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Director’s Cut: Can greens go hunting..?
In our previous editorial, I spoke of the need for a pro-active, political, Ecotourism 2.0. As they say, charity begins at home:
since then, we
launched a new online Ecotourism sub-forum for the greek green party, intervened in the case of Zakynthos
National Marine Park and the possible abuse of the protected Caretta turtle (read on page 15), asked and got a statement on
Ecotourism from the European Environment Commissioner (p.17), and initiated a process for the formation of local ecoclub
groups among our members around the world. This editorial is about an equally important process, that of public discussion of
important ecotourism issues and democratic, free speech. We wish to use our online forum to launch public debates and polls
about issues that, in my view, are at the heart of Ecotourism.
The idea for the debate was sparked by a news report that an ecotourism colleague, an International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
spokesperson had refused to rule out Hunting Tourism as it would ‘provoke a backlash’. My instant reaction, was why would it
create a backlash, and why would a backlash would matter on a matter of principle. Is it better to lead, even if only half will
follow, or to follow / hide in the crowd? There was only one, rather daring, way to find out: to hold a debate & poll among our
own Members, over the ‘merits’ of Hunting Tourism, if any, and if it can be ever be considered part of Ecotourism. 
Proving that in a poll, as in a referendum, it is the particular question that matters, as of today (29 November 2007) there were a
surprising number of Members (48.7%) who thought that “Hunting Tourism can SOMETIMES be part of Ecotourism”, against
an equal percentage who think it can NEVER be a part, and one voter who (we are watching you
) voted that it is “always” a
part…I will not summarise here the main for and against arguments, because any general arguments (a series of words in a
reasonable order) make some sense, whereas the devil is in the details. You can therefore find the details (and the devil) at: and please add your own related news and views!
Personally, I have always considered Ecotourism as Ecological Tourism, and as part of the ecological, green movement, rather
than as a technocratic approach, a business as usual approach, or as a hollow synonym for Nature Tourism. Thus, and according
to the International Greens Charter, I can accept Hunting only as part of an indigenous subsistence lifestyle, only if carried out
with traditional means, and with minimal suffering to the animals; I can not accept it for recreational purposes, such as tours and
I can certainly not recognise it as part of Ecotourism.
Call me a cynic (it’s a sort of a compliment -
read about Diogenes the
Cynic on p. 19) but I simply do not buy the argument that recreational hunters prime motive is to control excessive populations
any more than the argument that a carbon offsetters prime motive is to reduce carbon emissions. 
I recognise that some of you may think otherwise, however, as I believe in progress and the ability of people to change, I think
that in the 21st century we have (to try at least) to do away with violence to animals (and indeed to humans) including the mass
production of cattle in slaughterhouses -
on environmental, ethical and health grounds -
discourage the gun culture, go non-
violent and vegetarian. Talking about going vegetarian, this is my next, personal, bet for 2008, (I say so publically so that I have
to live up to it!). Another ‘inconvenient truth’, is that a vegetarian driving a SUV is more eco in terms of enviro impact than a
meet-eater driving a bicycle! Finally, on page 14, you will read about two true ecotourism practitioners and ECOCLUB
partners, Isel & Ricard. As long as people like that are alive, well and with ECOCLUB I fear nothing!
Antonis B. Petropoulos
ISSN 1108-8931
Year 8, Issue 94
RACHEL DODDS: I have always only
focused on projects I believed in – even if the big
unsustainable ones were offering to pay more”
In this issue:
Editorial: Hunting Tourism:  p.1
Book Review: The Business of Ecotourism: p.8  
Good practices in areas adjacent to parks, p.11
Shaping a fair tourism globalisation, p.13 
ECOCLUB People: p.14
ECOCLUB Monitor: Sea turtle under threat from tourism in
Zakynthos?: p.15
Eco & Member News Roundup: p.17
Eco Philosophy: Diogenes the Cynic: p. 19
tourism projects in consultation with local
communities should be the mainstay in
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