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Name of Property:

Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge,  DOMINICA

ECOCLUB Rating:

ecoclub-sunecoclub-sunecoclub-sunecoclub-sun0.4      4.4 out of 5

Website:

http://www.rosalieforest.com

Name of Applicant:

Jem Winston, Managing Director

Organisation owning the property:

Rosalie Eco Forest retreat Limited

Rating Application Date:

30 April 2008

Rating Opened-Completed:

3 May 2008 - 3 July 2008

Breakdown of Ratings - (Total Raters):

4, 5, 4.5, 5, 5, 3.5, 5, 2.5, 4.5, 5 - (10)

 

1. MINIMISING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT


(a) Lighting:
energy saving bulbs throughout the property, solar footpath lights which light down not up. All electricity used is 100% renewable energy


1a. solar electricity for all lighting and all power

(b) Heating: solar powered water heating


1b. solar hot water heating system

(c) Cooling: Natural cooling in all rooms. We are fortunate to have plenty of breeze.

(d) Cleaning: 100% bio degradable cleaning products, including locally handmade bio degradable soaps


1d. bio degradable cleaning products

(e) Water: solar pump from river, and rainwater collection. Ceramic filters for potable water. Low flow faucets, rocks for displacement in toilets. Self-turning off taps where necessary. Monitor consumption to reduce usage. Monitor water quality in surrounding rivers regularly. We have a towel and sheet re use programme to save water and energy.


1e – solar powered water pump

(f) Cooking: mostly on fire and coal pot, propane stove in restaurant

(g) Waste disposal: gray water - grease traps, then soakaway; black water septic tank and soakaway. Organic waste is all composted, bottles re-used, anything else possible re used and then remainder to land fill

(h) Insect, pest control (how): preventative planting, various organic pest control methods, such as garlic and hot pepper boiled and mixed and sprayed on vegetables to prevent bugs. Papaya to attract slugs so they eat that in place of crops like lettuce and cabbages. Only chemical occasionally used against wood ants if in wood. If not in wood, vinegar moves them away.

(i) Noise Protection: guests asked not to play music in forest, pump works in silence so as not to disturb surrounding wildlife.

(j) Accessible by public transport: 5 minute walk to bus stop and hitchhiking point

(h) What is the recommended way of reaching your Lodge from the nearest International airport:
local bus, taxi or our airport collection service.

(i) Distance from nearby village / city: 1.5 mile to Grand Fond, nearest village
 

2. FUNDING ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION


(a) Initiation or participation in environmental projects:
We have helped arrange funding for various environmental projects including a solar electric system for the village pre-school, and renewable energy classes in the villages, as well as various renewable energy systems in people’s homes. We also promote minimizing utility consumption. We have established a revolving loan fund through our registered NGO SLIC, and offer members loans to buy their own renewable energy systems. We also have an indigenous tree planting campaign, where guests can plant an indigenous tree.


2a.i. community hydro electricity workshop


2a.ii. community solar electric workshop


2a.iii. planting an indigenous tree on behalf of a guest.

(b) Contact, cooperation with local environmental organisations: We established an NGO whose mission is to educate people about the benefits and use of renewable energy technology and organic farming practices, as well as recycling. We also work with many school environmental clubs, offering free eco tours of our property and giving workshops in renewable energy. We also support local sea turtle conservation efforts and educate our guests accordingly.


2b. monitoring the leatherback turtles on the local beach

(c) Direct Donations: Our lodge gives a great deal of staff hours to our various environmental projects, offers free accommodation and meals to visiting collaborators from overseas, and makes regular small donations to a variety of local causes.
 

3. REDUCING POVERTY


(a) Initiation or participation in poverty-reduction projects:
Our registered NGO SLIC is directly involved in poverty alleviation, and we run numerous projects with that objective. Most of them revolve around renewable energy. Here in Dominica electricity prices are amongst the highest in the Caribbean, and yet we are one of the poorest islands. Therefore utility bills can be crippling to the majority of the population. By assisting people to move into renewable energy, we are ensuring that they can afford all the power and water they need. Our community life project puts cash directly into local pockets. Guests from the lodge spend a day with the host, on their farm, in their school, at a band practice and many others, and guests get to experience true local life through the eyes of a local. Many families are benefiting from the project. We also offer village homestays. The lodge is also involved in various small local projects aimed at creating self employment for local people, including setting up a lady in a laundry business which is used by others as well as the lodge, and offering training in hotel work, IT, and renewable energy. Renewable energy is the hot topic here, and so youngsters who can learn the skills, can then get work in the many new construction products popping up al around the island.


3a. one of village homestay families


3a.ii. happy guest after her local crafts workshop

(b) Direct Donations: We have been able to offer direct small donations to various projects, including a washing machine to help someone start a laundry service, a keyboard for a local band enabling them to earn money from their music, and we were instrumental in establishing the village library which is empowering people to educate themselves and eventually have a higher chance of finding employment. In collaboration with one of our university clients, we have established a scholarship fund for the local pre school.


3b. direct donations – handing over of a cheque for the pre school scholarship fund.

(c) Other:

 

4. RESPECTING HUMAN RIGHTS / SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY


(a) Do your employees have health insurance?
Not yet.

(b) Do your employees have paid leave? Yes.

(c) Are your employees entitled to maternity leave? Yes

(d) Do you pay your employees above the minimum wage? Yes

(e) Average and maximum working day, and work hours per week: 8 hours/day, 40 hours/week


4a-e. happy staff!

(f) Do you employ your staff all year round? 11 months open. Closed September. 2 weeks paid, 2 weeks unpaid

(g) Do you offer concessions to elderly visitors? No

(h) Is there disabled access at your Lodge? No

(i) What is your policy towards volunteers? Welcomed regularly, full volunteer programme in operation


4i. volunteer working with full time staff

(j) What measures are in place to protect the local indigenous population from some adverse impacts of tourism? Our community life programme ensures greater visitor understanding of local customs and traditions, thus avoiding some unnecessary misunderstandings. Guests are actively encouraged to visit the village and spend their money, which creates relationships as well as wealth. We also tell our guests not to litter and explain to them the regulations regarding seasonal hunting and fishing to avoid any confusions. We also offer special locals rates at the lodge to encourage local business and therefore greater mingling between locals and guests
 

5. PROMOTING KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING


(a) Is there a local community / e.g. a nearby village?
Yes, Grand Fond

(b) Do guests interact with the local community and how: Yes – through our community life package, home stay project, and our monthly community workshops in renewable energy


5b. guest participating in village reggae band practice – improves cross cultural relations

(c) What type of information is available to guests at the property: All guests are given a welcome tour of the property, explaining all of our renewable energy systems. There are signs all around the property explaining the flora, fauna, and renewable energy systems. We have a book in all rooms and public areas, explaining our environmental and social sustainability policy, our renewable energy equipment, and details of all activities available. We also have an information desk, and guests are encouraged to ask questions during our nightly communal supper

(d) What type of activities are available to guests at the property: As well as the normal hiking, whale watching, diving and other nature and adventure activities, our community life programme is proving very popular, both with guests as participants and locals as hosts. We also have homestays available, and offer workshops in most forms of renewable energy and organic farming practices.


5d. whale watching tour


5d.ii. guests enjoying a hot sulphur mud bath, after a long hike

(e) Local guided tours for guests: We offer a whole host of hiking tours to both natural and historical, with fully trained registered tour guides, giving guest greater insight into local flora, fauna and the people!

(f) Events / presentations held at the facility so far: Once a month we offer community renewable energy workshops, as well as private ones for the tourists on demand. Regularly schools visit and get a free eco tour of the property, with a detailed presentation by our staff. The ministry of agriculture held a training day in organic farming certification for their extension officers, and we have hosted various groups and organizations for environmental presentations.

(g) Specific programme for children: Our free eco tours for schools.

(h) Research / Publications produced / assisted by the property so far: We have memorandums of understanding with a couple of US universities, who regularly send their students here to do their thesis, masters etc.. Some projects have included studies of local land slide probabilities, impacts of tourism on a developing island state, water quality and analysis for national park visitor sites in collaboration with the forestry and wildlife division, and some studies on poverty alleviation in the last remaining Carib Indian territory in the world.
 

REFERENCES


1. Please provide evidence of any awards or green certificates won by the property:

2. Have there been any newspaper, radio, TV or guidebook reviews on your property, which may support any of your replies above? If so please provide detailed information and links (up to 10):

3. Is there anything else you feel relevant to this questionnaire, that you have not already covered?
(No.)

I hereby declare that all my answers are true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and understand that I and/or my company will not have the right to veto or 'hide' our ECOCLUB Rating,
 if we find it unfavourable.

Please enter (paste) your signature below or type your initials to indicate acceptance:

Your Name: Jem Winston  Date: 30 April, 2008
 

ECOCLUB RATING AS DECIDED BY THE MEMBERS OF ECOCLUB: 4.4 out of 5
 Copyright © 2008 ECOCLUB S.A. All Rights Reserved
 

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