ISSN 1108-8931


Year 6 - Issue 68

Sponsored by: Zante Feast Discovery Holidays, Purple Valley Yoga Centre, Hana Maui Botanical Gardens, Jorth Consult Limited, Pacuare Lodge Ecolodge Awards 2005

The Ecolodge Award 2005

Last years award-winning project is complete and a success, so it is now time to launch this years awards, the second ever. This years theme is poverty reduction, which in our view must take precedence among ecotourism goals. We aim to do even better in terms of inviting project proposals from all ECOCLUB Ecolodges, and generating a frank and open discussion about each of these projects where all Members can have a say, to be followed, like last year by a Member email vote. The following terms will apply:

2004 winning project
Organic Agriculture & Greenhouse at a School near
 Ranweli Holiday Village, Sri Lanka

Award Scope: To finance two projects by genuine Ecolodges, Members of ECOCLUB. Projects must relate to one or more of our four ecotourism criteria and meet the ECOCLUB philosophy.

Eligibility: The 2005 Awards are only open to active ECOCLUB Ecolodge Members that were already Members on 1 March 2005. Past winners can not participate in the award for the next three years after their win. Ecolodge Members can only submit projects that cost up to Euros 500 to fully implement. Projects should be implementable within 6 months.

Prize Money: The prize money this year is raised to Euros 750 (approx USD 1,000). There will be a first prize of Euros 500, and a second prize of Euros 250. Half of the prize money will be awarded on July 15, and half upon completion of the project. Project implementation, like last year, is a condition for the award of the second half of the prize money, and will be closely monitored on-line.

Deciding the Winners: Like last year, the winners will be determined by email vote by Supporter Members. Each Supporter Member will name their favourite project for 1st prize and 2nd prize. 1st prize votes will count for 1 vote while 2nd prize votes for half a vote. The Ecolodge project with the highest number of total votes, will win 1st prize. Runner-up gets 2nd prize. Voting will open on June 1 and close on June 30.

Procedure, Deadlines & Responsibilities: ECOCLUB S.A. will send a Project Proposal form to all ECOCLUB Ecolodge Members on March 15, 2005. Interested Ecolodge Members must return the completed project proposal forms by 15 May 2005. On June 1, and until 30 June 2005, projects will be posted and discussed at a dedicated Ecolodge Award Forum at the ECOCLUB Community. On 1st of July 2005, the 6th anniversary of ECOCLUB, the winner will be announced at an on-line live Event at the ECOCLUB Live Chat Centre. Ecolodge Members must be willing to reply to practical questions by other Members about the proposed project implementation. Winners agree to inform ECOCLUB about project implementation progress at the 15th of each month (Aug 15, Sep 15 and so on), and send adequate photographic proof to enable us to document progress online at:


Dominica: 3 Rivers Ecolodge launch Sustainable Living Initiative

Solar installations at 3 Rivers Ecolodge

ECOCLUB Ecolodge 3 Rivers have just established "The Sustainable Living Initiative" with the aim of promoting awareness of environmental issues and specifically the use of simple environmental technology in Dominica. To this end they propose to build an Environmental Study Centre where both students and villagers can experience sustainable living first hand and acquire skills to adopt environmentally responsible lifestyles. At the moment they have secured a small amount of funding to start the project, and are seeking further funding to complete its implementation.

Dominica is dependant on expensive, polluting, fossil fuel powered generation of electricity. Many of the population are subsistence farmers and have had no access to demonstration or training in the use of alternative technology. Dominica's terrain and weather as a mountainous rain forested island make it suitable for the use of a wide range of cheaper more environmentally friendly options. Many Dominicans have shown considerable interest in practical training especially where they can see the immediate benefits to their homes and families in terms of reduced costs.

This project seeks to equip individual householders and farmers to replicate alternative energy technology at minimal cost throughout the island, by establishing demonstration units in every village. Together with an NGO partner, 3 Rivers propose to facilitate a program of Alternative Energy Training Modules. Trainees will be involved in both theoretical instruction and practical construction of alternative energy units, both at the centre and in their home villages. The idea is that the trainees will be able to see one unit installed and working and that they would learn "hands on" with a second unit, which would be disassembled and reassembled many times. A third unit would be made available to one of the trainees, and the group would assemble it at the persons home or farm as a working demonstration model.

3 Rivers aim to build a Study Centre offering trainees a Sustainable Living Experience, as opposed to a display or demonstration. This experience will include using the alternative energy from a Hydro-Electricity Turbine, Biogas Unit and various Solar and Wind Energy Units, as will as using Composting Toilets and eating organic food. This Centre will provide a venue for educational trips and camps and residential training courses where trainees would both see and experience sustainable living as well as acquiring skills to replicate the technology in their own homes and communities. An ideal site for such a Centre exists on the banks of one of the three rivers, which run through the 3 Rivers Eco Lodge property, which is close to the mountainous rainforest of Dominica's World Heritage Site. This Centre is envisioned with educational and individual study facilities, providing dormitory-type accommodation for large groups.

The rivers, which are broad and fast-running, are prone to flooding and bank erosion. The planned Hydro-electricity Turbine is designed in such a way as to be quite discrete, whilst also safely shoring up the bank adjacent to the campsite. A Bio Gas Unit is also proposed, using compost together with animal waste, to supply bottled energy for refrigeration and cooking. The installation of such equipment will facilitate the power supply needed for the Study Center and avoid the current use of Propane Gas for refrigeration, whilst demonstrating the realistic use of alternative energy supplies; a core subject of the proposed training courses.

More on 3 Rivers / Enquiries & Rates


Zante Feast Discovery Holiday - 2005 Dates

Classes starting, grab a seat !

Every year, Zante Feast organise week-long programmes aimed at introducing visitors to the Ionian island of Zakynthos in South Western Greece, its traditional foods and cooking, sustainable agriculture, wine making, and to the (endangered) sanctuary of the Caretta, the also-globally endangered leatherback turtle.

Zante Feast offer their guests direct contact with local cooks, bakers, wine makers, olive producers and currant farmers. Visitors are lodged in a cluster of stone houses situated in centuries old olive groves. The first week-long programmes of the 2005 season take place on May 29. All programs are for seven days, commencing on a Sunday. Schedules are as follows:

May 29 – June 4, 2005
June 12 – June 18, 2005
September 11 – September 17, 2005
September 25 – October 1, 2005
November 13 – 19, 2005: Harvesting Olives, Wild Greens and Mushrooms.

Prices include all meals with selected wines accompanying lunch and dinner, accommodation, all tuition, scheduled excursions and related restaurant meals and airport transfers.

More on Zante Feast Discovery Holidays


Member participates in panel at Adventure in Travel Expos

Nikki Rose (Supporter M, USA/Greece) informs us that she has just participated in the massive Adventures in Travel Expos in Chicago, New York and Washington, and also participated in a panel about her tours in the island of Crete, Greece.

Nikki says: "It was great to talk to so many adventure travelers and find out what they want in a travel experience. Whether it's a trip to New York or Nepal, people want a true taste of the places they visit in their lifetime. They want to find the hidden passages that only local people know. They want to get to know the residents and become visiting friends rather than faceless tourists".

Nikki is a Professional Chef, Writer and Seminar Director, and organises culinary seminars and agrotourism programs in Crete.

More on Nikki's Seminars


Recommended by Budget Travel Magazine

In the March issue, in an article by Matthew Link, Budget Travel Magazine researched the world's best 10 Ecolodges. "In search of the world’s best ecolodges, we conducted an informal survey, asking top travel professionals for recommendations. These 10 were named most often. They span the globe, but what they all have in common is owners who are willing to go the extra mile. The question is, are you?

In the article section "How to find one you can trust, Check with the eco-experts" is recommended along with Green Globe. ", maintains a database of ecolodgings in 26 countries. And for $26 a year, ECOCLUB can get you a discount of 5 percent to 30 percent off stays at ecolodges worldwide".

Among the 10 hotels listed was ECOCLUB Ecolodge Member Ranweli Holiday Village. "You ride a paddle ferry across a lagoon to get to Ranweli, which sits on 22 acres in a coastal wetland estuary just 11 miles from Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital. Treated waste is recycled in the gardens; showers are solar-powered; materials and food are bought locally. The 84 rooms—in brick bungalows and communal buildings—sit between an Indian Ocean beach and the wetlands. Ranweli runs many ecotours, including flora walks and trips to nearby ruins. 011-94/31-227-7359,, from $106, including breakfast and dinner. Note: Due to the 2004 tsunami, tourism in Sri Lanka may take a few months to fully recover"

Read the full article



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