes, including Everglades National Park, get too little water in the dry season and too much during the rains. Nearly 70 plant and animal species that once flourished there are facing extinction. The effort is backed by both Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush. 

Solar airplane !
5/10/00 - Express
NASA plans to construct an airplane which will be able to fly for 96 hours non-stop, using solar power during the daytime and fuel during night-time.

Caveat Caviar
9/10/00 - AP 
Russia, one of the world's largest caviar producers, will export 60% less black caviar this year than in 1999, the State Fisheries Committee said Monday.  Environmental decline in the Caspian and Azov Sea basins, where most of Russia's caviar originates, and extensive poaching had severely cut into fish stocks, according to the Committee.

OILING the Wheels
10/10/00 - AP 
Far above the Arctic Circle, a 100-mile long strip of land that is the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has emerged as a hotly debated issue in the presidential campaign between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Bush wants to develop its oil. Gore wants it to stay off limits to drilling.  Designated for protection in 1960 by President Eisenhower, the refuge has been a flashpoint for environmentalists for years, while at the same time coveted by some of America's biggest oil companies. 

A funny crane
11/10/00 - UPI

A flock of sandhill cranes is en route from Wisconsin to Florida led by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worker in an ultralight airplane. The experimental migration is a trial run aimed at establishing a second migratory flock of endangered whooping cranes. 

Clinton Doubles Conservation Spending
US President Clinton signed a major conservation bill Wednesday that will double spending next year for federal land acquisition and preservation. The interior appropriations bill earmarks $12 billion over six years for purchasing fragile lands, maintaining parks, preserving wildlife and other initiatives.

Genetically Modified Auction
12/10/00 - Express
During the World Dairy Expo in the United States, an unborn cloned Holestein cow was sold for 35 million USD.

13/10/00 - ENN
Danish scientists have found a completely new kind of animal down a cold well in Greenland and are keeping a colony of them in a fridge, the Arctic magazine Polarfronten reported on the Internet. The 0.1-millimeter long freshwater organism does not fit into any one of the previously known animal families,  only the fourth such creature to be discovered in the past 100 years. Its most remarkable feature is a set of very complicated jaws which gave it its own animal branch: Micrognathozoa = Micro + gnathos (jaw) + zoa (animals). Lucky Draw 

On the 15th of each month there is a lucky draw for all postings at the and the prize is a surprise eco-product from the Ecoclub Shop

The lucky winner of the 15th of October draw came from the Business Partners Section and it is 
 Mr. Pramesh Shrestha of Panas Travel, Nepal
- Congratulations!

In the mean time, three new ecotourism providers from India and Belize have joined 
as well as many ecotourists, eco-professionals and academics bringing the total number of countries represented at  to 39.
(About 180 to go !)

Finally an Autumn sale is on at the Ecoclub Shop and will last until the end of October.

Monthly Poll & Editorial

Do you think the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics has:

Total Votes:  34 


 paid tribute to the Aboriginals  59%
used the Aboriginals  41%

Most of you probably have seen the opening ceremony, either the whole event live or parts thereof. It is one of these things that one says, I am not going to watch that, and then you go on and do exactly that. The central theme of the opening ceremony, was a musical-styled account of the history of Australia through the eyes of a little, well, white, blond, girl. As in Olympic ceremonies held in other countries, for a reason that beats me, since the games are supposed to be about internationalism and international cooperation,  the central theme appeared to be "how great our country is". Still, the agenda this time appeared to be different. In the wake of increased demands from the Australian aboriginal community for self-determination, and after recent revelations about the enforced westernization-through-adoptions program that the aboriginals endured in the post-war decades, the whole event looked to cynics like a watered-down semi-apology,  a sort of  "Dancing with the Wolves" Holywood repentance. Beyond aesthetics, more gullible spectators felt it was a long overdue acceptance of the role of Aboriginals in Australian history. My view is that only time will tell, which of the two it was, a small milestone for race relations or just a show.

The NEW POLL at , the ecotourism portal: 

Which of the following REALLY cares about the environment?
1. Gore
2. Bush
3. Nader
4. Nadie (=nobody)

Members Forum

A column where Ecotourism Ring and Ecoclub Members may publish their news and views. 
N.B. We reserve the right to edit for brevity & clarity purposes. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Ecoclub SA.

Pakistan Institute Launched
Pakistan Austrian Institute for Tourism and Hotel Management (PAITHOM) is coming up soon in Pakistan for providing Mountain and Cultural Guide Training, Hotel Management training and 25 rooms institutional hotel. If you are interested in guide training issues or hotel management training, you can visit OR  OR Your suggestions, comments and observations are welcome. 
- Agha Ekrar Haroon,  President Ecotourism Society Pakistan

On-line Ecotourism Directory 
A comprehensive Electronic Directory has been published by Ecotourism Society Pakistan and can be visited at

Trade Shows / Conferences

If you are organising or are aware of an ecotourism related Trade Show or Conference please send the details to  to include it here. More trade shows at  (Fairs & Conferences)

EURO ENVIRONMENT 2000 Conference 
October 18-20, 2000 in Aalborg, Denmark
Aalborg Congress & Culture Centre
Mrs. Else Herfort or Mr. Steffen L. Thomsen         

Towards Sustainable Product Design 5
October 23 to 24, 2000 in Stuttgart, Germany. 

Hotel & Restaurant Business
October 24 to 27, 2000 in  Moscow, Russian Federation 
Venue: World Trade Centre Moscow 
More info:  (Fairs & Conferences)


October 28 to 29, 2000 in The Forum, College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Presented by Recursos de Santa Fe
Peter T. Furst, Ph.D., symposium director
Information: ; 800-732-6881

Ecotourism Association of Australia National Conference 
November 2 to 5, 2000, in Lorne and Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia
Contact: Tony Charters, 2000 Conference Convenor, 
Tel + 61 7 3406 5493, fax + 61 7 3406 5445 or email 

November  2 to 5, 2000 in Thessaloniki, Greece 
Venue: Helexpo International Exhibition Center 
More info:  (Fairs & Conferences)

World Travel Market
November 13 to 16, 2000 in London, UK
Venue: Earl's Court Exhibition Centre, London

Protecting and enhancing heritage

November 22 to 24, 2000 in Strasbourg, France

HIT 2000 
November 27 to 29, 2000 in Cannes, France 
Venue: Noga Hilton Cannes 
More info:  (Fairs & Conferences)

Africa Travel Associations (ATA) Fourth Ecotourism Symposium 
December 3 to 8, 2000 in Abuja, Nigeria.

International Ecotourism Conference and Eco Expo 2000
December 13 to 20, 2000 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
More info:

Tourism On Islands & Specific Destinations Conference
December 14 to 17, 2000 in Chios Island, Greece
Organiser: University of the Aegean at Chios
Contact: P. Tsartas Tel: +30-271-35317, Fax: +30-271-35399 or email:

International Symposium on Community Based Eco-Cultural Tourism 2001 
January 10 to 14, 2001 in Tamil Nadu, India
Venue: Centre for Alternative Energy and Rural Technology (CAERT) Chengalpattu

Contact: Dr. ROBERT J. INBAKARAN, Postgraduate Studies Coordinator, RMIT University, Australia;/

Internet & Law Watch

California Vetoeing
26/9/00 - Wired
California Net Tax Bill Vetoed California's governor says he doesn't want to send the "wrong signal," so he vetoes an Internet tax bill that would have required in-state brick-and-mortars to collect taxes for online sales.

HOAX produces News
11/10/00 - UPI
USA First lady Hillary Clinton and Rep. Rick Lazio, are the latest victims of a well-worn Internet hoax. The two candidates for New York's U.S. Senate seat both spoke out Sunday against "Federal Bill 602P," which allegedly would levy a 5-cent tax on every e-mail. The bill, however, doesn't exist, and government agencies and members of Congress have been trying to kill the rumor for more than a year. Clinton said: "Based on your description, I wouldn't vote for that bill. It sounds burdensome and not justifiable to me. I have been a supporter of the moratorium on taxation on the Internet." Lazio said: "I am absolutely opposed to this. This is an example of the government's greedy hand, in trying to take money from taxpayers that, frankly, it has no right to. We need to keep the government's hands off the Internet." Very moving Stuff.

Eco - Quiz

Answer correctly by email to and win a surprise product from the Ecoclub Shop

The Question was: 
 What share of the human genetic material is identical to that of a gorilla?
The answer was: 98% (Now you know why you feel like that on Monday mornings)

 Winner: Golden Age Hotel, Athens

A little more difficult question this time !
The new Eco-Quiz: The name of a tourist destination in both Greece and Jordan. The name is? 

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