ECOCLUB

ISSN 1108-8931

INTERNATIONAL ECOTOURISM MONTHLY

Year 6 - Issue 64

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

Issue Highlights:

Interview
Ralph Buckley

Eco Focus
Urban Ecotourism Declaration
Ecotourism & Climate Change in Atlantic Canada: An Industry Perspective
Wetland Biodiversity Management in Bangladesh
Gor & Jajaman: A Perfect Model for Ecotourism 

Member News
from United States, Dominica, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand

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EDITORIAL: "If voting could change anything"

In this issue I had the great honour of interviewing someone who has the rare trait of combining academic, business and outdoor skills at the highest level in the field of Ecotourism: Ralf Buckley. Professor Buckley offers some very fresh, and I dare say controversial views on current ecotourism trends, ecocertification, ecotourism research and statistics.

Meanwhile, attacks against tourists and the tourism industry have continued apace around the world, proving that there can not be tourism without peace and perhaps the opposite too. But at a corner of the world that has suffered such atrocities, the recent discovery, in Flores Island, off the eastern tip of Java, Indonesia, of a minuscule but intelligent adversary of Homo Sapiens, is another boost for knowledge and reason and another blow to ignorance and dogma (which can be religious as well as scientific). 

In another development, praised by environmentalists, Russia,  with its oil export prices comfortably soaring, has agreed to ratify the Kyoto protocol. It is still doubtful however if the protocol can have a real impact, with the absence of key carbon-emitting superpowers among the signatories, and in the absence, sad but true, of realistic alternatives for carbon. High oil prices, until their imminent collapse, may offer a small window of opportunity for the development of competitive alternative forms of energy or at least their diffusion, although for the moment, only visible result is that poor people the world over are penalised and bracing for cold winters and more expensive every day items.

And by the time you read these lines, the (you know which) elections are probably over. A famous 19th century thinker commented, cynically or accurately - you choose, that "if voting could change anything, it would be illegal". What is certainly bewildering is how people get so hyped up and certain about their own views, and how keen they are on vilifying others and their opinions, teaming against the other team, it must be a basic animal instinct. In fact, for practical reasons, voting is still a process of adding periodic legitimacy over the decisions of an inner circle. Technology, e-government and e-governance, if (and it is a big if) it is not abused, controlled and manipulated, has the potential of changing this and bringing more people into the decision process.

Antonis B. Petropoulos
ECOCLUB Editor

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