ECOCLUB.com
ecotourism news

ISSN 1108-8931

Things are happening at ECOCLUB, as we try to build on our strengths and work on our short-comings. We broke the 100 country mark, ECOCLUB now has members in 101 countries, however we need to increase participation of Members in this Newspaper as well as on-line. We have "opened" the ECOCLUB Community so that now you do not need a password to enter. You do have to register of course, if you wish to publish your profile at the Community and to get your own inbox for other members to communicate with you (without displaying your email). A new free forum for Job-Seekers has been created at the Community and already an interesting CV is hosted. The ECOCLUB Shop entrance has been re-designed and shipping is now included in the price. And for those of you who wish and can afford to actively support the club, we have launched a new Premium Membership. Meanwhile, two new quality Ecolodges have joined ECOCLUB in Thailand, and two more are in the process of joining, one in Nepal and one in Costa Rica. Four new Ecotourism Experts are also gracing the club. es. In a separate exciting development, the International Ecotourism Society is featuring the undersigned as the August "Face of Ecotourism"  in their website. 

I take this opportunity to wish to those of you that will go on vacations this month happy eco-holidays. And do send us an eco-report on your destination ! 
 A-)

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ECOTOURS SPECIAL BY ECOTOURISM SOCIETY PAKISTAN
Ecotourism Society Pakistan (ESP) offers the following exciting ecotours to all ECOCLUB.com Members and ECOCLUB Ecotourism News Subscribers at Special Prices, on the occasion of "The International Year of Ecotourism 2002":
The tours are:
A Life Time Journey to Pakistan (27 days tour)
http://www.mountains2002.org.pk/special.htm
A Journey through virgin Land (15 days)
http://www.mountains2002.org.pk/tour-1.htm
Roof of Asia-Deosai Plains and Fairy Meadows (12 days tours)
http://www.mountains2002.org.pk/tour-2.htm
A visit to conifer valleys (09 days tours)
http://www.mountains2002.org.pk/tour-3.htm
Honey dripping from the Moon (7 days tour)
http://www.mountains2002.org.pk/honeymoon.htm
These Ecotours are organised to provide the maximum benefits to local people of remote mountain areas. Therefore, local drivers, porters and agents are hired. ESP will also try to provide local food prepared under the supervision of its experts for following hygiene standards. Costing has been done on no-profit and no-lose basis therefore rates are the best comparing to rates offered by other tour operators. One ESP member will also accompany group along with another professional guide for better interaction and services. ESP can also liaison with district administration, government officials, local leadership and other government agencies if needed by group for any research work. Briefings about traditions, political system, history and culture of visited area by local elders can also be arranged on demand. ESP will not charge extra payment for these services.
ESP is offering special rates to members of ECOCLUB.com and to all Subscribers of the ECOCLUB Ecotourism News. Contact ESP directly at http://www.mountains2002.org.pk
and remember to mention the "Special Offer for ECOCLUB Members and Subscribers".

VOLUNTEER FOR ECOLODGE SOUGHT
The following message was posted at the ECOCLUB Community:
La Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, located 7km north of Boca Tapada, Pital San Carlos, in Costa Rica, offers the following opportunities for volunteers: Project: Update our standing birdlist; find new species of birds; guide birders and non-birding tourists; assist in other lodge services including restaurant and bar. Volunteer will have free time to develop own projects. 
For more details: http://www.ecoclub.com/forum/DCForumID13/12.html

HARVEST CELEBRATION IN TURKEY AUGUST, 15 - SEPTEMBER 30, 2001
AT TOHUM LIVING EARTH CENTER -> http://ecoclub.com/tohum
Weekly Rate: US $ 425 per person / US $ 750 per couple of 2 family members sharing Daily Rate: US $ 61 per person / US $ 107 per couple of 2 family members sharing Included: Breakfast & Dinner. Not included: Ecotours 
ECOCLUB.com Members will receive a 10% Discount on the above rates.
For Enquiries http://ecoclub.com/forms/ecp055.html

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NEW MEMBER ECOLODGES IN THAILAND
Haadyao Nature Resort and Libong Nature Beach Resort are located in Trang province, in Southern Thailand. This special area is home to one of Thailand's most endangered mammals, the Dugong. Also known as 'seacow' because its diet comprises of sea grass, which grows in warm shallow waters, it possesses similar physical attributes as Manatees the only distinction is its large dorsal fin.
Visit the two lodges at http://ecoclub.com/natureresorts

ECOTOURISM EXPERTISE GROWING AT ECOCLUB.com
Four new Ecotourism Experts have joined ECOCLUB.com during the past month and now offer a free basic consultancy to other Members ! 

They are as follows, in chronological order of joining:


Mr. Asit Biswas, India, Help Tourism, Regional Director
Mr. David Woods, USA, Fin & Feathers,  Ecotour Guide & Operator
Mr. Jason Guadagnino, USA, DeepBlueRipple, Ops Director
Mr. Metodija Sazdov, FYR.Macedonia, Environmental Engineer

Search our Ecotourism Expert Members Directory at http://ecoclub.com/experts.html

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The views that appear in this section do not necessarily represent those of ECOCLUB S.A. We reserve the right to edit for brevity and clarity. Send your ecotourism news report or article for the next issue to news@ecoclub.com

Sri Lankan Airport Disaster:
Reported by Frederick De Silva Gurusinghe
, President, Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLETF), Atsumi Holiday Resort, 17, Thuduwa, Madapatha (Piliyandala)

Disaster struck in Sri Lanka on the eve of the important Kandy Esala Perahera" Festival held annually in Kandy every July-August. Kandy is the site of the spectacular "Temple of the Tooth" housing the tooth of the Buddha, the most venerated holy shrine among Buddhists all over the world. The Kandy Esala Perahera is one of 'Asia's greatest cultural pageants, with parades of hundreds of caparisoned elephants and thousands of drummers and Kandyan dancers and normally attracts visitors from around the world.
The "Black Tiger" suicide squad (of Tamil youth) of the "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam" (LTTE) on July, 24th 2001 attacked Sri Lanka's only International Airport destroying 13 aircraft including new A-340 Airbuses belonging to Sri Lankan Airlines.
The Direct Damage is already estimated at US$ 300 million. Analysts think the tourism industry in Sri Lanka would take longer this time to recover than in the past when it took similar hits. Fortunately, no tourist was injured in the attack. Tourism industry in Sri Lanka which experienced much ups and downs in the past 18 years, was set to reach 450,000 arrivals in 2001 as against 400,000 last year.

EUROPARC PLANS FLOATING ECOTOURISM IN THE DANUBE:
Reported by Saulius Jocbalis, Lithuania.

The EUROPARC Federation is a politically independent, pan-European organisation. Formally known as the Federation of Nature and National Parks of Europe, EUROPARC has a core which comprises the managers and specialist staff of more than two hundred nationally protected areas in over thirty countries. EUROPARC includes protected areas both on the national and provincial level, together with non-governmental organisations and specialist academic institutions concerned with protected areas. For more than 20 years the EUROPARC Federation has united members from countries all across Europe with the common aim of raising the profile and improving the management of protected areas. The EUROPARC Federation is the only pan-European organisation whose prime purpose is to support and encourage the complete spectrum of major protected areas. The Federation co-operates closely with IUCN-the World Conservation Union, with WWF and with the European Commission.
The workshop, which takes part in the Danube delta (Romania), was the part of "Europarc expertise exchange" programme. Specialists from GB, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Estonia and other countries discussed flooded plains, river delta's and wetlands management and ecotourism development. Evidence was presented that flooding, ice and waste treatment make it nearly impossible to build camps, toilets and other elements of tourism infrastructure. The group, after discussions decided, that the best way to promote ecotourism in the Danube Delta is to develop a network of autonomous floating hotels. Further information about tourism in the Danube delta and Europarc federation is possible to find at http://www.rotravel.com/Tulcea
and http://www.europarc.com

VIETNAM: PROGRESS ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL FRONT
Reported by Nguyen Hong Vinh, Director V&D travel Co. Ltd


An up-to-date map of bio-conservation areas in Vietnam was launched on July 13 as a part of Biodiversity Awareness Program for Vietnam a first ever collaboration on environment, science and technology between Vietnam and Spain with technical assistance from the World Conservation Union ( IUCN ) It is probably the most comprehensive map of the country's bio-wealth ever published. Vietnam also hosted the country's first International Symposium on Biology, organized by the Viet Nam Union of science and technology Societies in Ha Noi. Over 200 Vietnamese researchers and 54 Scientists from 17 countries. While a first ever visit by a delegation of the Us
Environment Protection Agency ( EPA ) to Viet Nam sought to expand co-operation in environment protection between the two countries.

PAKISTAN: DEFORESTATION PLUS RAIN EQUALS TRAGEDY
Reported by Agha Iqrar Haroon, President Ecotourism Society Pakistan, http://www.mountains2002.org.pk/ecotours.htm

More than 142 people were killed and over 150 injured as flash floods swept the country's northern belt on Monday, washing away a village in Mansehra and causing havoc in the twin-cities of Islamabad-Rawalpindi and Swat and Mansahra district including Kaghan Valley. Islamabad received an unprecedented rainfall of 650 mm within 10 hours, the highest in 100 years of recorded meteorological history in Pakistan. One of the worst hit was the city of Dadar on Karakuram Highway in the district of Mansahra, which literally vanished. Dadar was a victim of heavy deforestation over the last decade and there was nothing that could support the soil. The majority of swept away houses was built on an old water course, re-activated by the rainfall. Heavy deforestation and unplanned construction contributed to this tragedy.
NEW FESTIVAL IN KALAM
Kalam Grand Festival is a breakthrough in the history of tourism in Swat. Situated about 91 kilometers from Mingora, Kalam has become a popular tourist resort, where thousands of visitors come each year during summer to enjoy the beauty of this tourist's spot. The festival started on July 20 and will conclude on August 14, the Independence Day of Pakistan. Various stalls, at the festival will put on display handicrafts and other commodities manufactured by local and national craftsmen. While tournaments of different games will be played in a big ground. The organizers of the festival believe that the event will provide good entertainment not only to the visitors but also to the local population of the district Swat.

INDIA: EX-POACHERS HELP TIGER TRAIL SUCCEED.
Reported by C.S. Mani, Green Tourism Promotion

Thekkady, Kerala: Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary at Thekkady in Kerala, covering an area of 777 sq. km, is one of India's major sanctuary areas. It offers convenient ways to see the animals such as through boat-rides on a manmade lake, which the wildlife areas encircle. There are water and land birds galore here and dedicated bird watchers set in for one or two weeks of serious observation. It is a natural habitat for elephants, tigers, bisons, spotted deer, sambar and bear. Colourful variety of birds like the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Grey jungle fowl and the Jungle Myna can be observed here. Periyar Tiger Trail is a successful Ecotourism project of the State Forest Department. This conservation project is successful because of the role played by the people involved. The present conservators were former poachers, who used to plunder the forests to cut the bark of the cinnamon trees. They were slowly converted to forest-conservation work under the India Eco Development programme. The former poachers are now involved in a decent livelihood without destroying the forests but on the contrary by conserving them. The guides' knowledge about the plants and animals and their survival instincts, are being used to the best for participating in ecotourism activities. The visitors to the selected trekking routes in the forest get a unique experience, as the guides know the area inside out. Their services are being used for trekking, pitching tents, procuring water, cooking ethnic food, in addition to their contribution as vigilant observers. The majority of the money generated out of the tour package goes as wages to the members of the society, known as Ex-Vayana bark collectors. Thus in all means this eco-tourism project is contributing to conservation, as majority of the money generated stays local. The visitor who participates in the Tiger Trail in Periyar can thus be certain that every dollar spent is genuinely contributed to the conservation efforts of the local area and to benefit the local population.

THE SECOND MARATHON BATTLE ALL BUT LOST?
reported by ECOCLUB

Greek Environmental Groups have waged a 6-month international campaign to stop construction by the Greek Government of the Rowing Centre for the 2004 Olympics in Schinias. an important wetland and important historic site of the Greek-Persian Battle of Marathon of 5th Century BC (The Battle itself gave birth to the Marathon Race, the distance from Marathon to Athens is 40 km - see ECOCLUB Ecotourism News, past issues). So far protests have fallen on deaf government and IOC ears. However, 17 new ancient tombs of the 5th Century BC (the "Golden Age") found right at the edge of the site, within 150 metres from future site of the manmade lake, may be the last hope for environmentalists and archaeologists.

GREEK RAMSAR WETLAND USED AS RUBBISH DUMP
reported by ECOCLUB

The wetland of Lake Kotyhi in Peloponnisos, Southern Greece is an important stop for migratory birds on their way to and from Africa. Protests by local citizens were sparked when the mayor of Lehaina gave permission to host additional refuse from Pyrgos, the provincial capital of Ileia (home of Olympia), within the inner core of Lake Kotyhi-Strofylia Wetland, officially a Ramsar Site. They also allege that the constantly burning rubbish creates carcinogenic smog. The mayor confirmed the accusations but said this was "only done for 2 days". The illegal "Droseli dump" however pre-existed this event. Illegal rubbish dumps are a persistent nightmare throughout Greece. Until this month, and for a year, Greece was being fined on a daily basis by the EU for an illegal dump in Crete. The Kouroupitos dump was finally shut in July 2001, 10 years after it was brought to the attention of the European Authorities.

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ECOTOURISM TV SERIES
A video production company out of Toronto, Canada, has an opportunity to produce a 22-part series on the ecotravel experience. The series will focus on lodges, tour operations and services that offer unique and entertaining experiences, and showcase the practices and elements that help define ecotourism and sustainable tourism. The series is intended to generate interest in ecotourism by demonstrating its adventurous, entertaining and inspiring aspects.The series will have an international viewership and will feature destinations around the world.
The production company is currently seeking interested lodges and operators who are compatible with the objectives of the series. Interested parties should submit an overview of their business, and indicate their ability to host the 3-person production team during a 3-day shoot. Businesses interested in supporting the financing of the series are also invited to reply.
More Details at the ECOCLUB Ecotourism Business Centre

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Africa

CONGO: The International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) reported that one more endangered mountain gorilla, "Rugendo", a male silverback, has been killed in the crossfire between rebel forces in the eastern Dem.Rep of Congo, in the forested Virunga Volcanoes, home of Gorilla beringei beringei. Only 350 gorillas remain in the Virunga Volcanoes. On the positive side, a rain forest described as the most pristine rain forest left in Africa, may be protected from logging under a deal between the Congo government and timber company Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB), which agreed to give up its harvesting rights to the 100-square-mile Goualogo Triangle forest in the Congo's remote north.

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian Prime Minister Zenawi announced that Italy would return the 1,000-year-old Obelisk of Axum, taken in 1937 at the behest of Benito Mussolini and placed in the Piazza di Porta Capena in Rome.

KENYA: The Nation reports that loggers are indiscriminately felling trees in Mt Kenya Forest despite a government ban on logging. Loggers are reportedly cutting down trees by day and ferrying them out of the forest at night. Timber was found in a heap a few metres away from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)offices. / Kenya acquires a team of six search dogs, former strays from inner London, to find poachers of ivory and rhino horn, from the British army. / Yoliswa Ndlovu, has become the first black female conservation manager at a game reserve in Africa. / Veterinary pathologists identify heavy metals as the leading cause of massive deaths of flamingos in two Rift Valley Lakes of Kenya.

MALI: Villagers on the Sahara's edge are battling a dam they say threatens the city of Djenne a millennia-old stop on the ancient gold and salt routes that is home to a grand adobe mosque considered an architectural masterpiece. U.S. researchers and preservationists are backing the warnings on Djenne, a U.N. World Heritage site: By hoarding precious water upstream, Mali may be risking the future of the 2,250-year-old city and others downstream, opponents say.

S.AFRICA: SANParks announced today that admissions to the Kruger National Park rose by 16,7% percent in the first quarter of this year, despite accusations of poor service. The number of foreign tourists rose by 23,9% for the same period, between April and June. Meanwhile statistics for the hotel industry released by Statistics SA for April 2001 revealed that room occupancy was down from 52% in April 2000 to 51.9%./ S. Africa's best-known Internet tycoon is hoping to follow Dennis Tito and become the second paying guest aboard a Russian spacecraft. Mark Shuttleworth, 27, who earned U$500 million from selling his Internet security company, Thawte Technologies, last year, is undergoing a month of tests in Star City, outside Moscow, that will indicate whether he is physically up to the challenge.

ZAMBIA: The African Wildlife Foundation has launched a transboundary conservation project, known as the "four corners natural resource management project." and referring to the Caprivi Strip of the Zambezi River, where Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe - meet.

ZIMBABWE: Matobo Conservation Society submitted a formal proposal to the World Heritage Committee applying for World Heritage Site status for the world-famous Matobo Hills, which has the largest number of tree species in Zimbabwe. The Matobo Hills area is also home to the largest concentration of leopard in the world and the world's oldest rocks are found there. / Zimbabwe's 275-room top tourist and casino hotel, famed for its gigantic Z$ 55 million thatched roof, built as an ethnic showcase for the 1991 Commonwealth summit, and within sight of the Victoria Falls was extensively damaged by fire.

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Asia & Pacific

AUSTRALIA: When a southern right whale died 100 Km south of Adelaide, about a dozen sharks immediately began devouring the carcass. Almost as immediately Boat operators cashed in, ferrying dozens of customers to the site for "a closer look", as marine restrictions do not apply for dead whales. This was not enough for some "tourists" and they were caught on camera clambering on the floating dead whale and patting the great white sharks eating the carcass. But it was enough for State Environment Minister Evans, who angrily pledged to change the law, to "protect people too stupid to protect themselves".

CAMBODIA: The government approved legislation designed to curb illegal logging by imposing stiff prison sentences and hefty fines on offenders. Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed more than once to resign from office if his government failed in this policy. Serious offenders could be jailed for up to 10 years.

CHINA: Northeast China's Jilin Province, which is famous for its vast forests and wild Siberian tigers, has decided to build another 38 nature reserve zones for rare wild animals and rare wild plants in the next 10 years. The acreage of the province's nature reserve area is expected to reach 2.25 million hectares, accounting for 12 percent of the province's total land space. Both China and Russia have set aside wild Siberian tiger protection areas on each country 's side of the border.

IRAN: The wild Persian donkey is struggling to avoid extinction in Iran. Theanimals were once common across central Asia and the Middle East, but no more than 400 of them remain today. In the last twenty years, uncontrolled hunting and habitat destruction have wiped out 90 percent of the population.

IRAQ: Archeologists discover an Assyrian temple and two winged lions that date back nearly 3,000 years. At Nimrud, an ancient city 280 miles north of Baghdad. The lions are about 3 metres high and 5 metres long and stand at the entrance to the temple.

JAPAN: The Japanese Fisheries Minister, Maseyuku Komatsu, publicly admitted on Australian television, that his country's cash may help persuade countries to vote to lift an international ban on whaling. Six Caribbean nations voted with Japan last year on almost every motion. Adding insult to injury, Mr. Komatsu went on to describe the minke whale, whose meat Japan is the biggest consumer of, as the "cockroach of the oceans". Asked why he called the whales cockroaches, he said: "Because there are too many. The speed of swimming is so quick". Whatever that meant, Mr. Komatsu is still in office. Japan kills about 500 whales a year, nearly all of them minkes, as part of a scientific whaling program allowed by the International Whaling Commission. Tokyo is pushing for a resumption of commercial whaling, banned by the commission in 1986.

PNG, TAKU'U ISLANDS: A tiny South Pacific group of atolls, north of Papua New Guinea is appealing for help on the Internet because of rising sea levels. Taku'u's "white sandy beaches" have gone and its drinking water has been ruined by salt. The highest point on the 13 islets is 4.2 metres (not quite 14 feet) above sea level. The islanders have launched a website at http://members.tripod.com/akoa-Fitina/takuu.htm to appeal for international help.

THAILAND: Greenpeace urged the Thai government to act swiftly against incineration of waste, which medical studies show can have a severe impact on the sexual development of children living in adjacent areas / Lisu Lodge in northern Thailand receives Conde Nast Traveler magazine's (USA) 2001 Ecotourism Award.

NEW ZEALAND: is trying to rid the whole of Campbell Island, south of New Zealand of 200,000 rats with 120 tons of poisoned bait, thrown by boats and helicopters. This is the biggest rat eradication program in History aimed to clear the way for the return of the flightless teal duck and the restoration of a species of wading bird found only on the island.

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Caribbean

ANTIGUA: Police fired tear gas to break up a crowd of demonstrators protesting yesterday against construction at a hotel and resort complex. About 100 local residents of the southern village of Old Road blocked the entrance of the Carlisle Bay Resort to stop three trucks going in with building material, the Caribbean News Agency (CANA) reported. Protest leaders said they opposed the $48 million development of new structures on environmental grounds.

ST.LUCIA: CANA reported that St Lucia is beginning to feel the backlash from its support for Japanese efforts to overturn a ban on international commercial whaling, with a group of tourists cancelling a visit to the island. St Lucia Hotel Association (SLHTA) president Berthia Parle said the whaling issue came up at a meeting of her organization during the week, and many hoteliers were unhappy with the St Lucia government's stance. She said that the group numbered about 300 tourists, and added that both the SLHTA and the St Lucia Tourist Board were in receipt of hundreds of e-mails warning of the possible repercussions since St Lucia continued to vote along with Japan on the whaling issue. She said: " What we have to realize is that ecotourism is a growing niche market globally and persons are becoming more aware and more sensitive to environmental issues." Meanwile, the "Ocean Warrior", the ship of the Sea Sheperd Conservation Society has left Miami to patrol for whaling and turtle poaching around St.Lucia and St. Vincent. With a skull flag flying from its mast and the names of ships it has sunk painted on its black steel side, the Ocean Warrior headed for the Caribbean in search of whaling vessels and turtle poachers. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a Malibu, Calif.-based anti-whaling group known for ramming whaling ships and sabotaging poachers' nets.

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Europe

EU: A proposed new EU Commission Directive would simplify rules for visitors from non-EU countries by allowing visitors to travel inside most EU countries for three months, so long as they hold a valid travel document and, where appropriate, a visa or residence permit.

GREECE: Two Americans have mailed fragments of ancient Greek objects to the Greek Embassy in Washington years after their parents removed them from archaeological sites while on vacation. The two, who were not identified, sent two small fragments of clay containers and three marble fragments. Apparently, in a noble act, the Americans decided to return the artifacts after the death of their parents.

ITALY: Excessive use of force and excessive protests leave one demonstrator dead and many injured, at the G-8 summit in Genoa. The summit itself fails to make headway on environmental issues. Many, including Romano Prodi, President of the EU Commission, question the benefits from holding such meetings in the future.

NORWAY: 22 airlines organized by Greenpeace have joined to refuse to transport of whale products from Norway. Norway lifted a ban on exports of whale meat and blubber earlier this year.

UNITED KINGDOM: Delegates from 37 countries opened the 53rd meeting of the International Whaling Commission in London by turning down a sanctuary for whales in the Pacific Ocean. Twenty countries voted in favour of the South Pacific Whale Sanctuary, thirteen against it, and four abstained, and thus a necessary three-quarters majority was not reached. Against the Sanctuary proposal were: Japan, Norway, Korea, China, Denmark, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Panama and the Republic of Guinea. In favour were: Argentina, Australia, Chile, Finland, Germany, India, Mexico, Monaco, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, New Zealand, Austria, Brazil, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. Abstained: Ireland, Oman, Morocco and the Solomon Islands. / The first official British Airways pet passengers to enjoy immediate release to their owners without quarantine have flown in to the UK from Bermuda. / A stinking greasy substance thought to be vegetable oil has smothered a twelve-mile stretch of Welsh coastline and bathing beaches, near Holyhead on the island of Anglesey in North Wales. a coastguard official said on Saturday. It may have come from a ship that illegally flushed its tanks close to shore / The first conviction of a private individual for the destruction of a house martin's nest on his home, was made in Stamford, Lincolnshire. The culprit was fined 250 for destroying the nest. House martins are summer migrants to Britain from Africa and are protected species.

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Latin America

HONDURAS: A New Zealand woman was shot four times in the stomach and her Israeli boyfriend was killed during an armed robbery in the Central American nation of Honduras. The couple were trekking in the Pico Bonito National Park, near the country's northern Carribbean coast on July 11. They had travelled by bus to the rainforest park, south east of the town of La Ceiba, and had begun walking when they passed by two men on a motorcycle. The two men returned and held-up the pair at gunpoint. 

GALAPAGOS MARINE RESERVE RECOMMENDED AS WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Ecuador's Minister of the Environment, Lourdes Luque de Jaramillo, is preparing the
country for the likely declaration of the Galapagos Marine Reserve as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This wider ocean area surrounds the 19 Galapagos Islands which were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1978. In the mean time, at least 35 sea lions were found dead and mutilated in Galapagos Islands. Acting on an anonymous tip, officials of the Galapagos National Park discovered the bodies washed up on the beach, with their teeth and genitalia removed. Authorities suspect that the sea lions were killed to sell the body parts as aphrodisiacs in Asia.

EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS: will receive a tri-national $21 million loan from the IDB to support sustainable development in the shared geography of the Upper Lempa Basin. The project represents the IDB's first tri-national project in a frontier region, and is seen as "an important advance in the overall integration of the three countries and the Central American Isthmus." Support for the project comes from a variety of funds within the IDB and donor countries, including the Nordic Development Fund, the German GTZ, the Norwegian Fund, the Japan Special Fund and the Spanish Trust Fund. The Upper Lempa Basin is considered "a strategic location for intraregional trade and ecotourism."

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North America

CANADA: Canada's insistence that forest and farmland "carbon sinks" play a major role in efforts to reduce greenhouse gases comes under fire in a new report that challenges Ottawa to shift gears before critical international climate negotiations resume next week. "Taking Credit: Canada and the Role of Sinks in International Climate Negotiations" was released today by the David Suzuki Foundation and the West Coast Environmental Law Association. For further information and to download a copy of the position paper, technical summary and full report, go to http://www.davidsuzuki.org/sinks.asp

Alberta: Parks Canada officials are struggling to contain an outbreak of anthrax among the bison in Alberta's Wood Buffalo National Park.

British Columbia: Environmentalists are angry over a decision by the province's new Liberal Party government decision to lift a three-year Grizzly Bear hunting moratorium. Grizzly bears once ranged across western North America but are now found only in western Canada, a few northern US states and Alaska. British Columbia is home of a quarter of the bears. Environmentalists estimate that there are between 4,000 and 6,000 grizzly bears in the province, while provincial biologists and hunters put the number up to 13,000. Pro-hunting groups estimate that hunting trips, sold mostly to foreign tourists, contribute C$200 million ($133 million) annually to the province's economy. At least 230 bears were killed "legally" last year.

UNITED STATES: An estimated 58.2 million Americans are expected to visit national parks this year on vacation, taking traffic jams and long commutes with them.

Oregon: Farmers rigged an irrigation line into a canal in defiance of a federal order that has blocked water for crops to save endangered fish. In April, the government shut down an irrigation canal serving land in the Klamath Project to protect endangered sucker fish in Upper Klamath Lake and threatened coho salmon in the Klamath River.

Florida: The Bush administration revealed a dramatically scaled-back plan to open about 1.5 million acres of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas exploration. The area, known as Lease Sale 181, originally covered 5.9 million acres and came as close as 17 miles to Pensacola in Florida's Panhandle. But three-fourths of the plan were cut - mainly by eliminating drilling east of the Florida-Alabama state line - after opposition from the president's brother and environmentalists nationwide.

California: A team of biologists involved in the California Condor Recovery Plan recently switched the first condor egg produced in the wild in fifteen years, just before it was about to hatch, with a fake one. The real egg was taken to Los Angeles and placed with "a very experienced" pair of condors at the Los Angeles Zoo. They were successful in hatching it and are now raising this first chick produced in the wild since 1986. In the 1980's, California condor populations reached a low of just 22 birds. Through captive breeding programs at LA Zoo, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho, there are now 59 wild condors in California and Arizona and another 127 birds living in captivity.

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Academics are complaining that Ecotourism has not /  can not be clearly defined. Have a go! 

Ecotourism for me is: 

An environmentally, economically and culturally friendly tourism for locals where tourism activities are being generated. Ecotourism mean a tourism which provides revenue generations and job opportunities for locals, does not hurt their culture and take care of Nature. The most important point of ecotourism is investment of revenue in areas from where they are being generated. 
 - Agha Iqrar Haroon President, Ecotourism Society Pakistan, http://www.mountains2002.org.pk 

To my understanding ecotourism is there for the people who love visitng ,learning other peoples culture all over the world with out destroying ones culture but be there to strenghten it ,by respecting the local people and their habits and thus the local people should have a respect as well for the whole thing to carry on. 
 - Mxolisi Mdluli, Swaziland

Ecotourism is an event where people come and people go and nature didn't know the difference.
 - A. Keefe, PNG
http://www.engaexperience.homestead.com/engaexperience.html

Ecotourism all too often takes the form of a buzzword for marketing campaigns and business. Ecotourism should be a facilitator of global communication, not global business. What we really need to define is "What is Ecopsychology?" How can humankind look at patterns of how we lived in the past and apply these long forgotten methods to sustaining our future? Ecotourism is a positive vehicle for ecopsychological perspectives that can very well foster and nurture a new world vision for our planet. Ecotourism can address environmental degradation, global socioeconomical problems, the transcending of racial barriers, stimulation of life experiences, and empowerment of all stakeholders in the ecotourism industry to become "allies". An ally who recognizes the intricate inter-connectedness of humankind, and through this empowerment gets involved globally with efforts to heal relationships with our planet...  
- Matt Wickey, San Diego, CA. Outdoor Educator / Adventure Consultant,
ECOCLUB Ecotourism Expert Member http://ecoclub.com/experts/ecx057.html 

One of the most popular forms of alternative tourism is Ecotourism which is low cost and protects the environment, which is tourism's infrastructure. An important question is how can we improve our understanding of resident perceptions, values and priorities regarding ecotourism's role in their community?
 - Omari Thabit

Send YOUR definition / view of ecotourism to news@ecoclub.com

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Do you believe Protected Areas are better managed by :

The State

15%

NGOs

28%

Local Councils

44%

Private Companies

13%

This is a vast topic, but it is interesting to see that the State and Private Companies received so few votes. A fair answer, would be that it depends, on which State, which NGO, which Local Council and which Company one is referring to. Local councils seem to be the preferred answer because theoretically they incorporate elements from the other three categories plus the important element of local citizens, without the consent of which, all grand designs may fail.

OUR AUGUST POLL :
Certification in the Ecotourism Sector is:
(a)
honest
(b) corrupt
(c) neither


Vote at http://ecoclub.com

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If you are organising or are aware of an ecotourism related Trade Show, Conference, Workshop or other Event please send us the details to news@ecoclub.com to promote it for free. 

A worldwide selection of ecotourism and related events during the next 3 months:

August 17-27, Field Ecotourism Course/ CANADA
August 21-14, 3rd International Mercosur Food & Beverage Exhibition/ ARGENTINA
August 22-24, Sust. Dev. & Management of ecotourism in the Americas/ BRAZIL
August 30- September 4, World Mountain Symposium/ SWITZERLAND
September 3-5, Parks and Leisure Australia National Conference/ AUSTRALIA
September 3-6, Fenner Conference on Nature Tourism/ AUSTRALIA
September 3-5, South Pacific Tourism Conference/ VANUATU
September 5-9, The 5th Annual Multicultural Tourism/Hotel Ownership Summit/ USA
September 5-8, Conservation of Biodiversity in the Andes and Amazon Basin/ PERU
September 5-8, New directions in managing rural tourism and leisure/ UK
September 7-8, Turismo 2001/ MEXICO
September 12-15, Conference on Ecotourism in Mountain Areas: A Challenge to Sustainable Development/ AUSTRIA
September 14-17, International Ecotourism Congress in Japan/ JAPAN
September 24-27, Amazon Ecotour 2001/ BRAZIL
September 25-28, PATA Americas Travel Mart/ MEXICO
September 27-October 1, 3rd Iran Intl Tourism Exhibition/ IRAN
October 1-3, TravelMart LatinAmerica/ CHILE
October 3-6, NPRA Congress for Recreation and Parks/ USA
October 3-6, SPRE Leisure Research Symposium/ USA
October 3-5, eTravel World Conference/ USA
October 4-6, ATLAS 10th Anniversary/ Workshop on Marine Ecotourism/ IRELAND
October 14-16, Celebrating the Earth in the New Millennium/ GHANA
October 17-18, Seminar on ecotourism as a tool for Sust. Dev./ KAZAKHSTAN
October 23-26, Ecotourism Association of Australia National Conference/ AUSTRALIA
October 25-26, BTC Cultural Conference/ DENMARK
October 29-30, Sustainable eco-tourism/ MALAYSIA
October 31- November 2, Tourism in the 21st century/ AUSTRALIA

Details of these and other events at ECOCLUB.com EVENTS:  http://ecoclub.com/events

To add an eco-event, please email news@ecoclub.com

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Sc!ence

!Despite US objections, negotiators from 178 countries reached agreement on how to tackle climate change. The EU gave ground on the issue of carbon sinks, allowing Canada, Russia, and Japan to count forests that absorb carbon dioxide as large credits toward emissions-reduction targets.

!The world's population may reach a peak of nine billion as early as 2070 and then start to shrink, according to a new analysis by Wolfgang Lutz, of the Austria based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. 

!Asian tiger mosquitoes that carry tropical diseases are likely to spread
far and wide as global warming creates hotter temperatures outside their
historic habitat, according to new research from the University of
Florida. 

!Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe, of Cardiff University, Wales, claims to have isolated a sample of air collected from Earth's stratosphere that contained living cells and considers it as evidence of "extraterrestrial microbial life." 

!Certain varieties of trees can emit air pollutants, creating ozone and fine particulate matter that make it hard to breathe. 

!Teflon frying pans's nonstick coating when heated to extremely high temperature can release a chemical known as Trifluoracetate (TFA) which seems to collect in wetlands for centuries, according to a University of Toronto study published in the journal Nature. 

!Humans are now known to be at least 5.2 million years old, a million years older than scientists previously thought. A team of U.S. and Ethiopian researchers has found remains of the earliest known human ancestor in Ethiopia that predate the previously oldest known fossils by almost a million years.

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@Aiming to disprove the US public's general opinion about its employment of international sweatshops, Nike is giving the public a 90-day virtual tour inside its partner factory in Vietnam, on its corporate website.
@AOL invests $100 million in Amazon.com. Amazon.com will make AOL its exclusive Internet service provider.
@More than 20 million Americans have purchased airline tickets or made other
travel arrangements on the Web, according to a new study from researcher
PhoCusWright. In fact, travel is now the top-selling commerce category on
the Net.
@Travelocity.com was named the best commerce Web site at the Fifth Annual Webby Awards. Travelocity's second quarter revenues for 2001 were $82 million, which it credits to strong growth in the company's non-air business. The revenue represents a 76 percent increase over the same period of 2000.
@China's growth of Internet users is dropping off, with 4 million new users logging on during the first part of this year, according to the Associated Press. The news service says that increase is down substantially from the same period last year, when 16.9 million new users had used the Internet.
@Overall Internet usage dipped about 3 percent in the United States during the month of June. But, while overall traffic may have fallen to 128.4 million unique visitors during June versus 132 million unique visitors in May, summer vacation has upped the number of visitors to travel sites. The category grew 2.2 percent during the month of June.
@53 Dotcoms die in June.
@A European committee blocks plans to outlaw unsolicited commercial email dealing a major blow to anti-spam supporters.
@After a two-week trial run, Amazon.com is back to charging for shipping and has rolled back some of the price increasesit instituted.
@Worldwide Internet Usage reaches 430 Million unique users
. United States and Canada accounting for 41 percent (digital divide)

@George Orwell Event of the Month
The Tampa Police Department has placed three dozen security cameras with face-recognition software in a downtown district popular with locals and tourists. Now, everyone who visits the district, Ybor City, for a burger or a beer may have his face digitally scanned and the noses, cheeks and chins checked against a criminal suspects with arrest warrants. The makers of the system, Visionics Corporation of Jersey City, offered Tampa free use of it for a year, in an effort to build a market among municipalities. (Source: New York Times 3/7/1)

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Get details on these and many more Vacancies at http://ecoclub.com/jobs
Jobseekers: Post your CV online for FREE at the ECOCLUB Community 

***RESEARCH FIELD STATION MANAGER/ IL, USA
***BIRD CARE SPECIALIST/ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATOR/ GA, USA
***ORNITHOLOGY PROJECT LEADER/ NY, USA
***ENVIRONMENTAL/ADVENTURE EDUCATION NATURALIST (4) / IA, USA 
***NATURE TRAVEL PROGRAMME/ MD, USA
***VICE PRESIDENT FOR LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN (LAC)/ WWF, USA
***ASSISTANT DIRECTOR - ASIA PROGRAM/ WCS, USA
***AMERICORPS CONSERVATION ASSISTANTS/ NY,USA
***SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER/ MA, USA
***AVIAN ECOLOGIST/ NE, USA
***SPANISH-SPEAKING ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISTS/ USA-LATIN AMERICA
***COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST-WRITER/ INDONESIA
***COUNTRY MANAGER/ INDONESIA
***HOSTEL ASSISTANT/ CA, USA 
***WORK GROUP COORDINATOR/ NICARAGUA
***VP GLOBAL CONSERVATION FUND/ WASHINGTON DC, USA
***DIRECTOR OF TOURISM/ SOUTH AFRICA
***FOOTPRINT EDITORS/ UK
***REALITY TOURS CUBA COORDINATOR/ CA,USA
***GUIDE/ SOUTH AFRICA
***SPECIAL GROUPS TRAVEL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/ CA, USA

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THE JULY ECO-QUIZ WAS: 
Archipelago of 9 inhabited islands, a possession of a country for 366 years, inhabited by a very special insect. Name the islands and the insect.

The answer was: The smallest insect known is a fairyfly, Megaphragma caribea, a parasitic wasp which occurs on the island of Guadeloupe (a French departement). This wasp measures 0.007 inch long and is small enough to fly through the eye of a needle. 
No winners!

AND THE AUGUST ECO-QUIZ IS:

Former Empire, lost access to sea, recently. Name the country.
PRIZE: A SURPRISE GIFT FROM THE ECOCLUB SHOP 

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