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ECOCLUB, Issue 95
Unless the Ecotourism Movement, and constituent organisations and individuals are ready to stand up for basic, straight-forward
green principles, there is a danger that the movement will gradually dissolve, and the peculiar alliance who dismiss Ecotourism
as glorified Nature Tourism will have won. In the end, can a tiny pro-hunting minority, whom we democratically tolerate among
our ranks, delay progress for ever?
They can certainly not harm the unity of the Ecotourism movement, for which we have always stood for: I was recently invited
to write and article for the TIES Ecocurrents quarterly and was also interviewed by Planeta.com.
In this issue, please also find read a special report from Estonia which I visited in September 2007, and two Interviews with
leading Estonian Ecotourism practitioners, end year reports from our Members around the world and a very interesting paper on
the likely effects of climate change on Mediterranean Tourism.
Antonis B. Petropoulos
Annual Reports from Ecolodge Members
Amazonat Annual Report, Manaus (Web: www.amazonat.org )
2007 has been a busy year for Amazonat! Our biggest project has been the
construction of Amazonat River Lodge scheduled to open in January 2008.  Floating
on the banks of the Urubu River, a tributary of the Amazon, it will offer upscale
accommodation for those who want to “rough it” in style. It will offer both deluxe
rooms and honeymoon suites for 20 guests on a double occupancy basis. It is situated
in an exclusive location within an Indian reserve – the only lodge in region with such a
privilege. 
Amazonat Jungle Lodge has also experienced many improvements to its facilities and
grounds. We have added a pool deck and upgraded our reception building. One of our
cabins has been upgraded to provide two deluxe rooms beautifully decorated with reclaimed tropical woods. We have also put
into use a new water treatment system. Wastewater is purified with four reactors that can treat 10m3/day. Resulting water
quality is examined and approved by the federal government for release into the environment. Our jungle survival camp, Jane's
Place, has also undergone a facelift and the addition of another level. We have revamped our marketing and sales efforts with
the complete redesign of our website
in line with our new logo and image and we have formed Amazonat Ecotours a travel
agency with exclusive representation of our ecolodges.
This year we also formed a partnership with Piatam, a research and conservation organization sponsored by Petrobras.
Amazonat will be one of their centres for scientific and educational programs. Piatam brings together scientists and technicians
from the major learning and research intuitions in the Amazon like UFAM and INPA, as well as researchers from Petrobras
Research and Development Centre (CENPES), COOPE/Rio de Janeiro, Universidade de São Paulo and several North American
universities.
Yaklom Hill Lodge, Ratanakiri, Cambodia (Web: www.yaklom.com/yaklom_hill_lodge.htm )
Income generation for hill tribe villagers through home stay: Throughout 2007,
Yaklom Hill Lodge (YHL) has operated and improved its village trekking and home
stay programmes. YHL has entered into dialogue with host families in four
participating villages (Phume La En Kraen and Phume La En Chong of the Tamopuan
ethnic group and Phume La Ak and Phume Krala of the Kreung ethnic group) in O’
chum district of Ratanakiri province. Agreement has been reached and YHL
will pay
the lodging fee to the individual host family at which the guests make overnight stay.
The fee (5000 riels per person per night – around US$1.25) may seem a little amount,
but this is a good extra income for the family, especially in the rainy season when most
of the family members are busy at
the farm and have no time to go to the market in
Ban Lung –the provincial capital- to sell their farm produce. This fee will be upgraded when the family is able to provide
sleeping gears and meals. In the near future, the lodge will hold discussions with the village committee and interested families in
respective village on the proposed idea of creating “a home stay group” in the village in which interested and willing families
can join. In this case, home stay visitors can be dispatched to more families on a rotation basis and this extra, off-farm income
can be distributed to more families in the communities.
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