ISSN 1108-8931

ecotourism newspaper

issue 23, March 2001

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by ECOCLUB Suriname Correspondent, Jerry R. A-Kum. 
Local communities in Suriname are participating in hearing sessions in order to make a management plan for the newly erected Central Suriname Nature Reserve. In a Community participatory workshop organised by Conservation International Suriname in February, both Amerindian and Maroon societies were consulted. This information will be utilised in setting up a 5-year Management Plan for the nature reserve in this South American country. According to Mr. Stanley Malone, Director Field Program and Operations at Conservation International Suriname, the workshop has been the first of a series. Within 15 months the operational plan for the reserve will be ready and thus paving the way for joint activities between local communities, the government and other organizations. Follow-up workshops will be conducted after two months. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve, which was erected in 1998, is one of the major protected areas in the world. The area comprises more than 1.6 million hectares of primary tropical forest. The nature reserve is considered to be one of the world's rarest places, totally uninhabited and completely covered in forest. Whilst a significant portion of the area is still unexplored. US based Conservation International committed itself to assisting Suriname in the management costs of the new protected area, as well as to develop a develop a strategy for conservation-based investment in Ecotourism, Bio-prospecting, non-timber forest products and Agroforestry. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve was added last year to the UNESCO World Heritage List of Sites.

by ECOCLUB Sri-Lanka Correspondent, Mr. Frederick De Silva Gurusinghe, President, SLETF 
The 13th PATA Adventure Travel and Ecotourism Conference and Mart (ATECM) was successfully concluded in Sri Lanka in early February, 2001. The Conference was attended by nearly 200 delegates including 38 buyers and 81 sellers from travel companies throughout the world. The PATA Conference was hosted by PATA Sri Lanka Chapter in association with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Ceylon Tourist Board and the Convention Bureau of Sri Lanka. Addressing the occasion, the Minister of Tourism and Sports in Sri Lanka said ".... Sri Lankan government is conscious of the potential adverse effects that haphazard development of tourism will have on the society and on the natural environment.." Mr. Renton De Alwis, Chairman of the Ceylon Tourist Board said that ecotourism enables the consumer to recolonize the value of their contributing towards the conservation of natural and cultural resources. The visitors expect to be enriched with in depth experience when they travel to exotic and resources rich destinations and are creating quality demand for genuine ecotour operations. This places and enormous challenge on tourism planners and developers and operators alike. This important conference provides us another opportunity to refocus ourselves and further ensure that we together develop a sound ecotourism industry in the Asia and the Pacific" he said. Mr. Joseph A Macinerney, Chief Executive Officer, (PATA) said ".. Sri Lanka is an ideal location for promoting ecotourism. There will be no quick solutions for environmental challenges confronting tourism industry with population growth, economic pressures and diminishing biodiversity. This event promises us in-depths insights in to subjects such as in protecting ecosystems and biodiversity in Sri Lanka and the countries rich with natural resources...." The PATA Conference which 200 representatives and media personnel participated for a five day event provided a platform to promote their tourism product, discuss and identify market opportunities and execute business ventures.

Mountain Ecotourism takes centre-stage during "Visit Pakistan" Year
by ECOCLUB Pakistan Correspondent, Agha Ekrar Haroon, President, Ecotourism Society Pakistan

Pakistan has five out of 12 greatest mountains of the world including second greatest Mountain Godwin Austin known as K-2. In connection with the International Year of Mountains, Pakistan has decided to celebrate Visit Pakistan Year in 2002. A formal announcement is expected soon. Pakistan tried to celebrate Visit Pakistan in year 1999 but it was postponed to Year 2001 and again postponed after Army rule was imposed. Meanwhile, "Month of Mountains", a prequel to the Year of Mountains,  is also going to be celebrated in Pakistan during April-May 2001 by a group of Organisations including Rural Development Society (RDS) Austria, Vienna Technical University, Pakistan Austrian Institute for Tourism and Hotel Management (PAITHOM), IFIP, Pakistan Tours Limited, University of Peshawar and Ecotourism Society Pakistan (ESP). The Pakistan Ministry of Tourism is also holding National and International seminars in this regard. A National seminar was held on February 21, 2001 at Islamabad and it was attended by top tour operators, state officials from all four provinces of Pakistan. Next, an International Seminar is tol be held in June 2001 which 40 tour-operators from all over the world are expected to attend. This will be followed by another International event in September 2001.  When contacted by ECOCLUB, the authorities celebrating "Month of Mountains" maintained that the exchange of experiences before forthcoming International Year of Mountains and International Year of Ecotourism 2002 is the need of the day for all countries having lofty and gorgeous mountains and fragile ecosystems like Pakistan. A well-founded dialogue and expert discussion between the local population and international and national experts is necessary. When expected partners come closer, it is observed that the creation of an interdisciplinary network, platform for regional development, and Ecotourism, practice-oriented training and education development in remote mountainous areas (on a national and international level) is being needed. 


ECOCLUB S.A. is proud to announce that it has signed agreements with 

Naturally Morocco  [Morocco / UK]
Experience the Real Morocco in a comfortable spacious, specially equipped house, attractively decorated in traditional Moroccan style and Ideally located in the walled city of Taroudannt. Enjoy a unique holiday while supporting Naturally Morocco's own Charity which operates Conservation Education and Sustainability Programs.


Amapola Lodge, of Costa Rica.
Amapola is a small new beachfront lodge located in a private 100 acre pristine natural reserve with basic facilities and simple yet comfortable rooms. This remote area Lodge is geared for ecotourists and is located at the gateway entrance of the ecotourism destination of Tortuguero Canal zone, on the northern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

With the addition of these two quality lodges, members now enjoy discounts from 27 quality ecotourism providers worldwide.  If you are not a member, click here to join instantly


Fourteen new
Experts in Ecotourism Related disciplines joined in February and now offer discounts to Members ! 

They are as follows , in order of joining:

Mr. Robert Klebl, in Colorado, USA, Resort Developer
Mr. Paul Nawrocki,  in Florida, USA, Travel Writer
Ms Mona Algaa, in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, Ecotour Operator
Mr. Damian Von Samorzewski, in Tasmania, Australia, Ecotour Operator
Mr. Dave Snow, in Newfoundland, Canada, Ecotour Operator
Mr. Paul Delahunt-Rimmer, in UK & Amorgos, Greece, Ecotour Operator
Mr. Mr. Brian Cooper, in NSW, Australia, Community Ecotourism Consultant
Mr. Artemios Chatziathanassiou, in Athens, Greece, Environmental Consultant
Mr. Saulius Jocbalis, in Silute, Lithuania, Protected Area Ecotour Operator
Mr. Emil Bei, in Bali / Komodo, Indonesia, Ecotour Operator
Mr. Arturo Carballo-Sandoval, in Cancun, Mexico, Lecturer-Researcher
Mr. Jack Sheremetoff, in Irkutsk / Baikal, Russia, Ecotour Guide
Dr Aimilia Drougas, in Athens, Greece, Marine Ecotours Operator / Oceanographer
Mr. Glen Craig, in Florida, USA, Educational TV Producer 
Ms Eleonora Minemoullina, in Tatarstan, Russian Federation, Academic

Therefore, ECOCLUB Members can now ask a total of 24 Ecotourism Experts at ON-LINE CONFERENCE CENTRE INAUGURATION

We proudly announce the opening of the new improved on-line chat and conference facility at

Members are now able to hold private sessions and present their profiles. Expert & Provider Sessions are coming up soon. 

The Conference Centre will be inaugurated on Saturday the 24th of March at 15:00 UTC / GMT and you are all invited.
Local times in a selection of cities: 
Los Angeles: 07:00, San Jose Costa Rica 09:00, New York: 10:00, London: 15:00, Athens 17:00, 
Nairobi 18:00, Karachi: 20:00, Delhi: 20:30, Hong Kong: 23:00, Tokyo: 00:00 Sunday, Darwin: 00:30 Sunday:      

Please familiarise yourself with the Conference Centre by


Afghanistan's rulers, Taliban vowed  to destroy all statues from the country's rich cultural past, declaring that the world-famous sculptures are "un-Islamic". First targets could be the collection of the national museum in Kabul and Afghanistan's best-known archaeological site, the two towering Buddhas, World Heritage Monuments, carved into a cliff face at Bamiyan. Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador in Pakistan, dismissed criticism by the United Nations as interference in an internal affair and the Taliban's religious beliefs! The Mullah said the action was necessary to ensure "no one worshipped a statue."  Pakistan offered to mediate while Muslim religious leaders around the world stated that the Taliban decision has no relation with Muslim beliefs. Situated at a crossroads of the ancient Silk Routes, Afghanistan enjoys a unique cultural heritage marked by multiple influences from Persia, Greece, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.  Most statues date from nearly 2,000 years ago, when Afghanistan was a center of Buddhist learning and pilgrimage. They were largely untouched for more than a millennium after the arrival of Islam, and survived the onslaughts of Genghis Khan in the 13th century.


The Press Democrat 24/2
Following the "war" between fishermen and conservation scientists in the Galapagos last November, some advocate a buyout of all the non-essential population on the Galapagos at a cost of about $500 million.
Very sad and it would not work. 

Express 25/2
The fear of being found guilty at the European Court of Justice once more over an environmental issue, leads the Greek government to comply with European Directive 79/409. The hunting season for migratory birds will now end on the 31st of January instead of 28 February each year. Greece has an estimated 250,000 registered [recreational] hunters or 2.3% of the population and there is a small but vocal hunters party.

The Times 15/2
Chinese authorities in the city of Lanchow , in Kansu Province, which in 1998 acquired the infamous title of the most polluted city in the world, are examining the possibility of lowering a nearby mountain by 274 meters, allegedly  to allow more air flow in this city which is surrounded by hundreds of hills and small mountains. The plan had been aborted in 1998 when locals protested over the destruction of ancestral graves on the mountain. 

The Economist - 10/2
Club Mediterranee, started with some American army surplus tents in 1950, set in a pine wood on the Spanish Island of Majorca, and based on a recipy of antidote to civilisation, warm seas and community living was an instant hit. But it was Gilbert Trigano who is "credited" with turning Club med into a mainstream business, replacing tents and the community spirit by immitation thatched huts, happy animateur staff, soft comfort  bungalows, hotels and even scandals over private guests information. By 1990, as profits waned, Business Schools were using the firm as a death of a  brand case -study. Good riddance too, one may say, as the visitors to these pleasure domes never ventured out to interact with "the locals". In fact local "traditional" ceremonies were wheeled in instead. After a shareholder revolt in 1997, Trigano and his son stood down and were replaced by, er, the man who revived Euro-Disneyland...

Express / M.o.m. 10/2
Record births were observed - 12 instead of the annual average of 8 monk seals in the Greek National Marine Park of Alonissos  last year. The Mediterannean monk seal is the most endangered Marine Mammal in Europe. Environmentalists demand the creation of two more protected areas around Karpathos and Kimolos Islands.
Ancient Greeks greatly respected the monk seals and used to refer to them as the "people of the sea." 

WorldSources 16/2
Local activists have objected to a French version of the American television hit being shot on Koh Rok Island, in Krabi province, Thailand saying it would harm this small island's environment. The Forestry Department had allegedly received a Bt1 million fee for use of the island to make the show. The department would use the money to build tourist facilities on the island. Juthaporn Ruengron-asa, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's marketing promotion department, said the program "would promote eco-tourism." 
"Eco-tourism" maybe , Ecotourism certainly not.

WWF - 15/2
A major extinction threat to the endangered giant panda is the disappearance and fragmentation of its rugged mountain forest home, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A survey in China's Sichuan Province -- the giant panda's principal natural home -- shows the distribution area of pandas had shrunk to 253 square kilometers from 367 square kilometers between 1987 and 1999. Only 28% of adult pandas in captivity are breeding, another key issue in falling panda numbers.

U.S. Newswire 23/2
 In only the first month of Defenders' electronic petition drive to save the refuge, supporters sent more than 650,000 e-mails to President Bush and Congress. Defenders president Rodger Schlickeisen says. "It's quickly mushrooming into the largest Internet petition campaign ever."

UPI 22/2 (UPI) 
Environmentalists are already engaged in a legal battle to save the Kirthar National Park from conversion into a gas field.  The military government has already awarded a contract to three major international companies, the Royal Dutch, Shell and Premier Oil to explore oil in the park. Oil experts have described the area as "the best potential gas field in Pakistan." Kirthar Park was set aside in 1974 in an area of heavily eroded desert 50 miles (80 km) north of Pakistan's largest city, Karachi. The park is home to the Ibex and several other threatened species of mammals. 
After all, you can not power a tank with an Ibex, can you?

The Guardian 20/2
Four people killed when a bus taking holiday-makers on a nocturnal wildlife trip in Tasmania's Cradle Mountain National Park plunged off a narrow dirt track and rolled down an embankment.  The party, including tourists from the UK US and New Zealand, was on a guided search for Tasmanian devils, Bennett's wallabies and wombats that make up the region's unique nocturnal wildlife. Their bus pulled to one side of the road to let a national parks vehicle pass. Tour operators claimed that some of the national park's narrow gravel roads were inadequate for the 140,000 holidaymakers who visit the region each year and said more needed to be done to protect the safety of the growing number of wilderness tourists.  

AP 16/2 
Thai wildlife protection officials, tipped off by neighbours, raided an illegal reptile slaughterhouse, seizing 300 kg of
dried snake meat and a number of live baby crocodiles, turtles and pythons, in Samut Prakan province on the outskirts of Bangkok. Four were arrested and face up to four years in prison and a 40,000 baht (USD 950) fine for trading in protected species. Dried snake meat fetches 200 baht (USD 4.80) per kilogram in Bangkok's markets.
The fine seems to be at market values then

Albuquerque Journal 8/2
40 is the unprecedented number of bald and golden eagles wintering at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge about 18 miles south of Socorro. A resurgence of the endangered bald eagle populations on a national level is attributed to a ban on the pesticide DDT.

This winter's unprecedented frosts in the Russian Far East have affected humans and all species of birds listed in the international Red Data Book are. Local inspectors of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation in conjunction with workers of the World Wild Life Fund and the Primorye Ecological Fund have installed numerous feeding racks in the taiga to help the birds survive the harsh winter. 

Wired News 1/2
"Someone has a fairly optimistic view of the market potential." says Dr. W. Mendell, a planetary scientist at NASA, indicating the Rochester Institute of Technology's class in space tourism development may be a BIT premature. 
Rumours that the Roswell Institute of Technology is to follow suit have been strongly denied.

ENS 3/2
Scientists in Florida discover that ferns soak up arsenic from soil at an astounding rate. The plant may become key in toxic cleanups. 

Reuters 6/2
The Bush administration has delayed until May 12 a plan by former President Bill Clinton to ban road construction and timber harvesting on nearly 60 million acres of forest land.

Reuters 7/2
U.S. environmental group Sierra Club on Tuesday presented a prestigious award to Rodolfo Montiel, a Mexican peasant activist jailed for denouncing logging in his community. Ethel Kennedy, founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, presented the "Chico Mendes" prize on behalf of the Sierra Club to Montiel's wife.

Reuters 12/2 
Norwegian hunters seeking to kill nine wolves in the forests of southeast Norway have received "anonymous death threats from opponents of the cull, a hunters spokesman alleged. Dozens of environmentalists camped out in chill temperatures in a bid to scare any wolves away from the guns. Norway ordered the wolves killed because they had "wandered outside a zone". Wolves were hunted to the point of extinction in southern Scandinavia until they became protected in the 1970s. Now the population has grown to about 100 in Norway and neighboring Sweden. Swedish officials objected to the hunt, saying at least 200 wolves were needed to sustain the population. Hampered by heavy snow, members of a 23-strong team of hunters took 8 whole days to kill the first wolf, a female pup...

ENN 12/2 
New biodegradable containers are developed made from potato starch. Brlliant. This US company is called Earth Shell and rightly so.

Various 26/2  
As the impact of the foot and mouth disease spread, the British government granted local authorities the power to place footpaths and rights-of-way off limits to walkers. Dartmoor National Park, a popular hiking destination in southwest England, was closed to protect the 60,000 cattle and sheep that graze there. Britain and then Germany and the Netherlands started slaughtering thousands of animals fearful that a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, and a fresh farming crisis, may have been shipped across the Channel. The disease is highly infectious as far as animals are concerned and it can spread by the wind, on vehicles and on human clothing. 

Knight Ridder/Tribune 28/2
The U.S. Forest Service, criticised in recent years for bowing to the ski industry in Colorado and Utah, is under attack in Wyoming over a deal that would give a Colorado businessman title to 120 acres of the Targhee National Forest. 

28/2 Reuters
Several big environmental groups launched a drive to save California's Giant Sequoia National Monument, saying a lawsuit seeking to dismantle it would spell disaster for the world's oldest and largest trees. Former President Bill Clinton established the National Monument in April, 2000. 

AP 6/2 
Flesh from a protected species of sea turtle that died at the Miami Seaquarium was turned into stew and eaten by two workers - a veterinarian, and an animal care supervisor. No charges were filed because the Seaquarium's permit to handle endangered species didn't specifically say how dead animals were to be disposed of.

AP 12/2 
The European Commission is taking legal action against the German government for allegedly failing to protect endangered hamsters. The Commission alleges Germany infringed on European environmental laws by allowing intensive agriculture and industrial construction in an area near the Dutch border that is home to the threatened species. Popularly known as the European hamster or black-bellied hamster, Cricetus cricetus is the largest of the hamster species and can grow up to 12.6 inches long.

Workers will start felling 1.3 million trees this month to make way for a huge reservoir in Portugal, a project organizers bill as Europe's largest man-made lake and environmentalists say will be a disaster.  The reservoir would cover nearly 62,000 acres and extend 50 miles in the poor farming region of Alentejo in southeastern Portugal. As with the Ilissu Dam in Turkey, the artificial lake also will cover several archaeological sites dating to the Neolithic period, after some artifacts are moved. Experts will remove colonies of rare bats to other locations, but the habitats of some protected species of birds are expected to be destroyed. 

AP 15/2 
Federal prosecutors in Florida have expanded their investigation of pollution by the cruise ship industry to include the parent company that runs Norwegian Cruise Line. NCL Holdings said it has voluntarily reported to federal authorities that an internal investigation found "a pattern of violations of environmental law on several of its ships. NCL operates eight ships with ports of call in Alaska, Asia, the Caribbean, Hawaii and the South Pacific. The Cruise industry has been under increasing scrutiny since 1999, when the U.S. Justice Department settled fraud and pollution allegations against Royal Caribbean. The cruise line agreed to pay $27 million after the Coast Guard discovered that cruise line employees had routinely dumped oil into coastal waters.

AP 19/2 
An Ohio State University researcher maintains that the ice atop Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro is disappearing.  A survey completed last year found 82% of the ice field that existed on Kilimanjaro in 1912 has melted.  "The ice will be gone by 2015 or so," predicted Thompson, who has studied the worldwide decline of mountain glaciers. 

Infoterra 1/3
In the 1960s, north central Africa's Lake Chad was larger than the state of Vermont but is now smaller than Rhode Island. Nasa-funded researchers using computer models and climate data cite a drier climate and high agricultural demands for water as reasons why what was once one of Africa's largest freshwater lakes is shrinking.

AP 26/2 
For centuries, Nyshi warriors in Arunachal Pradesh have hunted hornbills to adorn their headgear with the beak of this tropical bird, a traditional symbol of manhood. Starting Monday, they will be using fiberglass imitations of hornbill beaks instead.  "We argued with the Nyshi chieftains against this cruel practice and suggested their people wear artificial hornbill beaks instead," Aniruddha Mookerjee, director of programs at the independent Wildlife Trust of India, said. 

AP 27/2
A controversial finding that a meteorite from Mars might contain evidence of life has been boosted by the discovery of a magnetic crystal that researchers say could have been made only by a microbe. 

Reuters 6/2 
An Australian court Tuesday ordered the owners of a Malaysian container ship which ran aground on Australia's Great Barrier Reef last year to pay a record $220,000 environmental damage fine. Paint from the ship's hull containing TBT killed coral over a large area. 

AP 25/2  
The federal government violated the law by allowing an increase of cruise ships in Glacier Bay National Park of up to 72 percent without doing a full-scale environmental review, a federal appeals court rules.

Reuters 16/2  
Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba on Friday was launched as a special economic zone with a low-tariff regime in a bid to transform the city into a regional trade and tourism hub, officials said. Two customs checkpoints were handling a steady flow of traffic into the newly segregated 380-square kilometre zone, naturally sealed by a ridge of high mountains and the coast of the Red Sea. Officials hope that a zero-customs and a flat five percent tax regime would prove a magnet for investors.  Prominent international tourism and property developers have already lobbied for lucrative gambling casino licences. Egypt's Orascom Hotels and Jordan's hotel holding company Zara along with Saudi investors are planning mega-tourism projects along the city's southern beach. Tourism is attracting the bulk of investors as the city witnesses a rapid expansion in its 1,200 existing hotel room capacity, still negligible compared its Israeli neighbour Eilat. 

Reuters 20/2 
The Alaska Conservation Foundation estimates that about 55,000 jobs, one in four jobs,  including those in commercial and sport fishing, tourism, recreation and hunting, depend on an unspoilt environment -- more than twice those in the petroleum, mining and construction industries. Another 29,000 jobs were indirectly supported by a clean environment.


Reuters 22/2
A Cuban Delegate, told a symposium on the tourism industry at the World Trade Organization (WTO), that the number of U.S. visitors ignoring the veto and potential prosecution was steadily growing.  In 2000, despite threats of court cases and fines, 76,898 U.S. tourists, excluding Cuban-Americans,  had visited the island, four times more than in 1995. The total of visitors from all countries had soared from 746,000 in 1995 to nearly 1.8 million in 2000 -- or nearly one fifth of the resident population of the island.  One in 10 Cubans in the civilian economy now worked in the area of tourist services.

Former astronaut Edwin ``Buzz'' Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, and science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke met in Sri Lanka to discuss their vision of the future of space travel. ``The immediate future of space travel depends on the ability of private citizens to get into space as paying tourists,'' Aldrin told a news conference after the meeting. 
The immediate future? This is what space-walking does to your mind. How many private citizens would pay a fortune in order to risk their lives?

ENS 5/2
Admission to leading nature attractions such as Kew Gardens and London Zoo will be free to children. The new Passport to Nature is part of a plan to awaken Londoners to biodiversity.

ENS 6/2
A new species of camel that has adapted to survive on salt water has been discovered in a remote region of salty sand dunes, the Kum Tagh sand dunes in China's Xinjiang province, north of Tibet.

ENS 9/2, 2001 (ENS) 
The United Kingdom creates its largest Special Protection Area to cover more than 147,000 hectares of internationally important bird habitats in the North Pennine Moors. 

13/2 ENS 
Norway's environmental movement has been split by state owned power utility's plans to develop three wind farms with a total production of 800 megawatts along the scenic west coast. 

16/2 ENS 
Shell Chemicals of Brazil was ordered yesterday by the Sao Paulo State Environmental Protection Agency to clean up an area 90 kilometers east of Sao Paulo where it manufactured toxic pesticides during the 1970s and 1980s.

16/2 ENS  
The United Kingdom's nuclear power generator, British Energy, is to begin developing large scale offshore wind power in a joint venture with Renewable Energy Systems, one of the largest wind energy companies in Europe. 
Sign of the times or windowdressing?

19/2 ENS 
In less than two months, five full grown elephants have been killed by poachers in Jim Corbett National Park in the northern province of Uttar Pradesh.

ENS 21/2
More than five years after two Brazilian journalists and a fisherman chased and rammed a right whale and her calf in pursuit of video footage, the men have been sentenced for violating a federal law.

UNEP 28/2 2001 
Kenya's plans to clear forests at the foot of Mount Kenya in order to resettle landless people have been criticized by Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program.

CARS vs CROPS 14/2
As environmentalist Rupert Cutler once noted, "Asphalt is the land's last crop." The U.S. area devoted to roads and parking lots covers an estimated 16 million hectares (61,000 square miles), an expanse approaching the size of the 21 million hectares that U.S. farmers planted in wheat last year.

TIME 26/2
From 1986 to 1993, unsuspecting (?) backpackers were used to smuggle arms from Kenya and other African countries to anti-apartheid activists in S.Africa by a Bargain-price safari Company London based Africa Hinterland Safaris.  On each seven-week journey of up to 4,500 km in their 120,000 swaying Bedford safari truck for which they paid as little as 150 per person the holiday travellers were sitting on a ton of AK-47 assault rifles, grenades and sometimes TNT. The company was a front for Umkhonto we Sizwe MK the military wing of the ANC. Mannie Brown, the mastermind said: "the passengers had a good time and they got a bloody good deal". Fortunately not exactly bloody.

Economist 24/2
America's National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis examined 100 no-take reserves around the world where fishing is banned completely. These reserves showed  average increases within 2 years of protection of 91% in the number of fish, 31% in the size of fish and 23% in the number of fish species present. The beneficial effect spilled over into areas where fishing was still permitted. In comparison with fishing quotas, reserves are simpler to enforce. Any fishing vessel that enters the exclusion zones is cleatly breaking the law. Through GPS networks vessels positions can be monitored automatically., as is already the case around the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Georges Bank off the coast of Main.


"Ecotourism for me is is the only way to protect our wildlife and all other aspects of heritage in southern africa. we have to make the local people aware that there is an advantage to them to support wildlife and our environment" 
Lyn Welgemoed, S. Africa


If you could save EITHER
the life of your favourite pet OR
the life of an unknown human
which one would you choose?

Total Votes: 46

my favourite PET  59%
the unknown HUMAN  41%

Animals do have rights too, campaigners say, although no country recognises them as rights in the legal sense. This did not prevent most respondents from choosing to save the life of their pet. Pets of course are quite a different story than animals or indeed wild animals. How many people would have chosen to save a wolf, a snake or a pig for example, animals which are "unpopular"? This poll result may have more to do with human egoism than with love of nature. After all even Hitler was very fond of his dog.

The March Poll  at will deal with the issue of Discount Flights and Ecotourism, as described in the Letters to the Editor Section.



If you are organising or are aware of an ecotourism related Trade Show, Conference, Workshop or other Bona-Fide Event please send the details to to promote it for free. 

More info on these and other events at EVENTS:
Members may also add Ecotourism Events on-line.

To get free access instantly to the details for these events, please join at

Mar 3-4, 2001, 
Independent Traveler's World, Location Leeds, UK 
March 5-6, 2001
WTO Seminar on Planning, Development and Management of Ecotourism in Africa, Location: Maputo, Mozambique,
Mar 17, 2001
Trans-boundary management of natural resources,  Location Lisbon, PORTUGAL 
Mar 26-28, 2001
Wilderness Britain, Location Leeds, UK Details 
Mar 30 - Apr 1, 2001
Coastal Plain Waters 2001, Location Washington, N. Carolina, USA
Apr 1-8, 2001
Mountain Travel Symposium, Location Park City, UT, USA
Apr 2-4, 2001
eTravelWorld, Location Las Vegas, USA
Apr 5-6, 2001
International Sustainable Development Research Conference 2001, Location Manchester, UK 
May 2-5, 2001
ENVIROFILM, Location Banska Bystrica, Zvolen and Banska Stiavnica, Slovak Repuplic
May 22-26, 2001
TIES 2001 Ecotourism Workshop Ecotourism Planning and Management, Location Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
May 28-30, 2001,
Indigenous Knowledge Conference, Location Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada 
May 28-31, 2001
TIES 2001 Ecotourism Workshop Ecolodge Design and Development, Location Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
Jun 3-14, 2001
Emerging issues and Environmental leadership development, Location Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA 
Jun 3-7, 2001
Wind Power 2001, Location Washington DC, USA 
June 6-8, 2001
ECOSUD 2001, Third International Conference on Ecosystems and Sustainable Development, Location Alicante, Spain 
Jun 4-6, 2001, 
Eco-Entrepreneur Conference, Location Oman 
Jun 15- Sep 15, 2001, 
Dolphins and Whales Monitoring, Location Greece
Jun 19-20, 2001,
Mexico's forum for the development of adventure and ecotourism,  Location Mexico City, Mexico 
Jun 21-22, 2001,
7th Annual Eco-Management and Auditing Conference, Location The Netherlands 
Jul 2-4, 2001 ,
7th International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment, Location San Francisco, CA, USA Details 
Jul 5-8, 2001
Water for People and Nature: a Forum on conservation and Human Rights, Location Vancouver, BC, Canada
Aug 30-Sep1, 2001 ,
People and the Sea. Maritime research in the social sciences- an agenda for the 21st century, Location Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
Sep 3-6, 2001
Fenner Conference on Nature Tourism and the environment, Location Canberra, Australia
Sep 5-8, 2001
Conservation of Biodiversity in the Andes and Amazon Basin, linking science, NGOs and Indigenous People, Location Cusco, Peru 
Oct 3-5, 2001,
eTravel World Conference, Location Las Vegas, Nevada, USA 
Oct 4-6, 2001,
European Association of Leisure and Tourism Education ATLAS, Parallel International workshop on Marine Ecotourism, Location Dublin, IRELAND 
Oct 29-30, 2001
Sustainable Services and Systems: Transition towards Sustainability, Location Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Nov 2-8, 2001
7th World Wilderness Summit, Location Escape Cape, South Africa
Dec 5-8, 2001
EcoDesign 2001, Location Tokyo, Japan



@Tthe attorney who led the government's antitrust case against Microsoft, has been tabbed as the CEO of Bertelsmann's unit in the United States
@Yahoo Launches Paid Placements replacing purely alphabetical listings. 
@New study finds that computers constitute only 2 percent of U.S. electricity use, contradicting a previous study, which said the Internet alone was gobbling up 8 percent of the country's electric power. 
@More than 100 million new Internet users are expected to come online in Asia by 2004, representing 27 percent of all users worldwide. 
@Bills introduced into the House and Senate will, if passed, extend the moratorium on Internet taxes for five more years. 
The latest bills would prevent discriminatory taxing of e-commerce or any taxes that treat e-businesses different from traditional businesses, prevent imposition of multiple taxes on the same online transaction and apply a permanent ban to Internet access taxes. 
@SOUL sale pulled from eBay. Adam Burtle, 20, sold his soul on the Internet auction site, fetching $400 before the listing was removed and the University of Washington student and part-time automotive technician was suspended from the site. 
@E-Shoppers Spent $28 Billion Last Year marking a 60 percent jump from the $17.3 billion spent in 1999, according to the Census Bureau. The study, conducted by Jupiter Media Metrix, found airline tickets, personal computers and hotel rooms drew the most dollars online in 2000. E-shoppers spent an estimated $7.8 billion on airline tickets; $5.1 billion on PCs; and $2.1 billion on hotel bookings. 
@Unbelievable fares of as little as $25 round-trip to Europe will be granted for dozens of lucky United Airlines customers after all, according to an AP report. United says it will go ahead and honor the 143 tickets sold on its Web site during a 55-minute period Jan. 31, when flights to international destinations were offered for next to nothing. 
@IBM Agrees to Adopt Microsoft E-Standard Computing giant IBM has forsaken its own in-progress e-commerce standard and has agreed to adopt the one being developed by Microsoft, settling a heated dispute that's been brewing for more than a year. 27/2
@Asia to Get Bigger Net Population Share While the U.S. and parts of Europe currently hold the largest slice on the Internet population, Asia is expected to quickly catch up – taking up more than 27 percent of the world’s total online population by 2004, according to the latest eMarketer report. 


Source: Spiegel (nr 8 /19.2.01, p. 206),Safeweb, a new software company, developed a program called Triangle boy which supposedly allowed the anonymous visitation of websites  that are for one or the other reason forbidden, in various parts of the world. When the program was launched last October, various Free Speech and Human Rights Organisations lauded the company and the program. It was recently disclosed that Safeweb's "sponsor" was none other than a very well known organisation based in Langley, Virginia. A spokesperson for the latter, justified the program: "we want to be able to move in the Net without people realising that we are watching them"  


Get details on these jobs by email to  Soon on-line at

***EDUCATION COORDINATOR/ The Student Conservation Association’s, New York City, USA
***ECOLOGY EDUCATOR/NATURALIST/ Ferry Beach Ecology School, Saco, ME, USA
***INSTRUCTOR / NATURALIST/ The Environmental Education Center at YMCA Camp Thunderbird, Lake Wylie, SC, USA
***Outdoor Leaders/ The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, USA
***FIELD INSTRUCTOR/ The Yosemite Institute, Yosemite NP, USA
***SITE COORDINATOR/ The Yosemite Institute, Yosemite NP, USA
***OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS/ The Student Conservation Association Charlestown, NH, USA
***BACKCOUNTRY FIELD INSTRUCTORS/ Alternative Youth Adventures/ Utah, Montana, South Carolina and Colorado, USA
***ATTORNEY / INVESTIGATOR /Riverkeeper, Inc, Garrison ,NY, USA
***Project Implementation Manager /Conservation International, Intl, USA
***Environmental Educators Position Announcements for: Tybee Island, Jekyll Island, Rock Eagle, and Wahsega 4-H Centers/ THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, USA
***COASTAL WATERBIRD INTERNS (20) / Massachusetts  Audubon Society.  Cummaquid, MA, USA >
***VOLUNTEER HELP WANTED/ Nature/Visitor Center Host at Creamers Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, Fairbanks Alaska. USA
***INTERN / National Audubon Society, Constitution Marsh Sanctuary, Garrison, NY, USA
***WILDERNESS and CYCLING TRAVEL LEADERS / Interlocken, California, Colorado, Alaska, NE, Canada
***SUSTAINABLE FARM and FOREST RESOURCE ASSISTANT INTERNSHIPS (4)/   Merck Forest and Farmland Center, Rupert, VT, USA 
***Associate Programme Officer /Regional Co-ordinating Unit Caribbean Environment Programme , UNEP
***Office Manager /The Forest Stewardship Council-U.S., (FSC) ,Washington, DC, USA
***Director of Publications // WWF, NW, Washington, USA
***IT Operations Manager // WWF, NW, Washington, USA
***Manager, Compensation and Benefits /WWF, NW, Washington, USA
***CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR / Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition, Asheville, NC, USA
***Writer of Natural History / Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY, USA
***Teacher/Trainer / Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY, USA
***INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR/ Friends of the Earth (FoE)-US, Washington, DC, USA
***STAFF ENR/GIS SPECIALIST/ ARD, Burlington, Vermont, USA
***CHIEF OF PARTY/ Chemonics International , Bolivia Sustainable Forest Management Project (BOLFOR), Bolivia.
***Assistant Managers / Appropriate Technology, Ahmedabad,  INDIA
***Programme Organiser/ Research and Monitoring Unit AKRSP, Navragapura / Ahmedabad, INDIA
***Emergency Programme Manager / Save the children, Gujarat, INDIA
***Emergency Logistics Officer / Save the children, Gujarat, INDIA
***Programme Manager / Appropriate Technology India / Ukhimath, Rudraprayag district, Garhwal Himalayas, INDIA
***Several Vacancies (Program Officers, Coordinators...) / ARAVALI, Jaipur, INDIA
***Various Vacancies / SAVE, Himachal Pradesh, INDIA
***Program Coordinator, Information Program/ World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, USA
***Research Positions: Poverty and Income Distribution Programme/Institute of Policy Studies , Colombo, Sri Lanka
***FORESTRY OFFICER / (Global Forest Resources Assessment) FAO, Rome, Italy
***Africa Now, London, UK
***Andean Region Area Representative World Neighbors, Peru
***General Research Directors INIFAP, Mexico
***Deputy Director (P-5)/ Field Programmes in Asia and the Pacific, ILO,  Bangkok
***Natural Resources Economist  /FAO, Rome
***Senior Associate, Information Program World Resources Institute, Washington, DC
***HDRO INTERNSHIPS for United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) /  NYC, USA.



Re "Tourist trampled by Elephant", ECOCLUB Issue 22.
we have been to game reserves on many occasions and have seen how tourists pester and bother animals and disregard the fact that these animals are wild and not in a zoo. all too often tourists go so close to animals that they scare them especially when using flash cameras. perhaps the videos shown on wild life shows give the wrong impression and the 'normal tourist' thinks that it is so easy to approach these animals and take movies/ pics from close up. they do not realise that most of the shots are taken with high quality zoom lenses and from safe distance. please be warned - when in a game reserve the animal is king and do not put yourself in a position that you cannot handle. it is so sad that these animals then get the blame for whateverhas happened and have to be shot because of a careless action of some or other tourist. remember that although you might do something stupid and frighten the animal - and get away without injury - the animal does not forget and when confronted with a similar situation will then retaliate and take revenge on an 'innocent' tourist who just happens to repeat this mistake, we love our game but also realise that they are dangerous animals and not to be interfered with or harrassed but must be respected for what they are. 
- Lyn Welgemoed 

" We write to denounce the massacre of seven environmentalists during a trip to the National Park of Purace and of two other people who accompanied them. They are: Adriana Rodriguez, German Bejarano, Goldson Granados, Jaime Ramirez, Pablo Montes, Rosalba Ramirez, Victor Serrano, Rosalba Carrera, Faiber Clavijo. Their bodies were found by the highway. They appear to have been shot in the head. This is not an isolated case. The list of murdered environmentalists grows, and the murderers seem to behave with impunity. An environmentalist working in Santa Marta's Sierra Nevada was killed one week ago. The press pointed out that the murderers were the paramilitary groups. Nobody is held responsible for these crimes, and fear prevents witnesses from denouncing the murderers."

During February I had an interesting email exchange with Gabriella of Ecotourism Ring Members Focus, from Cornwall, UK, over the fact that Discount Flights are being offered at the site  We have agreed to publish the main points of the dialogue and invite your comments as a reader or Member. We are also holding a Poll at on the subject. 
Please find the main points below:

Gabriella wrote:
"I had a look on your ecoclub website and I find it very disconcerting that you give information on discount flights. Discount flights are certainly most damaging to the environment, for more and more people jet around the world regularly for a week or two. Discount flights can only be offered because no tax has to be paid on aircraft fuel, unlike
any other fuel, and because airports are subsidised by the states. There shouldn't be subsidies, on the contrary, there should be a polluter's tax added, since planes certainly are very bad polluters!! It makes the whole ecotourism website not very credible, I'm afraid. Air traffic is predicted to grow very fast in the near future, creating incredible problems for the environment. I think there is no space for air transport on an environmental website, not without information on how harmful it is!"

My Reply's Main Points: 
"I welcome your views, but I am afraid you confuse Cheap Mass Tourism Air-Travel Packets with Cheap Flights for Independent Travellers. Unless you are a cynic, which I am not, there is a clear distinction. In a fictional world we would be able to travel without polluting. Unfortunately, ALL travel, even including taking the train to Cornwall, pollutes. In an ideal world there would be no poor people in the third world for which genuine ecotourism is a short-term real hope for a decent independent living. In an ideal world there would be no endangered species or forests being replaced by plantations, mines and war zones, whose only hope for survival would be genuine ecotourism, with all its shortcomings. I vote for an ideal world. But you can not create an ideal world just by imposing taxes on aircraft fuel in the UK or even worldwide. That is ineffective and simply hypocritical, as the money would probably go into building more airports, in the same way that car fuel tax goes to build new motorways. Without cheap seats for INDEPENDENT Travellers, the average tourist would end up at the hotel chain ghettoes and the Airtours Mass products of this world. And I think you do not want that. Without cheap tickets only the Lords would be able to travel independently, as only they once did. I am not at all sure about your economic analysis on subsidies, in any case economic liberalism is becoming a bit dated. If you really are so much against aircraft caused pollution, I suggest you start from military aircraft who fly at many times the speed of commercial aircraft, carry far fewer passengers, and occasionally spew depleted uranium or agent orange. These are far more important problems in most parts of the world. Or at least you should try to have Concorde (British/French?) and Private Jets banned first. now this would surely upset the Lords and I am for that too ! "

Gabriella's Counter-Reply Main Points:
"You are certainly right in all the points your making, and I, in no way, think that things are all fine in Britain or Cornwall. Unfortunately, there seems to be no country/place (apart from Porto Alegre in Brazil maybe) that is beyond criticism. You are right that imposing taxes without a policy of "the polluter pays for environmental damage" is wrong, taxes would have to be used to increase environmental sustainability and alleviate harm brought about by pollution. Obviously the greater picture is much more complex, and industrial and governmental actions such as debt relief and sound policies to support third world countries, instead of exploiting them, are much needed. A few independent travellers who support local communities around the world, will relieve the pain to a very limited extent only. But I agree it is good for people to go on such holidays to raise awareness and bring some revenue to the place they are visiting. I did not mean to be antagonistic in my criticism, and I think transport is a difficult question in eco-tourism, and in the end, all travellers will have to take their own informed and responsible decisions. What upsets me, however, is that people from northern Europe who would even be interested in more sustainable holidays, jet to cheap holidays to get some sun, because they are available. If there wasn't this cheap option, they might save a bit more money and go on a more responsible holiday that would benefit the local community, rather than some hotel chains owned by some multinational cooperation. I'm aware of the fact that your are not promoting cheap holiday packages, but flights, which is a difference. And I would like to apologise for having confused this. The problem is that in this capitalist, neo-liberal system we live in, of which I by no means approve, but have to work around it somehow, it seems to be only monetary incentives that can lead to a change. This obviously does lead to a divide between rich and poor, as you rightly observe. However, I would like to know what other means there are to steer the world towards a more responsible, sustainable future. It is all very depressing really. As to banning war planes and the Concorde, I'll certainly back that anytime, since in most countries the war budget swallows a great part of the taxes, only to bring about disaster and catastrophe elsewhere. And action is needed, you're absolutely right!!! "

Because ECOCLUB believes in debate and in finding the truth, we are holding a Poll at during March on this subject and we have renamed for now the Discount Flights Centre as ECOCLUB Flights Centre. 

Still, we personally feel that travelling "cheaply" by air is the only way for an adequate number of Independent Travellers  to be able to reach ecotourism providers and remote ecolodges.  We do not believe Ecotourism is for the select few or the affluent minority. What makes a genuine ecotourist are ideals rationally put into action through knowledge. Not the ability to spend a fortune in travelling to a remote destination in search of pampering and solitude or to show off. Nor staying in the comfort of your home and cynically contemplating the demise of the world as we know it.



Mr Tamin Amijee of Tanga, on the north coast of Tanzania, kindly send us the first two issues of "URITHI" Newsletter.
Mr Amijee is the Chairman of Urithi, which is the Tanga Heritage Centre and intends to make this newsletter a medium for the exchange of information and ideas as well as to raise awareness and financing for conserving the heritage of Tanga. In this interesting newsletter we read that Tanga receives about 1,000 tourists every year compared to 100,000 to Zanzibar, just across the sea, and that it is viewed as having the potential to become Tanzania's leading environmentally friendly tourism destination. Tanga has a very interesting history as an ivory trading post under the rule of the Sultan of Zanzibar, then a booming town under 25 years of German rule, the site of fierce British -German battles during WW1 and then under British Rule until 1961 the largest producer and exporter of sisal in the world after WW2. Tanga is renowned in Tanzania for its powerful presence in the literature scene and has a cosmopolitan population.
Urithi Newsletter: PO BOX 180, Tanga, TANZANIA, Fax: 0272646582. 




Name a characteristic life cycle difference between an Atlantic and Pacific variety of a well known species !

The best answer was as follows::.
"The very common salmon fish demonstrates characteristic differences between the 
Pacific and Atlantic species. In the Pacific, the salmon deposits an unfertilized egg in the bottom of a native fresh water stream after returning from the salt water. The male then fertilizes the egg and the parents die together, nourishing the stream for the young. They are recycled by nature and never return to the open sea after spawning. The Atlantic salmon 
returns to the fresh water to burry an already fertilized egg. They return to the salt water after spawning and repeat the procedure each season."

Winner: Jackie Coward, Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership student, Calgary, Alberta  - Congratulations. 


Give and Explain the common but peculiar name of a Mammal that eats a lot but has no teeth.

PRIZE: A SURPRISE PRODUCT FROM THE ECOCLUB SHOP -featuring selected eco-gifts.


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