ISSN 1108-8931


Year 6 - Issue 71

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



Here in the Eco Events section, we pick interesting upcoming Ecotourism and related events. You can also plan ahead by checking more events at our on-line Ecotourism Events Database

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Upcoming Live Event: Ecolodge Awards - Winners
Announcement July 1, 2005 15:00 GMT at

Ecolabeling Event in the context of the Ecolife Fair, June 5th, in Athens, Greece
by Fiona Bakas

At around 8 in the evening, five enthusiastic speakers from various environmental backgrounds gathered to inform keen Ecolife-goers about the "advantages of eco-labelling".

The speech begun with an introduction to the concepts of labelling, and ecolabelling in particular, mainly in respect of organic food products. Consumer strength and responsibility, regarding choosing the" original" biological products, was stressed and consumers were urged to look carefully on the label as to what is being certification and by whom.

Three types of certification-ecolabels, product statements and environmental proclamations - were employed to highlight how misleading labels exalting their "green-ess" can lead to consumer confusion. The EU ecolabel was introduced as an example of a broad spectrum eco-certification programme which certifies products, services and accommodation. Interestingly, Greece is the first country to have a hotel certified with the EU ecolabel.

The importance of having an adequate and reliable certification system in place, with regard in particular to GMOs in foodstuffs, was voiced by a well-spoken environmental activist who luckily did not dwell on the reasons against GMOs. The gap in the legal system regarding the labelling of animal derivatives (e.g. meat, milk) that come from animals on a GE diet was touched upon.

Next, certification of wood grown in forests which develop sustainably, via the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) specifications was expanded upon. The inability of the Greek government to create such a council was pointed out and the impending success of the pilot FSC certification in Menalon Forest (Arcadia, Peloponnese) praised.

Summarizing the hour-long speech, the last speaker pinpointed consumer habits of choosing well-known brand names (as opposed to environmentally sensitive labels), as one of the main problems regarding the promotion of ecolabels.

Following the speech, a particularly insistent commenter raised the (common dilemma) question of why he, as a producer should spend hard-earned money on certification when it could be better invested in his 4 hectares of olive-plantation. As certification has not been proven to be on demand by consumers, these concerns are real, which obviously indicates that further research is needed in this particular area if nothing else but to convince the producers/service-providers of the value of eco-certification in increasing sales. The author was keen to point this out, but sensing the ensuing, increasingly heated outcome of the conversation (with people grabbling for the microphone and airing their argumentative views), a hasty retreat was decided upon.

2nd Mediterranean Sea Turtle Conference: "Talking Turtles"!

The 2nd Mediterranean Conference on Sea Turtles, 4-7 May 2005 in Kemer, Turkey, was supported and largely funded by the Barcelona, Bonn and Bern Conventions. The Turkish Ministry of the Environment and Forestry hosted the event. WWF Turkey helped organize the Conference. Governmental, inter- and non-governmental organizations, biologists, conservationists and all-important volunteers attended. This important meeting brought together 177 participants from 16 Mediterranean countries, including eleven participants from MEDASSET.

The forum allowed a critical exchange of data and made possible vitally needed collaboration and networking in the fight to save the Mediterranean sea turtles. The myriad of difficulties and some successes experienced by local and international initiatives were discussed. Among the many new and informative presentations and workshops two key topics were of particular interest: Tagging Standardization, organized by RAC/SPA (UNEP/MAP) and the Regional Red Listing Assessment, organized by the IUCN's MTSG.

MEDASSET presented five co-authored papers: "Environmental Awareness and Education-Keys to Conservation"; "A Review of Sea Turtle Conservation in Turkey"; "Marine Turtle Nesting in El Mansouri, South Lebanon"; "Aspects of Intra-Community Diversity in Sea Turtle Conservation"; and organised a Workshop on "Turtle Education for Tourists-Identifying Best Practice."

It was announced that the next Mediterranean Conference would be held in Spring 2008, in Tunisia. In the meantime the 26th International Mediterranean Sea Turtle Symposium will be held in Crete, Greece, April 4-8, 2006. The Mediterranean countries will have a pre-symposium regional meeting on April 3-4, 2006, at the same venue.

Editor's Picks:

B.E.S.T Sustainable Tourism Think Tank V -JAMAICA
June 16-20, Kingston.
Managing Risk and Crisis for Sustainable Tourism. Research and Innovation. Organised by the "BEST Education Network" which is currently coordinated by the University of Hawaii.

Ecofilm Festival - GREECE
June 21-26, Rhodes International Film and Visual Arts Festival, Rhodes 
with the support of the Prefecture of the Dodecanese, the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Rhodes Cultural Organisation, the National and Municipal Theatre of Rhodes, the Rhodes Cinema Society, The Ramsar Convention and its Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative - MedWet.

1st National Conference on Ecotourism - USA
September 14-16, Bar Harbor, Maine
The International Ecotourism Society, together with the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, is sponsoring this first-ever national conference on the current status and future potential of ecotourism in the USA.

Asia Pro-Ecotourism Conference - MALAYSIA
September 26-28, Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan
Building partnerships and exchanging best practices and know-how for Sustainable Development. Organised by EuropeAid and the Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

October 2-5, Pattaya
Organised by the International Peace through Tourism with the support of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). The Summit's Theme is "One Earth One Family: Travel and Tourism - Serving a Higher Purpose" and the Aim is to develop a 21st Century Agenda for Peace through Tourism.

The Summit will provide a forum for leading government, industry, donor agency, and NGO decision makers, as well as leading educators, researchers, professionals and practitioners, to debate and reach consensus on the contribution of the world’s largest industry to the global issues of our time, including:

  • A coordinated and sustained travel industry response to redevelopment and revitalization of tsunami affected countries
  • Poverty reduction
  • Healing the wounds of conflict & preventing conflict
  • Ecological Enhancement and Preservation of Biodiversity 

In addition to Plenary Sessions featuring world leaders and travel industry statesmen, Concurrent Sessions will include case studies of Success Stories and Models of Best Practice. More details at:

Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum - ONLINE
November 1-18, 2005 and EplerWood International announce the dates for the 2005 Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum will be November 1-18, 2005. The innovative online forum is designed to provide professionally moderated, up-to-date results on small and medium enterprise (SME) priorities for funding and investment decisions for sustainable tourism in developing countries.

If you are organising or are aware of an ecotourism-related Trade Show, Conference or Workshop please Request a Free Event Listing at



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