ECOCLUB Member in Washington DC, Elena Pappas, a conservation and ecotourism expert and now a journalist with National Geographic Traveller in an article entitled "The Second Battle of Marathon", March Issue, p.28-30, expertly analysed the current standoff between environmentalists and archaeologists on the one side and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Organising Comittee over creating the Games Rowing Centre in an important wetland where also the famous battle of Marathon between Greeks and Persians took place in 490 B.C. An excerpt: "The World Wide Fund called the move [to declare Schinias a national park but one that still include the rowing centre] a travesty of nature conservation and a precedent that would allow major construction inside other parks. In response, Georgios Kazantzopoulos environment manager for the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, holds that the park would regenerate a marsh degraded by urban sprawl, litter, drainage projects and scars left by an old NATO base."

Jerry R. A-Kum reports from Kingston, Jamaica:
The European Union has granted 2.5 million Euros (USD 2.2 m) to Suriname for Ecotourism development. The Surinamese Government has welcomed the initiative and indicated that through funding by the European Union, a Tourism Authority will soon be established. The Tourism Authority will initiate projects that could generate up to 500 jobs for the next 3 years, whilst foreign exchange revenues will also increase. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve, one of the bigger nature reserves in the world, has recently been added to the Unesco World Heritage List. In a separate development a new Botanical Garden is being planned. Dutch University students are currently in Suriname, to discuss the project with their Surinamese counterparts. They have produced a documentary to promote the initiative both in Suriname and in the Netherlands.

The BBC "Holiday" TV programme broadcasted a feature on March 6 about ECOCLUB Members in Kerala India, Green Magic Nature Resort and their famous Tree houses.  The resort was also featured in The Times (UK) newspaper (Travel Section /  Saturday 24-2-2001). 

Frederick de Silva Gurusinghe reports from Colombo:

"'Eng-er-land! Eng-er-land!' Cheers for English team boost Sri Lanka Tourism! Last month Sri Lanka Tourism was dominated by cricket loving British tourists. According to the estimates of the Ceylon Tourist Board, there were more than 8500 British tourists were in Sri Lanka, the largest contingent watching their team playing against Sri Lanka. England won test series as, 2 to 1 and they lost total series of 3 (three) one day internationals to Sri Lanka. The British cricket fans have criss-crossed the countryside following their team playing matches in Galle (Southern Region) Kandy (Central Region) Dambulla (North Central Province in Cultural Triangle) and in Colombo (Western Region) filling up hotels to full capacity. When matches were playing in Colombo, five star hotels have reported a full house for the first time since the ethnic war with Tamils broke out in 1983. The success of the English tour in terms of benefits to tourism has led to authorities to twin international sporting events taking place here with tourism. This is made easy by the fact that tourism and sports come under one Minister. The tourism industry in Sri Lanka is expecting a leap in tourist arrivals if an end to the ethnic conflict is set with peace talks between government and Tamil rebels due to start in May. Mr. Renton De Alwis, Chairman, Sri Lanka Tourist Board noted that if that happens, the tourist arrivals-over the next couple of years- could rise by at least 50 percent"
--Frederick De Silva Gurusinghe is President, Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLETF), Atsumi Holiday Resort, 17, Thuduwa, Madapatha (Piliyandala) Sri Lanka.

Djuna Ivereigh reports from Indonesia
A Nationwide Ecotourism Network More discussions this week with the UK's Department for International Development re: partnership on a reconnaissance for a nation-wide birdwatching ecotourism network. Our proposal is going through the final nips and tucks and I think we're actually getting close! In the last couple months I've been in contact with a number of local groups for this project, spanning Padang (Sumatra) to Papua (locally preferred name for Irian Jaya). The prospects at each site and for the entire network are are truly exciting and I look forward to sharing them in more detail once we've finalized plans with DfID. Project Bird Watch INDONESIA


ECOCLUB Members will now enjoy discounts in four more quality ecolodges as follows:

TOHUM, Eco-Village in the Mediterranean, Turkey
Village houses and traditional operating farm. Participate in a  number of cultural and healing tours and events organised throughout the year, in order to promote the Tohum (seed) of friendship between cultures.

Hana Maui Botanical Gardens B&B/ Vacation Rental, MAUI, Hawai 
A 27-acre Hawaian country farm with a botanical garden. The lodgings are off the grid and use Solar electricity and gas appliances.

Black Sheep Inn, Equador 
An ecological lodge, in the fullest of senses, high in the Equadorian Andes. A 10 acre property with Permaculture practices. Organic garden, composting toilets, recycling systems for the grey water, plastic, metal, paper and glass. 

Bellavista Forest Lodge, South Africa 
An environmentally friendly lodge, in an indigenous forest area, on the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains. Sculpture workshops organised by the award winning resident sculptor and proprietor.


Another 14 new Experts in Ecotourism Related disciplines have joined in March and now offer a free basic consultancy to other Members ! 

They are as follows, in chronological order of joining:

Mr. Miroslav Belik, based in Australia, Ecological Consultant 
Mr. Bill Hinchberger, in Brazil, Editor and Publisher 
Mr. Robert Smith, in Canada, eco-tour operator 
Mr. Eb Eberlfin, in USA, wilderness guide 
Dr. Zinaida Kouznetsova, in Tatarstan, sociologist, tourist development in Tatarstan 
Mr. Helmy Kodhyat, in Indonesia, Ecotourism Consultant 
Mr. Keith Plummer, in New Zealand, Surf and ecotourism development 
Mr. Stefano Catena, in Italy, eco-tour operator 
Ms. Rosana Castilho, in Brazil, English Teacher and Translator 
Ms. Judi Schweitzer, in USA, Developer 
Ms. Ana Bencomo Reid, in Canary Islands, Local tour operator 
Mr. Ron Passchier, in Pakistan, Hydrologist 
Mr. Saroop Roy, in India, bird watching trail development 
Ms. Rachel Dodds, in Canada, Marketing and Business Development

Therefore, ECOCLUB Members can now find a total of 38 Ecotourism Experts  at ON-LINE CONFERENCE CENTRE INAUGURATED

The on-line chat and conference facility at was inaugurated on Saturday 24 March. It was a lively and humorous chat which lasted for 2 and a half hours. Members from the four corners of the planet turned up and I thank them all.

With the help of Member Steve Bolnick of Baobab Safari we have summarised the views put forward:

1. Member organisations must be vetted / refereed.
2. To this effect feedback from eco-travellers may be useful.
3. ECOCLUB needs to increase Member participation.
4. Conferences should focus on particular issues.
5. A summary of the transcripts of each conference should be made available.
6. Conference times should be changed regularly in order to allow everyone to participate.
7. The website design and functionality must be improved.

We welcome more comments on these 7 points raised and expect your future participation in Chat Sessions either as participant or as presenter, especially if you are an expert in an ecotourism related topic.

The Chat center will be further improved before the next major Chat session which will be the EARTHDAY CHAT, on Sunday the 22nd of April at 12:00 UTC / GMT  

At the Community. Already a lively forum for ecotourism students to exchange views and network. 

also at the Community, a forum to present business ideas and professional networking. Postings are moderated. 


23/3: David McTaggart, 68, died in a head on car crash near his home in Umbria, Italy. In a testimonial to McTaggart, Greenpeace described the 68 year old as "a thorn in the side of entire governments and corporations." Between 1975 and 1991, McTaggart literally led Greenpeace campaigns to save the whales, stop the dumping of nuclear waste in the ocean, block the production of toxic wastes, end nuclear testing, and protect the Antarctic continent from oil and mineral exploitation. In September 1991, McTaggart retired to a farm in Italy, where he raised organic olive oil and continued to work on whaling and other issues through his own foundation.

The doll will be made entirely from recycled hemp. In a separate development Nature Conservancy has reached a secret agreement with Brazil government to buy the remaining 6/7 of the Amazonian Forest. From the April 1 edition of Grist

27/3: Britain: The unelected House of Lords turned the Commons vote on its head, with an equally emphatic majority (317 to 68) opposed to an outright ban.

28/3: The Environmental Protection Agency, confirms that USA will not implement the Kyoto Protocol. President George W. Bush said, "I will not let greenhouse gas reduction harm the economy and jobs of the United States," adding that he, "will not accept a plan that will harm our economy and hurt American workers ... we're now in an energy crisis. Critics point out that 14 of the 25 largest contributors to Bush political campaigns were from the energy industries.

2/3: Associated Press reports that Cancun's "white beaches, clear ocean, upscale hotels and party-all-night bars" were disrupted after "police beat several protesters here until they were bloody and unable to walk", when anti-globalization protesters blocked the peninsula's main highway for three hours, bringing much of the city's traffic to a halt or forcing it to divert back to the mainland.

7/3-15/3 Reuters reports allegations that to regain protected forest land, Mexican loggers may have deliberately wiped out some 22 million Monarch butterflies which migrate annually from Canada to Mexico for the winter, Environmental lobby Group of 100 said Tuesday. Homero Aridjis, head of the Environmental lobby Group of 100, told Reuters loggers were believed to have sprayed pesticide on the orange and black butterflies in order to regain some 216 square miles of forest declared protected by the government. The Mexican government's environmental watchdog replied that the butterflies had died from the cold weather.

7/3: Celebrated for its jumping and protected for its scarcity, the California red-legged frog has won a critical habitat designation on more than 4 million acres of the state. 
Source: Associated Press

7/3: Greenpeace accuses Hindustan Lever of dumping several tonnes of highly toxic mercury waste in the densely populated tourist resort of Kodaikanal and the surrounding protected nature reserve of Pambar Shola, in Tamilnadu, Southern India. Greenpeace activists and concerned residents cordoned off a contaminated dump site in the centre of Kodaikanal to protect people from the mercury wastes that have been discarded in open or torn sacks. Hindustan Lever manufactures mercury thermometers for export, mainly to the United States. Hindustan Lever denies the allegations.

8/3: The world's leading bird conservation alliance, BirdLife International, today criticised the Ecuadorian Government's decision to sign a contract allowing a multinational consortium to build a crude oil pipeline that is set to destroy vital habitat of the Black-breasted Puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis), a hummingbird species on the brink of extinction.

12/3: The directors of four of the world's most visited island systems have signed an agreement in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos to set common standards governing eco-tourism. The signatories were the Directors of Galapagos National Park (Ecuador) , Indonesia's Director of National Parks, the Director of Loreto Bay National Park and the Director of Islands of the Gulf of California Park in a workshop organized by The Nature Conservancy on tourism management in island systems.  into pristine waters and threatening unique wildlife. The parks officials agreed to: Adopt a common framework for the development of eco-tourism activities in island systems; Prepare a code of ethics to regulate tourism activities within protected areas; Identify common threats to island systems and ways to confront and solve them; - Select model projects to be analyzed and replicated as appropriate; - Establish ways by which to channel tourist revenue to conservation. The meeting took place days after a ship carrying fuel for Galapagos tour boats ran aground on San Cristobal Island, spilling its oily cargo.
On a happier note, Charles Darwin Research Station has recently launched its new look, updated website,
Source: ENN / Nature Conservancy

13/3: In a milestone decision the World Trade Organization rules that France did not violate international trade rules when it banned asbestos imports from Canada. The irony? The center of Canada's asbestos industry is in Quebec.

14/3 "We declare Costa Rica free from all oil exploration and extraction, and we invite our government to do the same, becoming a world leader in sustainable development." reads a Public Declaration signed by thousands of Costa Rican organizations and citizens. Named the "rich coast" by Columbus, the region is now known as Talamanca, one of the most biologically rich areas in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 88% of Talamanca's territory has some degree of protection. Talamanca's biological diversity is matched by its cultural diversity: Bribri and Cabecar indigenous groups manage two indigenous reserves, and the coast is dotted with fishing-farming villages founded by immigrants of Afro-Caribbean descent. Ecotourism has become the most important source of income in Talamanca, drawing visitors from around the world. The diverse Talamanca peoples are united in their opposition to oil development along their coast. The municipal government declared Talamanca county an "oil free zone," and 30 citizens' organizations formed a coalition called ADELA to stop oil development before the damage to Talamanca ecosystems becomes irreversible. They face a strong opponent: Harken Energy, a Houston, Texas, company that activists allege has strong links to the new U.S. President, a former major shareholder and member of the board of directors. Harken's off-shore high-energy seismic explorations may already be affecting marine mammals, lobster and other marine species, according to some marine scientists. ADELA won a major victory in September 2000, when the Costa Rican Supreme Court invalidated the Harken concession. However the same Court later reinstated the permit.
Source: Global Response Action

14/3 BirdLife International fears that Suwarrow, a tiny coral atoll in northern Cook Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean will fall prey to the human invasion following the development of sea-farming for the precious black pearl if the Cook Islands governmentgives permission to the Australian Rock Lobster Company to establish commercial black pearl farming on Suwarrow atoll. The only human inhabitants are currently three caretakers. Suwarrow is an important wintering site for the globally threatened Bristle-thighed Curlew (Numenius tahitiensis). It was declared a National Park in 1978 and according to BirdLife International qualifies as an Important Bird Area (IBA) on three counts: because of its colonies of Lesser Frigatebird (9% of the world population), Red-tailed Tropicbird (3% of the world population), and Sooty Tern (exceptionally large colonies of 71,500 pairs).
Source: Birdlife International

27/3: In Kafkaesque style, the ruling Taliban lift their ban on visiting the former site of two colossal statues of the Buddha, allowing outsiders to see the almost total obliteration of Afghanistan's most famous historical monuments, and designated World Heritage Monuments. A Taliban "official" said that the whole procedure had taken them 20 days.
Sources: Reuters / BBC

17/3: The world's biggest greenhouse opened its doors in Cornwall, UK. The pounds 86 million Eden Project is set to become one of Britain's top tourist attractions, drawing 750,000 visitors a year. It consists of three giant "biodomes" which will take visitors "on a horticultural journey around the world". The largest of the domes is taller than the Tower of London and, in total, there will be 100,000 trees and plants from every corner of the globe. Massive sculptures, story-tellers and exotic butterflies complete the picture. Project mastermind Tim Smit said he wanted Eden to carry a powerful environmental message to show "how man can change the world and live in harmony with nature". Let's hope that it will not have the same luck with the Millennium Dome.
In any case 86 million pounds could have helped some real rainforests and their inhabitants, not to mention that at this rate greenhouses will become obsolete.

20/3: According to a study by Nielsen / NetRatings and Harris Interactive, online travel generated $1.2 billion in sales in January. That represents nearly one-third of all e-commerce, which totaled $3.8 billion. In addition to the $1.2 billion in direct sales, the study said consumers spent $681 million on travel purchases either by phone or in person after doing research on the Internet.

19/3: The World Tourism Organization's forecasts indicated that by 2020, China is to be one of the world's leading tourism destinations, overtaking traditional destinations such as France, Spain and the United States. By that time, China will receive 145 million visitors, of which foreigners will be 33.5 million, generating 75 billion dollars of foreign income. Meanwhile, the domestic tourism revenue will rise to 270 million yuan (8.23 yuan equals 1 U.S. dollar). In the past few years, the tourism industry has kept a strong momentum thanks to the high growth rate of the market economy and active fiscal policy by the government. In twenty years, the tourism industry will represent 8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Earlier in the month Premier Zhu Rongji unveiled China's first "green" five-year plan for economic development, stressing the need to clear choking air pollution, clean up rivers and lakes and curb water consumption. In a speech to China's parliament, Zhu highlighted environmental issues previously eclipsed by the headlong race for industrial strength, from preserving forests in Tibet to fighting desertification on the north China plain.
Source: Xinhua, Reuters

AMAZONIA WORTH "hundreds of billions of dollars" 
21/3: The Amazonian rainforest is worth hundreds of billions of dollars as a machine to fight global warming, scientists have reported in the latest issue of Nature magazine. They estimated the forest had the ability to store between 200 million and 300 million tonnes of CO2 per year, amounting to up to five percent of global output of the gas. That means Amazonia, simply by locking up the gas, is worth between two billion and three billion dollars a year over the next century, based on 10 dollars per tonne of CO2, which is sometimes cited as a likely price in the future market of trading in carbon pollution under the Kyoto Protocol. Amazonian trees have a very long lifespan, of an average 175 years, which means that it would take until the 22nd century for this newly-stored carbon to be released into the air provided the forest is left undisturbed.
The problem remains, who will pay whom to do what.
Source: Nature / Agence France Presse

20/3:  The Bush administration has opted to defer - perhaps permanently - new arsenic standards that would slash the acceptable limits for this toxic chemical in drinking water by 80 percent.
Source: ENS

20/3 : Thousands of sheep producers around the US are buying llamas with the goal of using them to guard their flocks. After introducing llamas, more than half of producers reported no losses, with the remainder reporting a two-thirds drop in predation. Those numbers compare well with guard dogs, but llamas have some advantages over dogs. Most llamas are quick to bond with the sheep they're guarding, a process that can take a year for guard dogs. And while many guard dogs last less than 5 years, llamas typically live 10 to 15 years and can be effective guards into old age.

23/3: Cows are central to the lives of the nomadic Masai herdsmen who have been deeply disturbed by news that hundreds of thousands of livestock have been killed in Britain after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. Tribal tradition holds that these herders are the true custodians of all the world's cows. Foot-and-mouth is endemic in Kenya, as in many other countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America, where an outbreak barely causes a stir.
Source: AP

28/3: The White House said Wednesday that President Bush would not implement the climate treaty negotiated in Kyoto, Japan, but would seek an alternative that would "include the world" in the effort to reduce pollution.
Source: AP

29/3: Two Tanzanians were sentenced to death Thursday for robbing 29 American tourists on their way to visit Kenya's Masai Mara game reserve. The reserve is on the border with Tanzania and is connected to Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. Associated Press reports that "While death sentences are relatively common in Kenya, no one has been executed in at last 10 years." Death Sentence for robbing tourists?? I would never visit.

29/3 For the first time in 15 years, a California condor has laid an egg in the wild. Biologists say this first nesting attempt illustrates the success of the captive breeding program that removed the last California condor from the wild in 1986. A slight problem though, the egg is broken.
Source: ENS


Mathew Arun from Kerala, India wrote: 
"Ecotourism for me is quite thrilling as there is abundant scope in India with greenery all around and mountains and virgin islands. Ecotourism is the best thing to happen to Kerala without disturbing nature"

and one of mine:
"the opposite of mass tourism"

Send in your definition of ecotourism by emailing


Are Discount Flights Compatible with Ecotourism?

Total Votes: 36

YES 67%
NO 33%

One out of three believe that discount flights are not compatible with ecotourism. Their main arguments as we discussed in the previous issue are that air travel pollutes and that cheap flights lead to mass tourism. True, however if discount flights are the only means for ecotourists to reach a remote developing country that makes efforts to conserve its environment, then discount flights are the lesser of two evils. The reality, sad for some, is that ecotourism can not take place outside society and economy. It competes for the same resources. And like politics, it is the art of the possible. What makes it better, then, one would ask. The most sincere answer I think, is intentions.

Out of respect to the (significant) minority that feel discount flights are not compatible with ecotourism, we have decided to rename our facility to ECOCLUB FLIGHTS CENTRE.
We will continue offering this discount flight facility however as it is the far lesser of two evils.



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

Apr 1-8, 2001, Mountain Travel Symposium, Location Park City, UT, USA
Apr 2-4, 2001, eTravelWorld, Location Las Vegas, USA
Apr 22-25, 2001, TITRA 3rd Annual European Chapter Conference, SWEDEN
Apr 24-27, 2001,ENTER International Congress, Location Montreal, CANADA
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 16-19, 2001, Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange 2001, Location FIJI
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 14-15, 2001, Boomers in Transition: Successful Marketing to baby boomers, Location Chicago, USA  
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
Jul 25-28, 2001, The 5th Annual Multicultural Tourism/ Hotel Ownership Summit and Trade Show, Location Florida, USA
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 
Sep 25-28, 2001, PATA Americas Travel Mart, Location Mexico City, MEXICO
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



@Wal-Mart, consider working together. Then they announce not really., a California start-up defies the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and begins selling Web addresses this week based on 20 new and unsanctioned suffixes.

@Instant messaging appears to be the only Web habit both Americans and Europeans share, according to a new study by NetValue. Could you think of a second one.

@Web auctioneer eBay is looking to expand even more via its new pact with Microsoft Corp. to integrate eBay