ECOCLUB

ISSN 1108-8931

INTERNATIONAL ECOTOURISM MONTHLY

Year 5-Issue 51, Aug 2003

Eco World

Ecotourism World
click on the map for stories by continent

 

Press Release:

Volunteer in New Zealand !

Our program is located in one of the most picturesque cities in the world. You will be joining a small team of volunteers working to preserve, monitor and re-establish our natural environment here in the Wellington region. Prepare yourself to encounter the challenges of environmental restoration in our native forests, along our wild coastline, and in the South Pacific seas. Volunteers will form an integral part of our wildlife monitoring and research projects. Your time will be spent at sea on our research yacht, exploring coastal inlets on sea kayaks, replanting native bush on several harbour islands, at the Nature Program research base, and participating in educational outreach programs at local schools.

Details: http://www.volunteer.org.nz/newzealand

Africa

S. Africa: In a landmark 20-year agreement, Limpopo's Makuleke community secured the right to commercially develop 24000 ha of land in the northern Pafuri sector of Kruger National Park, SA's largest game reserve, the first management concession granted to a community at the park. The community won back the rights to the land in 1998 through restitution claims and hopes to create 120 jobs to build and manage three lodges.
Source: http://allafrica.com

S. Africa: A dispute over endangered birds is jeopardising an R8-million community tourism project n the Free State. The controversy is over the exact location of nine tourist chalets, a small restaurant and an educational centre within the Seekoeivlei Nature Reserve, a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention and hosting endangered birds like wattled and blue cranes.
Source: http://www.mg.co.za

Rwanda: A workshop organised by the Ministry of Commerce and the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) found that Sub-Saharan Africa should promote tourism for community-based development, while the Secretary General of the Ministry, told reporters the government needs to 'increase the capacity' of tourist attractions like the Volcanoes National Park situated in northern Rwanda and home to almost half of the world's mountain gorillas.
Source: Various

Seychelles: The Seychelles plans to open up the Aldabra atoll, four remote coral islands in the Mozambique channel, to 'a small number of ecotourists' and is looking for developers. 
Source: Seychelles Island Foundation

Tanzania: Tanzania's small population of sea cows is rapidly facing extinction due to entanglement and drowning in gill nets according to a report.
Source: http://www.enn.com

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Americas

Chile: Four elderly Pehuenche Indian women are delaying plans for a $570 million hydroelectric dam in southern Chile. Arguing that the hydro project would flood sacred land and destroy their traditional way of life, the four have refused to sell the 103 acres they own along the Bio Bio River for USD 1 million.
Source: Reuters

USA: Residents of eastern North Carolina oppose the Navy's proposal for a jet-fighter landing strip near a wildlife refuge. Four miles southeast of the proposed runway is the town of Roper, population 625, of whom 70 percent are black and 35 percent live in poverty. "Our whole hope for revitalization was ecotourism," said Mayor Bunny Sanders. The site is near Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge known for 100,000 tundra swans, snow geese and other waterfowl that spend the winter there. Atlantic Fleet commander Natter recommended that Congress be asked to compensate the counties for the 'loss of tax base'.
Source: http://www.charlotte.com

USA: An "Ad Hoc Coalition of Travel Professionals and Clients for Freedom to Travel to Cuba" is calling on the U.S. Congress and Senate to end all restrictions on travel by US citizens and residents to Cuba and that President signs such legislation. 
Source: http://www.ffrd.org

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Asia

India: The 'Sahara group' has submitted a detailed project report for an 'integrated eco-tourism' project in the Sundarbans in West Bengal. The project will include barge-mounted floating hotels, pilgrimage tourism facilities at Gangasagar, bio-food product parks, craft villages and access to wildlife.
Source: http://www.hinduonnet.com

India: Kerala Tourism has introduced an eco-certification scheme to promote eco-friendly tourism. This follows on the classification scheme introduced recently for grading the state's two prime attractions - houseboats and ayurvedic centres. Punjab will focus on religious tourism and encourage private participation in the sector. The Golden Temple has been recommended to UNESCO for World Heritage Monument status (the 400th anniversary of Sri Gurugranth Sahib occurs in 2004). Amritsar and Anandpur Sahib will be promoted as religious destinations (the Khalsa Heritage Complex, coming up at Anandpur Sahib, is likely to be completed by 2004). Harike Lake and Ranjit Sagar Dam will be developed as major tourist destinations. The Assam tourism department has decided to set up 'model villages' to showcase its ethnic and cultural wealth. The first village identified for this project is Phumen Ingti, located just three km from the Kaziranga National Park, home to the largest population of the one-horned rhino.
Source: http://www.tourismofindia.com

Indonesia: In a further blow to Tourism in this country, a bomb damaged a US-owned hotel in the capital Jakarta, killing ten.
Source: Various

Nepal: The Asian Development Bank announced it would extend loans totalling USD 321 million over the next three years, 93% of which are for poverty reduction projects that include ecotourism.
Source: Various

S. Arabia: British Airways has suspended all flights to the kingdom following warnings that its planes could be terrorist targets, and a shoot out in Riyadh.
Source: Various

Pakistan: On the occasion of the UN Fresh Water Year 2003, the President of the Ecotourism Society of Pakistan has blamed large Landlords and a 'timber mafia', arising from political anomaly, as the ultimate source of watershed degradation in Pakistan. Excerpt from announcement: "Kaghan was a paradise on earth till early 80s when big land holders did not have money for infrastructure and they were depending moderate tourism activities, fruit growing and farming. However, 1985 party-less elections under the Martial Law rule sponsored and elevated these landlords against major political parties for creating a apolitical society. These landlords reached Assemblies and Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Now they had more resources and political power behind them. This social leap provided them great chances to get power and money, resulting in massive infrastructure development and uncontrolled forest cutting. They were in power (of course they are still in power) so there was nobody to stopped them from illegal logging. Local small land holders had no power to stop them or raise voice against them. This "Naked Dance of Power" continued till no forest left at thickest pine patches of Kaghan Valley. This change in social fabrics indicates that money and power some times play havoc with environments under ill-governments and bad political systems. By earning money through timber sale, this timber mafia entered into motel and hotel business and now you can see hotels and motels everywhere in Kaghan Valley even around the most fragile ecosystem of Lake Saiful Maluk. Nobody stopped them as they were powerful and influential while Non Government Organisations (NGOs) failed to play any role to stop this deforestation and unplanned growth of motels, transportation and housing as they (NGOs) believe that they (NGOs) can not work without the support of "Important Locals and Local Leadership" and in major cases this leadership and important local people are accused and responsible for degradation."
Source: http://www.ecotourism.org.pk

Sri Lanka: The government has rolled out its first draft of a national ecotourism policy, mapping out development guidelines for mushrooming ecotourism businesses. Best practice guidelines are to also be drafted to regulate future projects and upgrade existing facilities. A National Ecotourism Fund has been mooted, tied up to the proposed industry cess fund, to raise the capital needed for management. "Ecotourism activities in conservation and heritage sites will be managed on the principle of 'user pays'. A co-ordination unit will also be set up at the Ministry to ensure that all activities are co-ordinated and development planned. 
Source: http://www.lankabusinessonline.com

Vietnam: On Van Don Island, actually composed of 600 islets, in northeastern Vietnam, a joint venture between Vietnamese and U.S. partners has begun to operate an 'eco-tourism project' on 110 ha with an investment of 120 billion VND, including a network of stilted houses, shopping centres and water parks.
Source: http://www.vnagency.com.vn

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Europe

Greece: In four separate incidents, controversy has been sparked by alleged 'inappropriate behaviour' by tourists, during the peak of the mass tourism season in the Greek islands, ranging from midday oral sex in a popular beach in Kavos, Corfu, to a drunken tourist loosing a bet and jumping under the wheels of a garbage truck in Rhodes, to a drunken brawl between tourists of different nationalities in a bar which lead to one death, also in Rhodes. Greece receives around 13 million tourists each year, about a third of whom stay at the islands of Corfu, Rhodes and Crete in the course of just three months.
Source: ECOCLUB

Bulgaria: An ecotourism and agriculture theme park will be established near the capital Sofia, by 2012. The Poleto (Field) Theme Park will span territories around five villages in the capital city's vicinity as well as parts of Sofia's Northern Park.
Source: http://www.novinite.com

UK: Cairngorms National Park, Scotland's second national park, is due to be opened on September 1, however the choice of the opening ceremony venue has caused controversy, and promised boycotts. The venue is a 1097 metre-high restaurant in the heart of the new park, reached by a new funicular railway that had been opposed by many environmental groups.
Source: http://www.sundayherald.com

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Oceania & Pacific

Australia: The Arakwal National Park management committee has begun preparing a draft management plan for the new national park at Byron Bay in northern NSW. Key issues to be addressed in the draft management plan include providing for cultural use, renewal, education and tourism by the Byron Bay Arakwal people.
Source: http://www.abc.net.au

Solomon Islands: Environmental Group, Defenders of Wildilife, alleged that dolphins fall victim to illegal trade in the tiny, war-torn Solomon Islands. Foreign businessmen are paying poor fishermen to capture wild dolphins for sale on the international market. As many as 200 dolphins have been captured already, and bidders are arriving from around the world. Source: http://den.defenders.org

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