ISSN 1108-8931


Year 6 - Issue 63

Sponsored by: Zante Feast Holidays, Purple Valley Yoga, Hana Botanical Gardens

Our New Sponsor Members

This month we warmly welcome two new Sponsor Members Purple Valley Yoga and Hana Botanical Gardens. We thank them for their great support and encourage you to visit their websites to learn more about their quality services:

Purple Valley Yoga CentrePurple Valley Yoga Centre, India: An international Yoga Retreat situated in North Goa, on the western coast of India. Purple Valley follow ecologically sound guidelines in various ways: reuse of water, solar panels, recycling, use of organic products and foods. Purple Valley hold a strong ethos to return a percentage of their profits to the community (5% of Purple Valley's net profits go to the Assagao Union High School), and helping in other ways such as providing health care and English lessons. The location is peaceful, tropical and very safe. There are communal areas for meeting and chatting, and private corners for private time and meditation.

Hana Maui Botanical GardensHana Maui Botanical Gardens, Hawaii (USA): Experience the real Hawaii at a 27-acre Hawaiian country farm and botanical garden encouraging environmental concerns with removal of noxious weeds and restoration of Polynesian and native plants. Owner is a 25 year volunteer in local and state conservation. one of the "50 Best B&B's in the State of Hawaii" according to Frommer's Budget Travel Magazine.


Hurricane Effects

You have most probably heard about the devastation caused by a seemingly endless series of hurricanes in the Caribbean and the South Eastern USA, over the past months, and the tragedy, especially in Haiti. Fortunately, our Members avoided the worse.

Fredericus Enneking of Zion Country sent this from Jamaica:

"Hurricane Ivan hit Jamaica badly. Most damage was in the south and west of the island but Zion Country got some damage. The lovely beach is gone and it is one big mess on the water front. Yesterday we started to do cleaning work and hopefully the whole property will be soon ready for the winter season again."

Arthur Campbell of Cottages @ Springhouse Farm said:

"We actually came away with minor damage here on the farm. We were involved in two tropical low events about a week apart. The first being Hurricane Charlie which by the time it reached us had become a tropical low pressure which dumped nearly fifteen inches of rain in as many hours. Secondly, Hurricane Francis came through a week later and left us with nearly seven inches of rain and high winds. Yesterday as well as today is a brilliant sun shiny day with cool temperatures. Both fine days to clean up all the mess!. Seriously, while our creeks and streams over flowed, one can hardly tell any thing happened in the forest as the high forest canopy and the deep and lush under growth absorbed and dissipated the heavy rain fall. Mother nature is a tough act to follow!"


Laguna del Lagarto awarded CST grade 4

Laguna del Lagarto Lodge has been awarded Costa Rica's Certificate of Sustainable Tourism (CST) with a level "4", only one of just six Lodges to receive "4" or higher. Meanwhile, Laguna del Lagarto have lowered rates in their innovative rainforest project, whereby you can become the 'owner' of a part of the rainforest provided you agree to preserve it. Rates now start at just US$ 250 for 1,000 square metres. Laguna del Lagarto hope that the lower rates will attract those really concerned with the rainforest but who have modest means.


Black Sheep Inn community projects

BSI reports: "This year the dry season in Chugchilán was harsher than ever. One of the town’s springs dried up. To get us through August and September, we helped the town patch together a temporary system. Rick Coleman, the Permaculture teacher who was here in 1998 told us, “If you can convert 20% of any property to water, it makes the remaining 80% of the land 200% more productive.” Because of this we had put in a back up water system from a neighbors spring the last year. We are always trying to catch and hold more water on our property. We have now offered to install cut-off valves for every user of the town’s water system to diminish water leaks and abuse. We are investigating wind and solar pumps to help us through the driest months. We are trying to calculate how much water we need to store and what kind of storage would work best: ponds, tanks cisterns etc. There is definitely enough rain during the rainy season; and we currently have plenty of catchments. Our main challenge is containment and storage of enough water to get us through the long and dry summers. Knitting group is going very well. We now sell quality scarves, hats and even a couple of sweaters in our lodge. All products are made out of 100% natural fibers, and hand woven by the women’s group of Chugchilán. All profits go directly to the women’s group or individual knitters. Black Sheep Inn sponsored two workshops on women’s health with Peace Corp Volunteers Nici, Laura, Arjun and Sam. We’ve also been encouraging the local “grupo de ecotourismo” to organize themselves and set up a guiding association in Chugchilán. For the last month aspiring guides attended a course sponsored by the Federation of Indigenous Organizations and the Ministry of Tourism. We hope the group continues to organize, and provides quality guide services for tourists in the vicinity of Chugchilán."

ECOCLUB Ecolodge Award 2004 - Winning Project Progress

Mr Vijitha Nugegoda of Ranweli Holiday Village, who is in charge of implementing the winning project (organic agriculture at nearby school), reports good progress: In mid September, enthusiastic schoolgirls of Dankotuwa Balika Vidyalaya, prepared beds for planting (photo 1), planted seedlings provided by Ranweli Holiday Village (photo 2), and started tending to the young plants (photo 3)

1-preparing 2-planting 3-tending

Details on Ranweli Holiday Village:
Details on the Award: 


New officers at the Toledo Ecotourism Association

ECOCLUB Ecolodge Members TEA announce the newly elected officers of the Toledo Ecotourism Association:

New Chairman Dionicio Choc, Assistant chairperson Vicente Sacul, Secretary Pablo Ack assistant Secr. Beatrice Mariano, Treasurer Joseph Cal, Assistant Treasurer Pedro Coc, and Councilor Lucas Pop. 


New Ecolodge Member in India

We warmly welcome Krishna Jungle resort as a new Ecolodge Member. It is located in the area made famous by Rudyard Kipling's 'Jungle Book', just a short distance from the main entrance gate of the Kanha National Park, which includes the famous Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1974, under Project Tiger. The lodge nests in 8 acres of thick forest and provides an ideal setting for bird watching for a natural history oriented traveller. 


New Expert Members in Australia and France

Our Expert team is larger and stronger with the addition of two new Members:

Dr Kevin Vang is Executive Director of AFAP, one of Australia's foremost development and environment overseas aid agency, for the past 11 year, and oversee a variety of cutting edge, donor-funded ecotourism programs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Mr Pascal Languillon is a young Ecotourism Consultant, who has advised the Reunion Island Tourism Committee, lead a fundraising team for Greenpeace New Zealand and assisted the Shiwiar tribe of Ecuador with developing ecotourism.


In the News: 

ECOCLUB Expert John Todd, was quoted by The Guardian (Sept 11, 2004), for an article on Bulgarian tourism: "Bulgaria has identified eco-tourism as a cornerstone for future tourism development. Although there has been huge investment in the package-holiday resorts around the Black Sea, the country wants to develop ecotourism in the hinterland, away from the resorts, where there is an enormous amount of pristine countryside."

ECOCLUB Ecolodge Saga Eco Camp Director, Mr Somnath Chakraborty, was quoted in the Times of India (Calcutta Supplement, Aug 29, 2004) in an article entitled "Wanted: a conscious eco-tourist" as saying that the Orissa government was far receptive to the concept of Ecotourism and they had managed to make Chilka a plastic-free zone.

ECOCLUB Ecolodge Ranweli Holiday Village, was included in an article on '10 Great Places to Visit' in USA TODAY (Aug 19, 2004) "A great eco-friendly resort on a 22-acre peninsula "where mangrove forests and winding rivers converge with the sea, provides bird watching, fishing and other sea activities. Ranweli supports nature clubs and schools, hires locally and practices environmental principles through solar energy use and biodegradable local materials."



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