ecotourism news

ISSN 1108-8931

Breaking the "Fun" & Hybernation Equation We are approaching the end of the tourist season in the Mediterranean, craddle of civilisations and mass tourism. This summer like the 25 previous summers, masses of civilised people briefly escaped from mundane lifestyles to a parallel semi-civilised universe, recharged their "batteries" and are ready to go back to hibernation mode until next year. Some have lived their fantasies, engaged in excesses, others have pampered their egos in unsustainable luxury, some are cursing because their holiday, for which they had so many expectations, went horribly wrong. All, like lemmings will go back for a repeat, next year, to a slightly more degraded resort. And the question remains, if any lemmings will ever open their eyes. Until they do, ecotourism in the Med will still be viewed as an optional add-on to the mass tourism bliss/blitz , "a new trendy niche you can not ignore", a wonderful invention to "prolong our tourist season", "a way to receive state and EU subsidies", "a way to placate the peasants for the lost CAP", " a way to attract those rich weirdos with the binoculars and zoom cameras". (A)


Two new quality ecolodges have joined ECOCLUB this month as Member Ecolodges, Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp in Nepal, and Laguna de Lagarto in Costa Rica.

Nepal is a land of diverse topography, climate, ethnicity and biodiversity. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve was established in 1976 and a Ramsar Site since 1987, and covers an area of 175 It is a major residing, staging and wintering site for waterfowl and waders in the subcontinent. The Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp consists of ten safari tents, common bath, restaurant, bar and fishing ponds. Safari tents are large, comfortably furnished with twin beds and a changing room. The camp can accommodate up to 20 people at a time on sharing basis. A large thatched-roof dining hall decorated with the lowland civilisation is situated facing the Kushaha wetland where large numbers of birds come to forage, roosts and nest. The "Ramsar Restaurant" named after the famous wetland convention features Nepalese and continental cuisine served with warm Nepalese hospitality. Continued at

Located approximately 150 km (90 miles) from San José and just 12 km (7 miles) from the Nicaraguan border, La Laguna del Lagarto Lodge is surrounded by 500 hectares (1,250 acres) of pristine, virgin tropical rainforest. At your leisure, you can roam through this tropical paradise alone or with a local guide, on more than ten miles of well maintained foot trails. Red and green poison dart frogs are plentiful, as are all three species of monkey. Laguna de Lagarto has received 3 Leaves of Cerfificate Of Sustainable Tourism (CST) awarded by the Ministry of Tourism Costa Rica (ICT)and 3 stars awarded by New Key to Costa Rica. It has 100 hectares of privately owned Rainforest under Government Protection plus additional 60 hectares of Reforestation under Goverment protection (CPB). It also supports the Great Green Macaw Project. The lodge is secluded and cozy, it has only 20 double rooms, all of which include hot water and ceiling fans. Continued at:

Eleven new Ecotourism Experts have joined during the past month and now offer a free basic consultancy to other Members ! 

They are as follows, in order of joining:

Ms. Vera Ilyina, Lawyer, based in Russia
Arch. Pisaniello Anderson, Architect, Brazil
Mr. Glen Morales, Ecotravel Guide, Venezuela
Dr. Priya Zadu, Ecotour Operator, India
Mr. Andris Junkurs, Ecotourism Official, Latvia
Mr. Moyukh Chaudhury, Ecotour Operator, India
Mr. Tushar Kocher, Ecotour Operator, Nepal
Mr. Thomas Varghese, Ecotour Operator, India
Mr. Karna Sakya, Forester and Entrepreneur, Nepal
Mr. Kasimir Reichmuth, Ecotourism Official, Italy
Mr. Tom Morton, Carbon Consultant, UK
Cpt & Ms. Stewart, Environmental activists, Costa Rica

Search our Ecotourism Expert Members Directory at

Changes, Changes. We are experimenting with opening the website to all - (it was hot anyway in August). Seriously, now, we thought there was no point to force people to sign up as members in order to access the material, or to provoke malicious hackers in search of the data Eldorado. Membership is free anyway. Joining is now voluntary and only for those that really care about ecotourism and want to put something into the club. Also, to encourage bookings at our Member Ecolodges, each and every one of which deserves your fullest support, we will offer a gift to anyone that books through ECOCLUB and then stays at a Member Ecolodge. Details at Then, we have launched a new Database for Universities offering Ecotourism related degrees worldwide, please have a look and tell us if you know of (or are in) any other university. The on-line Bibliography has been redesigned and more books added The Community has also been reorganised into fewer forums, as too many forums were creating confusion and unnecessary geographical segregation. It is one world anyway. By the way, if you wish you can post your profile at the Community, and you can contact other Members via their profile. The Chat centre has been simplified and this time we chose a Java solution as it is faster and more reliable than cgi chat scripts:


Christmas Birdathon in Nepal!
24, 25 and 26 Dec. 2001 Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp

For enquiries please use the Form at

Birdwatchers worldwide celebrate Christmas by, what else, watching birds. Our Birdathon is targeted towards the enthusiast and will last from the crack of dawn till dusk. Funds will be raised "per bird seen and heard" by the bird watcher or his / her sponsor. The highest bird species recorder will be felicitated amidst a champagne-toasting ceremony. The first Christmas Bird Count In Nepal was initiated by Dr. Robert Fleming Sr. It is a great opportunity to increase your life list. If you want to participate please contact us immediately at the address mentioned below, as places are limited.

Birdathon Programme:
Day I - 24 Dec. 2001 : Arrival of guest at Aqua Bird Unlimited Camp, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, Kushaha 1.00 pm Lunch Registration and program briefing to the guests 5.30 pm Talk program on the Ornithological aspect of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve 6.30 pm Jhangad Dance followed by Dinner . Overnight at the tented camp of Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp

Day II - 25 Dec. 2001: 6.00 am Wake up call followed by breakfast 6.30 am Inauguration of the Christmas Bird Count by the Chief Guest All day birding with pack lunch and beverages inside the KTWR, Pink Tower, and agricultural land
6.00 pm Tally bird record and announce the winner participant. Felicitation of the Christmas Bird Count winner by the Senior Warden of KTWR with a toast of Champagne. 6.30 pm Christmas Barbeque Dinner Overnight at the tented camp of Aqua Birds Unlimited Camp

Day III - 26 Dec. 2001: 6.00 am Wake up call followed by breakfast 6.30 am Morning birding or departure.

Ecotourism Society Pakistan (ESP) offers the following exciting ecotours to all 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)
A Journey through virgin Land (15 days)
Roof of Asia-Deosai Plains and Fairy Meadows (12 days tours)
A visit to conifer valleys (09 days tours)
Honey dripping from the Moon (7 days tour)

ESP is offering special rates to members of and to all Subscribers of the ECOCLUB Ecotourism News. Contact ESP directly at
and remember to mention the "Special Offer for ECOCLUB Members and Subscribers".

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 Members will receive a 10% Discount on the above rates.
For Enquiries


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

by Patricia Carrington, Media Relations Manager, TIES
Hurry up, if you've been looking for a great deal on ecotourism trips to unique destinations, you've got one last chance to bid, TODAY. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), in cooperation with Yahoo! Auctions and, have joined together to create the strongest ecotravel benefit auction ever available on the Internet. All proceeds from these eco-friendly trips go towards ecotourism projects. So, visit to bid on the following trip auctions: Safari to Kenya , Donated by Eco-Resorts, Costa Rica Rainforest Adventure Donated by La Laguna del Lagarto Lodge (an ECOCLUB Ecolodge Member), Peru Explorations! Amazonian Nature and Wildlife Donated by Rainforest Expeditions.
Bidding for these three exclusive trips closes at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time on September 4th, 2001. The next round of trips will be available in October 2001.

by Agha Iqrar Haroon, President, Ecotourism Society Pakistan
Pakistan, with five out of 12 tallest mountains including the second in the world, Godwin Austin (K-2) has not been included in the IYM Focus Group, the most important body regarding IYM 2002. The Focus Group now includes representatives from Austria, Bhutan, Bolivia, Ethiopia, France, Guatemala, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lesotho, Peru, Slovenia and Switzerland. While Nepal is the hub of all events and activities connected with IYM in this region as Nepal is the headquarter of ICIMOD and Mountain Forum, the most prestigious bodies working as "Lead Agencies" for United Nations to celebrate IYM 2002. International bodies plan no event in Pakistan during the whole of 2002. There can be many reasons behind this "flush away" of Pakistan but one possibility was the lack of interest in Pakistan. Almost all countries constituted their "IYM 2002 committees" before the end of January 2001 except Pakistan. The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) held a meeting of a National Task Force in the beginning of August. The outcome of this meeting was one and very clear: lack of resources to celebrate this event. Co-coordinating Agencies such as the Ministry of Environment, Local Government and Rural Development, IUCN Pakistan, Aga Khan Trust for Culture had better examine why Pakistan is standing far away from the main arena of IYM 2002 before people living in mountain areas ask them this question.

Globalisation in green: The Global Ecovillage Network.
by Kasimir Reichmuth, Exec. Director Ecovillage Travels
We founded the Global Ecovillage Network in 1995 to support the growth of sustainable communities all over the world. We have defined an ecovillage as an intentional community formed by groups of people motivated by ecological, spiritual, cultural and social reasons. Ecovillages are places where people practise alternatives to the current, destructive trends of consumerist society, and experiment with sustainable development. The areas of interest of an ecovillage can include social life and group dynamics, alternative technologies and building techniques, permaculture and organic agriculture, nutrition and natural health care and education of the young. Some of the groups are as large as the Italian Damanhur (500 members), others are as small as the Russian Grishino (5 adults and 2 children); some dwell in ancient buildings like Upacchi (Italy) others in newly built homes like the Portuguese Tamera; some have been open to visitors for decades like the German Lebensgarten, others are just starting now, but what brings them together is the desire to be part of a larger movement and share with the world the concept of a respectful way of living towards each other and with nature. We have now grown into a well-established organisation with thousands of members, three regional secretariats, an official UN consultative status and a variety of educational and cultural programmes open to the public. GEN-Europe is the European branch of the organisation with the central office in Ecovillage Torri Superiore, Italy. GEN-Europe offers you the possibility to share a few days of life with these pioneers in their own homes and environment. We will put you directly in contact with your hosting village to get directions on how to reach them, and ask more questions about your stay. There are three options for visiting the ecovillages: Stays as guests, International Volunteer work-camps, Seminars and courses on ecovillage topics
For more information:

Reported by Nguyen Hong Vinh, Director V&D travel Co. Ltd

Vietnam may have a second world biosphere reserve following a visit by UNESCO officials to the Cat Tien forest in Dong Nai province. Cat Tien is one the last tropical forests in Southeast Asia. Last year, UNESCO recognised the vast mangrove forest of Can Gio in Sai Gon, as Vietnam's first international biosphere reserve. In a separate development, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have vowed to crack down on poachers and wildlife traffickers in an effort to preserve biodiversity in their forests. The pledge was made during a meeting of environmental and border control authorities from the three nations in central province of Ha Tinh last week.

by Tom Morton, Climate Care
The majority of ecotourism holidays also start and end with a flight. Air travel is currently the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the world and levels are set to increase four-fold over the next 50 years. On a ten hour return flight each passenger is responsible for 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Climate Care, based in Oxford, UK, gives responsible travellers the option of reducing their impact on the environment when they fly. The company organises emissions reduction projects funded by travellers willing to pay a premium on their travel, approximately USD1 per person per hour of flight. The projects reduce carbon dioxide by the same amount as the original emissions - making your flight climate neutral. We started just putting money towards reforestation, but just planting trees won't stop global warming, so we are now focussing on projects that cut emissions at source, such as renewable energy and energy efficiency. In the UK a growing number of tour operators are offering their travellers the chance to offset their emissions when they book their holiday. People can also go to their website and buy the offsets online. Climate Care will send a certificate showing their undertaking to offset the emissions on your behalf. The company is overseen by an Environmental Steering Committee which includes members of WWF and other NGOs who ensure the integrity of the offsets. For more information please visit

by Stefanos Fotiou, Ph.D, Greek Biotope / Wetland Centre
The Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre is organising an international symposium entitled "Tourism in Protected Areas in Greece". The symposium is one of the actions of the LIFE-Nature project "Conservation Measures for the Vai Palm Forest" and it is foreseen for the period of 15-16 October in Siteia-Crete. You are welcome to participate. For more information please visit the symposium web page at

by Nazmi Kozak, Editor in Chief
A special issue of Anatolia on "Tourism Development and Islands and Specific Destinations" has just been printed. Details at

by Natassa Wanchek
Following a July 6-7 ecotourism conference in Donetsk, Ukraine, a new ecotourism network was born. Information about the conference and the network can be found at:

by Ida Talagi - Hekesi, Niue Tourism Office
The United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development, Small Island Developing States Unit has announced that Niue's "Huvalu Conservation Tour" will be featured on the SIDS website for "Ecotourism Success Stories". Check out Niue's website at



CONGO: The Zimbabwe army will help fell trees in 85 million acres of Congo.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa blows up two stranded whales in August. "Humane" according to experts (?), but not a pleasant sight. / The Kruger National Park is reported to be on track to triple its profits this year / KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, approves the return of an African elephant who has been performing in a German circus for 18 years.


Asia & Pacific

MALAYSIA: Malaysian and Swiss governments have no apparent wish to search the jungle for Bruno Manser, a Swiss rainforest activist who has been missing for a year in Borneo. Manser, who had been barred from entering Malaysia was last seen hiking into Sarawak to continue his activities on behalf of the 9,000 strong indigenous Penan - his campaign had been denounced as "the height of arrogance" by Malaysia's prime minister.

AUSTRALIA: Moves to begin oil exploration 30 miles east of the Great Barrier Reef were condemned as "grotesque" by environmentalists yesterday. The Australian government has called for an environmental impact assessment of seismic oil exploration by the US company TGS-NOPEC Geophysical. If the search gains approval, laws automatically permit extraction of any oil found. / Human Rights Watch called on Australia to take prompt action to secure the safety of 438 rescued asylum seekers. The mostly Afghan passengers, picked up from a sinking Indonesian ferry, are currently aboard a Norwegian freighter in Australian waters. Their fate has become a political football. "This is a question of basic decency," said Rachael Reilly, Refugee Policy Director at Human Rights Watch. / The Australian Tourist Commission has announced that new forecasts released by the Tourism Forecasting Council indicate slower growth (4.5%) in international visitors to Australia this year.

TUVALU: Ten thousand people, Tuvalu's entire population, are packing their bags as their homes among nine low-level atolls are being swallowed by the rising sea.

INDIA: Two Russian nationals were among six people arrested by Indian forest guards in the remote Himalayan state of Sikkim on charges of illegally collecting live insects. The two Russians had collected a total of around 2,000 butterflies, moths and beetles, many on the endangered list. / A Kerala researcher has come up with linguistic and etymological evidence to contend that rice cultivation began, for the first time in the world, in the Nanchinadu region of Kanniyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The farmers in the sleepy villages of Nanchinadu, are perhaps the only people in the world who celebrated, till recent times, the birthday of rice ( / Eight elephants were found dead in Nameri wildlife sanctuary, about 200 km northeast of Guwahati. The absence of any injury marks on the elephants suggested they had died of an illness. / RICETEC LOSES, RICE WINS: RiceTec Inc. a Texas-based US corporation has lost the Basmati Battle. RiceTec had made 20 far-reaching claims related to Basmati in Patent No. 5663484. RiceTec has been forced to give up the title of its patent, it has been forced to give up 15 of its 20 claims, including those with the most far-reaching implications related to biopiracy. (Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, New Delhi)

JAPAN: Japanese ships have returned from an expedition in the northwest Pacific with a quarry of 158 whales, 70 more than last year's hunt. They've also added Bryde's and sperm whales to the usual catch of Minke, the government said.



ST LUCIA St. Lucia's tourism industry is facing tough time by the temporary closure of three hotels, inadequate airlift from the major markets and the effects of deteriorating conditions in the global economy. While the number of cruise passengers for the first quarter has risen by 27 per cent, official figures put the drop in long-stay visitor arrivals up until the end of July at 18 per cent. / The 2002 Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Conference will be held March 11-15 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in St. Lucia. The theme of next year's conference is "Keeping the Right Balance- Empowering Communities". 

MEXICO: Environmentalists celebrate "a watershed moment" following victory in a 3-year battle to save a sea turtle nesting beach from light pollution ensuing from lights at a Sol Melia development.

BAHAMAS: Sharks are not pets and seas are not zoos. 100,000 scuba divers a year are thrilled by the sight of sharks being hand fed. But opponents of the growing "interactive marine experience" industry say the gruesome Bahamas shark attack on a Wall Street banker, whose left leg was ripped and later amputated, is evidence that shark-feeding tourist dives should be banned. Meanwhile the family of the shark victim has allegedly approached celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran with a view to suing the resort where the incident occurred. In an ironic twist, Reuters reports that the best-selling author whose novel Jaws made a whole generation afraid of sharks is now urging conservation of the sharks.



RUSSIA: Artificial lakes containing 50 years of radioactive waste could leak into the rivers of the Ural Mountains within a few years, according to the Vice-governor of Russia's Chelyabinsk region who said that contaminated water might burst the lakes' dam in three to four years, sending waste flowing into the Arctic Ocean (Associated Press).

GREECE: The President of the "Kateleio Association for the Study and Protection of Marine Life" in Kephalonia Island, that recently became too popular thanks to Holywood's "Captain Coreli's Madoline", was arrested by the local police after being accused by locals for the hainous crime of hosting (for free) in tents in her farm without permission, 15 volunteers from EU countries who are working for a central government-backed program to protect sea turtles… As in neighbouring Zakynthos Island, conservationists are up against local tourist developers who are competing for the same beaches with the sea turtles. In Zakynthos, after a bitter battle in the 1990s, developers lost and a National Marine Park was proclaimed, also for the protection of the sea turtle. 

ITALY: Italy's top police official admitted that police used excessive force during the Group of Eight summit in Genoa, when three days of violence left a protester dead and the city in tatters.

BELGIUM: 15 Chinese doctors were arrested in Belgium at the weekend for trying
to smuggle 150kg of ivory from Africa

SPAIN: The Good news: Animal activists open gates and cages and 13,000 mink escape from fur farm in Spain. The Bad news: Unfortunately, they are an American variety, not native to Spain, and will probably attack partridges and rabbits and compete for food with other predators such as ferrets. Many are eventually recaptured.


Latin America

BELIZE: The U.S. government, with a significant assist from The Nature Conservancy, has signed a landmark debt for nature swap to reduce by about one-half the debt which Belize owes to the United States. In exchange, the government of Belize has agreed to protect 23,000 acres of vulnerable forest land in Belize's Maya Mountain Marine Corridor, an area that includes 16 miles of pristine Caribbean coastline.

CENTRAL AMERICAN REALITY TOURISM? Tens of thousands of Americans are venturing abroad as "reality tourists." For $1,665, including room, board and airfare from the U.S., you can spend a week in Guatemala to "learn about the history of repression and political violence," courtesy of the Center for Global Education in Minneapolis, Minn. (

ECUADOR: Galapagos 1: After receiving the news via telephone that mutilated sea lions had been discovered at the tourist site La Loberia in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, a team from the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) travelled to the site to collect technical and scientific information about the sea lions affected. In total 15 sea lions were reported dead in the area.
- The reproductive zone of each male had been removed.
- The cause of death for all individuals was a cranial-cephalic contusion.
- The deaths were possibly caused using metallic objects.
- A knife was used to remove the external reproductive organs of the male
sea lions.
- It was a nocturnal attack, perpetrated by more than one person.
This is the first proven record of this type of outrageous bloody act
affecting a population of sea lions in the Galapagos Islands.
(Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands)

Galapagos 2: Ecuadorian naval personnel gave Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Captain Paul Watson a written order to leave Ecuador aboard his ship the Ocean Warrior. Conservationists point to the powerful links between the fisheries industry and the military. Last November, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society signed a joint agreement with the Galapagos National Park to defend the Galapagos Marine Reserve from poaching. Sea Shepherd has been outspoken in its criticism of the close ties of the Ecuadorian Navy and Merchant Marine to Ecuador's powerful commercial fishing sector. Sea Shepherd personnel have been openly critical of the Ecuadorian practice of releasing vessels apprehended fishing illegally in the Marine Reserve without charge or fine. The Galapagos Marine Reserve, which covers a larger area surrounding the island group, is scheduled to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the World Heritage Committee's upcoming meeting later this year. (ENS)

MEXICO: Mexico's new environmental minister, Victor Lichtinger, likes to enforce environmental laws. He has closed or suspended 19 hotel and condo developments, including a 1,400-room complex that would have been built alongside a federally protected sea turtle sanctuary in Cancun. Lichtinger said his moves were meant to be a "signal to entrepreneurs and society that there is law in Mexico, and that the law will be respected, independent of the importance of investment in Mexico." (New York Times)

BRASIL: Brazilian farmers and environmentalists are gearing up for battle again ahead of a key congressional vote that could ease the limits on how much forest can be cut down in the Amazon jungle. A special congressional commission is voting on Sept. 4 on a bill environmentalists fear could pave the way for accelerated destruction of the world's largest tropical forest. The dispute centers on a bill by a lawmaker from the agricultural lobby in Congress, which calls for the introduction of a "zoning" study of the Amazon to determine how much forest can be cut down in the future. / Roche, a swiss pharmaceutical backs down and agrees to cut by 40% the price of AIDS related drugs, after the Brazilian government threatens to give the go ahead for the production of copies of this drugs in Brazil. 40%! ,was that like half of their profit margin?

COSTA RICA: A conservationist patrol ship today seized a trawler and seven support boats illegally fishing within Costa Rica's Cocos Island National Park.(ENS)

PARAGUAY:Enviros say more than 10,000 endangered crocodiles in Paraguay are dying because a major river that irrigated their swamplands is now being diverted to provide water for agriculture in Argentina. The crocodiles, known as Yacares, are starving to death or being encased in mud as the swamps dry up. Their numbers had been climbing before the Pilcomayo River was diverted in 1996.(BBC).


North America

USA: After more than four decades of service, a tired fleet of 400 New York City subway cars known as the Redbirds is being retired and shipped to Delaware to build an artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean. EPA believes asbestos would not be present in high enough concentrations to harm aquatic life or people. (AP) / Twelve years after the Exxon Valdez super-tanker struck a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound and created arguably the worst oil spill in history, Exxon made its last scheduled payment (USD 70 million) to settle government claims for environmental damages, as part of a landmark $1.025 billion civil and criminal settlement reached in 1991. (Reuters) / A ski resort in the U.S. is using goats instead of herbicides to get rid of weeds on its slopes. After the goats eat their fill, the Vail resort in Colorado is seeding the areas with native plants to fight off alien weeds. Lani Lamming, the goats owner, rents them out for $1 per day per goat plus shipping. Any offers? ( / There were nearly twice as many beach closings and advisories last year than there were in 1999, compelling evidence that the nation's beaches have a major water pollution problem. / The United States and Mexico are considering building an airport on their mutual border just south of San Diego. If it proceeds, U.S. airlines would move into terminals on the U.S. side of the border while the hangars, runways and fuel storage facilities would be in Mexico. Let's hope people will not risk their lives by crossing the runway into USA. / In a big win for the White House, the U.S. House passed a broad energy bill last night after rejecting attempts earlier in the day to block drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and boost fuel efficiency significantly. The 223-206 vote in favor of drilling surprised even Republicans, who attributed the victory to labor unions that touted the promise of more than 700,000 drilling-related jobs to win the support of more than three dozen Democrats.


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

Ecotourism enables me to share one facet of the world with those beings (human and not) that call it home - in whatever state it may be in. Wonder at the beauty and meaning of it all, forget about myself and other human delusions and then leave, knowing that many others will be able to do the same.
- Kayhan Irani

Ecotourism to me is to be able to visit a location amidst what remains of our planet's ecosystems without any commercial, technological or development-related interferences except (and this is a pretty big except, I admit....but life isn't perfect) what it has taken to preserve the location and what it has taken to get people to it. Such locations need to be protected from overcrowding which may mean setting strictly enforced limits as to how many people can be there at one time and how long they may stay.
- Louis McCarten.

Ecotourism to me signifies sustainability. It ensures that negative impacts
on the natural, cultural & social environments on an area and its people is
kept to a minimum. Ecotourism to me represents the future - it ensures that
what we experience today in regards to culture and nature, is available to
future generations.
- Melinia Ratudina

Ecotourism is not the answer for our concerns and fears, and not a total answer for preservation of our culture, natural systems and wildlife but Ecotourism is the first step in asking questions, increasing our awareness to our surrounding and the world we live in. Ecotourism is about learning, going into things deeper and with more respect.
- Ossi Winter

Send YOUR definition / view of ecotourism to


Certification in the Ecotourism Sector is:







Ecotourism certification, like all forms of certification, involves a clash of interest for all certifying authorities. How can certifiers receive free stays and money from the certified and not be tempted to cut corners? Who certifies and who oversees the certifiers? For us, the best certifiers are savvy travellers, genuine ecotourists. They vote with their feet.


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

A worldwide selection of ecotourism and related events during the next 2 months. For
more events please visit

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 11-15, The Lodging Conference/ USA
September 13, 2001 Market Solutions to Climate Change/ USA
September 12-15, Conference on Ecotourism in Mountain Areas: A Challenge to Sustainable Development/ AUSTRIA IYE(2002)
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 26-27, HEDNA EMEA Conference/ ITALY
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 5-7 , Florida Birding Festival and Nature Expo/USA
October 4-6, ATLAS 10th Anniversary/ Workshop on Marine Ecotourism/ IRELAND
October 6, Tourism and the Media/UK
October 10-20,10th Nordic Tourism Research Conference/FINLAND
October 14-16, Celebrating the Earth in the New Millennium/ GHANA
Oct 15-16, 2001, Tourism in Protected Areas in Greece/ GREECE
October 17-18, Seminar on ecotourism as a tool for Sust. Dev./ KAZAKHSTAN IYE(2002)
October 23, Ecotourism Innovations and Technology for Rating and Sustainable Management Based on Safety, Health and Environment/ MALAYSIA
October 23-26, Ecotourism Association of Australia National Conference/ AUSTRALIA
October 25-26, BTC Cultural Conference/ DENMARK
October 29-30, Sustainable Services & Systems: Transition towards Sustainability/ NETHERLANDS
October 31- November 2, Tourism in the 21st century/ AUSTRALIA

Details of these and other events at EVENTS:

To add an eco-event, please email



!A wild mustard plant that grows only in the Austrian Alps naturally accumulates large amounts of metals in its tissues. This tiny plant may be the key to cleaning up large areas contaminated by heavy metals from industrial production.The plant's genes involved in metal accumulation have been identified and cloned by David Salt, professor of plant molecular physiology at Purdue University.

!A new airport design, the StarPort - incorporating inclined runways that use gravity to help planes slow down on landing and accelerate on take-off - could produce massive fuel savings (

!Researchers have hit upon an incredibly simple way to purify drinking water - shaking it and leaving it in the sun. The technique, which doesn't cost a penny, is being tested in three areas of India. (The Times) - If working, these Researchers deserve the Nobel for Simplicity.

!United States Patent 6,200,806: a claim to the human embryonic stem cell, and
a claim to a dangerous future. The patent, held by a foundation at the University of Wisconsin, is apparently the only one of its kind in the world, leaving the university in a powerful position. In turn, the foundation has granted important rights to a biotechnology company, the Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, Calif., giving that company considerable say over who ultimately profits from stem cell therapies. Is this a time for ranch holidays? Isn't it time for some real leadership?

!Astronomers announced the discovery of a second planet orbiting the star 47 Ursae Majoris. It is the first solar system outside our own where multiple planets travel round the same star in circular orbits.


@The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) the feasibility of allowing individuals and companies to register domain names anonymously in the future.
@Forty-four percent of New Zealand's Internet users go online to plan or book overseas holidays, according to AC Nielsen. This figure is almost double what it was in 1999.
@SirCam, the annoying e-mail that asks for advice, just might be the worst worm of all time, in terms of longevity and privacy breach as it distributes your documents.
@The World Wildlife Fund won a legal battle on Friday to limit the World Wrestling Federation's use of the initials WWF. In particular, the NGO says the court victory means the wrestlers will have to stop using as their website address. Fortunately this battle was set in court as opposed to the ring.
@Only weeks after some well-known Dot coms shut down, collectors are paying hundreds of dollars on eBay for their mementos.
@According to Jupiter MMXI, more than 30 percent of the 15.2 million Brits online are now surfing for their vacations on the Internet. Others put that figure to 33 million (thus 15%).
@Microsoft's ListBot, one of the Web's most popular free mass e-mail services shut on Aug. 20, indicating that free internet may be going the way of the dodo. is still free in any case...
@Travel site Traffic in Hong Kong consisting largely of women and students, has increased over 100 per cent since the beginning of this year (
@George Orwell Event of the Month
"Within the next few months North American passengers on British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways flights into London Heathrow will be involved in tests aimed at speeding up immigration procedures. The new equipment scans the iris, the coloured portion surrounding the pupil, and compares it to a previously scanned and stored image for verification. If a match is found no passport is needed. The iris contains around 240 unique areas as opposed to 80 for a face and about 30 for a fingerprint." (Source: PATA)


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Former Empire, lost access to sea, recently. Name the country.
The answer was: Ethiopia, lost access to sea when Eritrea became independent.
Two winners: C. Alexopoulos (the 2000 quiz champion), Athens and P.P., Bucharest. Congratulations.

Name the country that has recently changed its official title to include in it a not so recent leader!



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