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EcoCurrents Edition 29

Sustainable development,
capacity building &
community well-being

Ecotourism Training
Center, Thailand
Eco Training, South
Africa
Huaorani Ecolodge,
Ecuador
Ecomantra, India
Rainforest Expeditions, TIES Activities Report:
Peru Our Projects and
Milestones in 2008
Mai Kana Project, Fiji

v e l
T ra
a b le
us ta in
a n d S
mu ni ties
Uniting Conservation, Com
EcoCurrents

Dear TIES Members,


As 2008 comes to a close, on behalf of our TIES team and Board
of Directors, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season!

This past year has been challenging on many fronts, from the
wars fought to pressing environmental issues, to the eco-
nomic downturn in so many na�ons - we have all felt the im-
pact of global situa�ons affec�ng our local communi�es.

We believe that ecotourism is one of the mechanisms to


assist biodiversity conserva�on, which ul�mately improves
the health and well-being of all who inhabit the planet. In the
coming year, we remain commi�ed to suppor�ng commu-
nity efforts in conserva�on through educa�on and training.

We have been encouraged by efforts made through


the Partnership for the Global Sustainable Tourism TIES Principles of
Ecotourism
Criteria (GSTC) and the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship
Council in 2008, and planned progress for 2009. These ini- • minimize impact
• build environmental and cultural
�a�ves, as well as those of many others are moving the awareness and respect
travel and tourism industry to a new level of sustainability. • provide positive experiences for
both visitors and hosts
• provide direct financial benefits for
At TIES, we con�nue our commitment to these programs, and
conservation
we look forward to communica�ng the progress made as we • provide financial benefits and em-
move into 2009. We also look forward to hearing from you powerment for local people
and the great work so many members have accomplished • raise sensitivity to host countries’
political, environmental, and social cli-
around the globe! Thank you for your con�nued support! mate. (TIES, 1990)

Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New
Year 2009!

Kelly Bricker, Chair, TIES Board of Directors

Ecotourism: “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and
improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990)

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EcoCurrents

In This Issue Ecotourism Training Center: Leading by Example


Reid Ridgway, Ecotourism Training Center, Thailand

6
EcoTraining: It’s not only about wildlife training
Taflin Tiley, EcoTraining, South Africa
10
Huaorani Ecolodge: Providing a New Model
for Community Tourism in Latin America
Gerard Coffey, Tropic Journeys in Nature,
Ecuador
12
Lessons from Nature: Could More Problems Mean
Experiential learning at MORE Solutions?
Ecomantra Jorge Espinoza

16
Mahrukh Goel,
15
Rainforest Expeditions, Peru
India

Mai Kana: Linking Pacific Island Agriculture


and Tourism
Tracy Berno, Oceania Sustainable Tourism Alliance
18
TIES Activities Report: Our Projects and
Milestones in 2008
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)

21
ecotourism.org | 3
EcoCurrents

EcoCurrents is the quarterly e-magazine of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), featuring current industry trends,
best practice examples and critical issues in ecotourism and responsible travel. As the world’s oldest and largest inter-
national ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities,
conservation, and sustainable travel. As a non-profit industry association, TIES serves its members in over 90 countries.

TIES members of all levels receive the EcoCurrents e-Magazine as part of their membership benefits. To learn more
about TIES’ membership levels and benefits, see www.ecotourism.org or contact: membership@ecotourism.org.

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)


As the world’s oldest and Our Mission:
largest ecotourism organi-
za�on, TIES is commi�ed TIES promotes responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and
to promo�ng the princi- improves the well-being of local people by:
ples of ecotourism and - Crea�ng an interna�onal network of individuals, ins�tu�ons and the tourism industry;
responsible travel. With - Educa�ng tourists and tourism professionals; and
the goal of uni�ng conser- - Influencing the tourism industry, public ins�tu�ons and donors to integrate the princi-
ples of ecotourism into their opera�ons and policies.
va�on, communi�es and
sustainable travel, TIES
serves its members in over Our Team:
90 countries as the global
TIES Staff: Jon Bruno, Director of Finance • Mikael Castro, Director of Special Events
source of knowledge and • Ayako Ezaki, Director of Communica�ons • Julia Fisher, ecoDes�na�ons Manager •
advocacy in ecotourism. Ferdinand Weps, Director of Membership & Opera�ons

TIES Board of Directors:


Kelly Bricker, Chair • Tony Charters, Vice Chair • Andrew Fairley, Treasurer • Richard Denman, Secretary • Sylvie Blangy •
Glenn Jampol • Karen Lewis • Hitesh Mehta • Keith Sproule • Wolfgang Strasdas • Masaru Takayama • Louise Twinning-
Ward • Carolyn Wild

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EcoCurrents

Ecotourism Associations
around the World
TIES Association Members
Europe: Business and the Environment linked through Small Scale Tourism (BESST) • Ecotourism Norway • Ecotourisme France • Eco-
turismo Italia • Swedish Ecotourism Society • Tilos Park Association, Greece

Eastern Europe & Central Asia: Association of Ecotourism in Romania (AER) • Armenian Ecotourism Association • Belarusian Association
of Agro and Ecotourism • Central Balkan Kalofer Ecotourism Association • Estonian Ecotourism Association • Kamchatka Ecotourism
Society • Murghab Ecotourism Association (META), Tajikistan

Middle East & North Africa: Iran Ecotourism Society • Ecotourism Israel

Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin Ecotourism Concern (ECO-BENIN) • Ecotourism Society of Ehiopia • Ecotourism Society of Nigeria • Ecotour-
ism Kenya • Iringa Ecotourism Society • Nigeria Ecotourism Foundation

South Asia: Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism (CAMAT) • Discover Nepal • Ecotourism Society of Sri Lanka • Ecotourism
Society Pakistan • Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS) • Himalayan EcoTourism Society • Sri Lanka Ecotourism
Foundation

South East Asia: Cambodia Community-Based Ecotourism Network (CCBEN) • Ecotourism Laos • Indonesian Ecotourism Network
(INDECON) • Japan Ecolodge Association (ECOLA) • Japan Ecotourism Society • Kunigami Tourism Association (KUTA) - Okinawa, Japan
• Mongolian Ecotourism Society • National Ecotourism Center, Japan • Taiwan Ecotourism Association (TEA) • Thai Ecotourism &
Adventure Travel Association

Oceania: Ecotourism Australia • Ecotourism NZ • Fiji Ecotourism Association

North America: Alaska Wilderness Recreation & Tourism Association • BC Wilderness Tourism Association • Green Tourism Association
• Hawaii Ecotourism Association • La Ruta de Sonora Ecotourism Association • Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance (MEA) • Society for
Ethical Ecotourism Southwest Florida • The Ontario Ecotourism Society (TOES), Canada

Cental America & the Caribbean: Asociación Ecoturismo Guatemala • Belize Ecotourism Association (BETA) • Camara Nacional de
Ecoturismo de Costa Rica (CANAECO) • Mexican Association of Adventure Tourism & Ecotourism (AMTAVE) • Dominican Sustainable
Tourism Organization (ODTS) • Toledo Ecotourism Association

South America: Asociación Argentina de Ecoturismo y Aventura • La Asociación Ecuatoriana de Ecoturismo (ASEC) • EcoBrasil

TIES is proud to serve our national, regional, and local Association members. Providing the vital links between governments, NGOs,
businesses and citizens, our partners in ecotourism associations are a crucial part of our efforts to further TIES’ mission. We offer
complimentary Association-level membership to non-profit, non-governmental and multi-stakeholder associations with primary
focus on ecotourism and sustainable travel. For more information, contact: associations@ecotourism.org

ecotourism.org | 5
EcoCurrents

Ecotourism Training
Center: Leading by Example
BY REID RIDGWAY The students of ETC are local disadvantaged Learn more about ETC
young adults, often, though not always, deeply

B
y the definitions of ecotourism, there affected by the tsunami. The program is a nine- Website: www.etcth.org
Email: reid@etcth.org
are few grassroots organizations month intensive training program in English Lan- Phone: +66 (0) 87
that outshine the Ecotourism Train- guage, Computer Skills, and Marine Conservation. 263-6016 (*drop the
ing Center (ETC) in Khao Lak, Thailand. (0) for internation-
al calls to Thailand)
The students graduate with profession-
The program is building local capacity for both al credentials as PADI undersea tour lead- Mailing Address:
the tourism industry and for marine conserva- ers, or SCUBA instructors in many cases, Ecotourism Training
Center (ETC)
tion, and it’s proven a powerful instrument and are placed in jobs that pay them four 56/73-74 Pechakacem
of poverty alleviation as well. But it doesn’t to six times their previous earning power. Road, Moo 5, Tamboon
stop there: ETC, as an educational outreach Khuk Khak, Amphur
Takuapa, Phang-Nga
platform, is helping the whole community to Marine Conservation Province, 82190
better understand their coastal resources. Thailand
A recent report, REEFS AT RISK, co-authored
The Beginning by the World Resources Institute and the
UNEP, and widely considered the seminal
Emerging from the void left by the Indian study on coral reef conservation, advocates
Ocean tsunami 4 years ago, ETC has demon- in its conclusion that local reefs must be
strated effective ways to build opportunities protected at local levels. Both capacity build-
for a community devastated by the waves ing and community education are cited as nec-
that engulfed much of Southeast Asia in 2004. essary ingredients in the fight to save the reefs.

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EcoCurrents

The entire time the ETC students


are in the program they work as an
undersea labor force assisting their
national parks, and marine protect-
ed areas to implement conservation
initiatives. They also perform any
number of public education initia-
tives—from teaching local fishermen
about protecting coral reef to teach-
ing young school children how to snor-
kel and take care of the sea shore.

Milestones

The ETC students are also media stars


and have enjoyed coverage from an
astonishing array of sources including
BBC World News, Discovery Channel,
and over 100 of the world’s largest
newspapers. Their stories have helped
bring back tourism to the area, fur-
ther assisting in the recovery process.

ETC Students Out in the sea

The Future stemming from the renowned Haas


School of Business at UC Berkeley.
In the past, ETC has survived by dona-
tions, but is now engineering a way to The idea is simple. SMART will offer a
self-sustain its mission, through a com- range of environmental tour activities
mercial dive operation and tour-book- to visitors, diving being a central of-
ing agency called SMART (Sustainable fering, and the graduates of the ETC
Marine Adventures & Responsible Tour- program will be the hosts and guides.
ism) (Web: www.smartecotours.com). 10% of SMART’s gross revenues will
go directly to fund the ETC program.
The SMART business plan recently re-
News article about ETC published on Gai-
ceived a top academic award at the Tourists will have a direct experi-
aDiscovery.com Global Social Venture Competition, ence with the people whose lives
they are helping to change, and
the students will have a natu-

“...local reefs must be pro- ral cause to be excellent hosts.

tected at local levels. Both SMART, to be launched on January 1st,


2009, is now seeking investment part-

capacity building and com- ners with ambitions to expand SMART


and ETC all over Southeast Asia.

munity education are... ETC has it all: Cultural respect,

necessary ingredients in and exchange, poverty allevia-


tion, environmental protection,

the fight to save the reefs.” capacity building for local peo-
ple, community education, and
it’s all fueled by ecotourism.

ecotourism.org | 7
EcoCurrents

ETC Student Story: Onuma Dareang

Under Water: On’s first time underwater, learning to


breathe without a mask.

On Land: Working as a staff instructor under PADI


Course Director Chris Owen, On takes 5 oth-
er young Thai ETC students to the instructor level

O
numa Dareang “On” is 24 years She admitted that she couldn’t Reid Ridgway is Managing Direc-
old. One of 4 siblings, On was swim, and that she didn’t know tor of ETC. After gaining experi-
born to a family of farmers if she would be able to learn div- ence as the marketing director
in Surathanee Province, Thailand. ing, but that she was excited to for Reflective Arts division of Op-
try and would work hard to learn. tical Media International, Reid
Her father owns a modest bit of land, founded Watershed Communi-
and grows a mixture of crops includ- On finished the program 9 month cations a digital media produc-
ing rubber trees, palm trees for oil, later as a professional PADI dive- tion company, specializing in
and a variety of fruit trees, as well. master, and was selected as one strategic marketing, brand iden-
of 5 top students to go on to the tity, and initial product launch.
He produced and directed
On’s family worked together for many Instructor Development Program,
projects for Apple Computer,
years and saved enough money to she didn’t feel that she was ready, IBM, Grass Valley Group, Steven
send On to college. She was the first and her English was still very weak. Spielberg, blues legend B.B. King,
and only one of her family to ever get and many others. Three years
that opportunity. But when she grad- Today On’s English is exceptional prior to the Tsunami, Reid had
uated, she found that her highest and she is the head of diving in- semi-retired in Thailand, where
job offers, were for 3 or 4 thousand struction for the ETC program. he began a new life dabbling as
baht per month (about $125 USD). a freelance journalist and profes-
She has earned PADI second high- sional scuba instructor, enjoying
The family also took loans out to est instructor rating, and 5 specialty the big change of pace. When
complete paying for her educa- teaching credentials. She has taken the Tsunami devastated Southern
Thailand, the pace swept him up
tion. She heard through a friend of 16 other young Thai people to the
again. Reid took immediate ac-
her family that she could learn Eng- professional level and as- tion to help people. And though
lish from the ETC program for free. sisted in training 5 of them the work has never stopped,
to be instructors like herself. he would be the first to say that
She had struggled with English in col- choosing a path of helping others
lege, failing her courses and felt that She makes about 5 times her pre- beats the stressful life of the cor-
she needed more study, but couldn’t vious salary, and could earn even porate executive—hands down.
afford to burden her family more more in the private sector, but has Photos by Reid Ridgway
money. When she interviewed for chosen to stay with ETC because
ETC, she couldn’t really speak she loves the program. On says she Read more ETC student stories at:
www.etcth.org
a word of English except Hello. can’t imagine any other job now.

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EcoCurrents

INTERNSHIP
The International Ecotourism Society interns must obtain the appropriate visas, and all
(TIES) offers internship opportunities year round for interns are responsible for travel to Washington, DC
you to contribute to ecotourism and to learn latest and for their own accommodation and board while
industry trends and gain relevant work experience. in DC. For interns working in Washington DC, TIES
will reimburse costs of local travel to/from work and
• Administrative home.
• Fundraising & Development
• Conference & Special Event Planning How To Apply
• Training & Education Applications are continually being accepted, so you
are welcome to apply any time. Send a cover letter,
• Membership resume/CV, contact information for 3 references,
• Communications and a 3-5 page writing sample to:
• Website & Graphic Design employment@ecotourism.org. Make sure to
• IT Support indicate which internship area you are most
interested in and when you would be available to
About Our Internships intern.
All TIES internships are for a minimum of 3 months.
While most internship positions are located in Further information available at:
Washington DC, we welcome interns working
online from other locations. Overseas www.ecotourism.org




The International Ecotourism Society


ecotourism.org | 9
EcoCurrents

EcoTraining
It’s not only about
wildlife training
BY TAFLIN TILEY place at bush camps which collective- It’s about absorbing nature, learn-
ly open the door to 66,000 hectares ing how to interact with the en-

E
coTraining believes that we of stunning wilderness landscapes vironment, and being part of the
are running out of time on teeming with buffalo, elephant, rhi- ecosystems. It’s about becoming in-
our planet in terms of hu- no, lion and leopard as well as ante- tertwined with the natural environ-
mans’ practices and ways of living. lope and a huge diversity of birds. ment that sustains us and gives us air
to breathe, water to drink and beauty
So the mission is broader than local Not all the camps are accessible to to obtain peace and inspiration from.
field guide training. We seek to instill regular tourists visiting the parks, as
the focus is on wilderness areas that The bush is powerful and on the cours-
an education and appreciation for the
involve private conservation efforts es, you start to realize that the clut-
environment through training local and community-based employment. ter of modern society’s trappings be-
and international learners; using com-
munity-based concession for wilder- comes less relevant. There is a mental,
Selati Camp is situated on the banks emotional and spiritual shift towards
ness areas, and ensuring the learning of the Selati River in the 33,000 hec-
experience is sustainable through an respect, consideration and sensitiv-
tare Selati Game Reserve to the
international community network. west of the Kruger National Park. ity towards nature and your peers.

EcoTraining offers leading profes- Karongwe Camp is situated on the banks EcoTraining is spreading our conserva-
sional Field Guide and other nature of the Karongwe River in the 9,000 hec- tion ethos and message beyond Afri-
training programmes in South Africa. tare Karongwe Game Reserve, to the can soil - We have recently launched
south-west of the Kruger National Park. operations in Australia to offer more
We ensure that the learners are of the specialist nature-based courses.
Kruger Park Makuleke Camp is situ-
right standard and training, and consider
ated in the 24,000 hectare Makule- Australia tempts learners with the
having the right philosophy and approach
ke concession in the far northern marine spectacle of its coastal reefs,
just as important as wildlife knowledge.
part of the Kruger National Park the prolific birdlife of the floodplains,
and the Limpopo Transfrontier Park. the extraordinary life in the deserts
Learners take the countless opportuni-
ties given to them each day to spread the of the world’s driest continent, and
This area belongs to the Makuleke the world’s oldest Indigenous culture.
conservation ethic, and to realize the po-
community, who were forced out of
tential influence that they may have on
the area in 1968. After a lengthy proc- For more information: www.ecotraining.
others after completing a course. It’s not
ess the land was finally re-instated co.za (South Africa), and www.ecotrain-
only about wildlife and nature; it’s also
to the community in 1998 on settle- ingaustralia.com.au (Australia).
a cultural interchange for the learners.
ment of a land claims court case.


EcoTraining’s formal Field Guide and Have we forgotten that wilderness
Through EcoTraining’s courses, you will is not a place, but a pattern of soul
Nature Training programmes, ac-
gain in-depth knowledge about nature, where every tree, bird and every
credited by the Field Guides Associa-
ecology and wildlife, but that is only beast is a soul maker?” Ian McCallum
tion of Southern Africa (FGASA), take
one aspect of your learning experience.

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“Education comes
naturally…”
Photos by EcoTraining

An Insight into EcoTraining’s Courses


Paul de Thierry
– A former student, with a UK corporate background, who has completed three of EcoTraining’s courses


In an increasingly pressurised western corpo- For my part, the knowledge of fauna & flora,
rate world, candidates applying for any po- geology, human geography (including poli-
sitions in any industry must demonstrate that tics) and the interconnection between all three,
they possess qualities such as self-reliance, lateral that I acquired with EcoTraining, proved invalu-
thought and (an attribute often missing amongst able during my ten year career as an Invest-
the academically bright), basic common sense. ment Banker in London, New York and Frankfurt.
I have found through my experience under- EcoTraining offers individuals from all walks of life
taken on three different EcoTraining courses, more than a ‘good time’ - it also offers structured
that the skills and knowledge acquired dur- personal development. EcoTraining courses, such
ing a month in the bush often prove invaluable as FGASA Level 1 and Trails Guide provide great
tools, not only for those seeking a career in the opportunities for cost-effective, structured, edu-
safari industry, but across the corporate world. cational and, most importantly, fun experiences.”
For example, the ability to use various senses si-
multaneously whilst making split-second decisions
that are safety-critical, the ability to present one-
self correctly equipped for a morning bush walk at
5:30am when you’ve already been up for an hour
preparing breakfast and prepping a land rover, are
organisational skills that are not fully developed.

No individual will excel in education or the corpo-


rate world unless he/she can motivate and organ-
ise themselves correctly. EcoTraining offers each
participant the chance to achieve many dif-
ferent things in a relatively short space of time.

Furthermore, as current economic events


play themselves out, we realise that we are
all part of a global community where deci-
sions and developments in one part of the world
have significant implications for the whole.
EcoCurrents

Huaorani Ecolodge:
Providing a New Model
for Community Tourism
in Latin America

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EcoCurrents

BY GERARD COFFEY The project now provides


T work and alternative in-
he Huaorani have been around
for a long time. Their exact
origins are unknown, but ac-
cording to their oral history they
arrived some thousand years ago
come, and a reason to
at their present location in the
North East of what is now Ecuador. protect the environment.
Living as nomadic hunters and
gatherers in an extensive terri- As a bonus, the year end
tory bounded by the Napo River in
the North and the Cururay in the
South, the Spanish conquest passed
profits will pay for health
them by and they remained iso-
lated until the end of the 1950s. and education projects
Evangelical missionaries made the
first contact, and after them came
to be decided on by the
the oil companies and the log-
gers. The Huaorani’s long-estab-
lished territory suffered, pollu-
women of the community.
tion became a problem, the forest
was threatened, the tribe’s tradi-
tional lifestyle began to be under- involved in the project, commu-
mined. The future looked very dim. nity members were trained and
plans made to produce and sell
In 1994, Welsh ecologist Andy Drumm crafts.After consultations a site was
became alarmed at the plight of this chosen and a lodge planned and
traditionally proud, defiant peo- built; it opened in January 2008.
ple. Working with Huaorani leader
Moi Enomenga, (featured in Joe The project now provides work and
Kane’s book ‘Savages’), he founded alternative income, and a reason to
a socially principled tour operator, protect the environment. As a bonus
Tropic Journeys in Nature (wwww. the year end profits will pay for health
tropiceco.com), in order to work and education projects to be decided
on a solution: community tourism. on by the women of the community.

The result was an innovative part- The social and environmental impor-
nership promoting a new form of tance of the work has not gone unrec-
ecologically friendly development ognized. In November 2008 the project
Huaorani Ecolodge received front page
sensitive to Huaorani traditions. The was awarded by LATA (Latin American
treatment in the weekend travel section
venture began with the develop- Travel Association, www.lata.org) in
of the prestigious UK daily The Guard-
ment of ‘Amazon Headwaters with the UK as the best sustainable tourism
ian (October 2007): “Take me to the
the Huaorani’ operated since 1994. project of the year in Latin America.
river - Under siege from oil companies
and loggers, the Huaorani of Ecuador
The programme proved a huge success There is still a lot to be done: more
are fighting back - through ecotourism.
and gathered a number of awards, in- training, promotion, and the strength-
Piers Moore Ede is the first to visit their
cluding the TODO! Award in 1997 and the ening of the Huaorani tourism associ-
Amazon lodge” (www.guardian.co.uk/
ecotourism showcase award in 2000. ation are all crucial. But the creation
travel/2007/oct/27/saturday.green).
of a new forest reserve of some 30,000
Success brought further plans, this hectares will provide a boost, protect-
time for a more permanent struc- ing the area’s precious wildlife and
ture both organizationally and con- providing further stimulus to tourism. Gerard Coffey is Conservation
cretely: Huaorani Ecolodge (www. in Action Foundation consult-
huaorani.com), an ecotourism The People themselves will also be ant. For more information on
project to be co managed by Trop- winners, their disappearance only a Huaorani Ecolodge, contact:
ic and the Huaorani themselves. matter of time but with the advent Jascivan Carvalho,
of community ecotourism, and the General Manager, at
A tourism association was support of Tropic, this vibrant group manager@tropiceco.com
formed by the five communities now seems to have time on its side. or (593 2) 2234594 / 2225907.

ecotourism.org | 13
EcoCurrents

The Huaorani
Our hosts have long inhabited the
headwaters of the Amazon, living as
nomadic hunters and gatherers with
no outside contact until the end of the
1950s, and at least one clan continues
to shun all contact with the outside
world. According to their folklore,
they migrated to this area a long
time ago to escape from cannibals.
The Huaorani speak a language unre-
lated to any other; their name means
“the people”, while everyone else is
cowore, or “non-human” (that’s you).

In 1956, when the Huaorani became


the last of Ecuador’s indigenous peo-
ples to be contacted by missionar-
ies, their territory extended from
the Napo River in the north to the
Curaray River in the south. After
the missionaries, the oil compa-
nies came looking for new reserves
as the global demand for fossil fu-
els increased. The Huaorani live
on top of one of Ecuador’s largest
oil deposits and since its discovery
have been forced to deal with the
presence of oil companies and other
outsiders on the land they have called
home for at least a thousand years.

Numbering approximately 2,400


individuals, the Huaorani maintain
a largely traditional lifestyle liv-
ing directly in and from the rain-
forest. Nowadays, their territory
- some 680,000 ha/1.7 million acres
-- is only about one third the size
of their traditional land, and they
have no oil or mineral rights. The
first official Huaorani protectorate
was created in 1983, and the cur-
rent much larger Huaorani Ethnic
Reserve was established in 1990, at
which time they formed the Organ-
ización de Nacionalidad Huaorani de
la Amazonía Ecuatoriana (ONHAE)
to defend their interests, and in
2007 changed the name to Nacion-
alidad Waorani del Ecuador (NAWE).

(Source: www.huaorani.com)

Photos by Eco Farm

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EcoCurrents

Lessons from Nature:


Experiential learning at
Ecomantra

BY MAHRUKH GOEL

A
t Ecomantra, we believe that Na- a live snake in his hands, one is tempt-
ture is the best, most wonder- ed to shed off his fear and try the same. Ecomantra Nature
Adventures
ful teacher of all. Our experiential
learning programs are carefully woven Some of our most successful experiential pro-
Address: 19, Rajas-
and created around the theme of nature. grams include: Snake Awareness and Common than Technical Centre,
Wildlife around Us; the Tribal Art Workshop, Patanwala Estate,
We try to make the world of animals, which brings one closer to the lifestyle of LBS Marg, Ghatko-
tribes in Maharashtra through their simple par West, Mum-
birds, insects and amphibians in the
bai - 400086, India
backdrop of lakes, rivers, farms and paintings in huts; the Hut Building Program;
mountains interesting to learn from. the Coconut and Bamboo Handicraft Work- Tel: +91 22 25007347
shops; Clay Modelling for Ganesha Idols; Web: www.ecomantra.org
When Ecomantra was conceptualised in the and Holi Naturally, a workshop on making
year 2000 as an ecotourism company, we natural colours during the Holi festivals.
were looking at eco holidays as our primary
activity. To make our eco holidays more inter- Ecomantra has also created its own unique
esting and meaningful for visitors, Ecoman- training modules, as part of our efforts to
tra’s founders Mahrukh and Ravi Goel, make outdoor management training pro-
began adding new activities in the form of grams exciting and accessible. One module
eco adventures and interactive programs. on wildlife even has a name that sounds
exciting and adventurous: the Jungle Book.
Simultaneously, we began offering work- Another module is called Sholay Adventures
shops and interactive programs to pro- – based on one of Bollywood’s most success-
mote our message of nature conservation ful movie in the backdrop of wild mountains.
in the city. Today the most active demand
we receive for these programs is from We also design Theatre workshops on
corporate groups, among the age bracket the theme of nature, which involve
of 20 to 35 years and families who enjoy role play and learning sessions, enjoyed
these programs at our camps and resort. with a great deal of laughter and fun.

Our experiential programs focus on bringing One of the most important goals of our
a sense of wonder among participants and experiential programs is to bring people
strengthen the bonds among participants. closer to the wonders of nature and with
Visitors love the new experiences and ap- those who live closely with nature, be-
preciate the knowledge they gain, as seen cause we believe that without awaken-
in the feedback they give to us. Peer pres- ing this inherent love for nature among
sure plays a great role as a positive element. visitors, no amount of awareness on conser-
If a one sees another participant holding vation would convince people to take action.

ecotourism.org | 15
EcoCurrents

Could More Problems


Mean MORE
Solutions?

BY JORGE ESPINOZA COLÁN

I
n Peru, twelve years of institution- Socially the community has changed in sev- Rainforest Expedi-
al life is reason to write home about. eral ways. There are more decision making tions (TIES Business
That is why, twelve years after its signa- venues beyond the original communal board member) operates
ture, the joint venture contract between of directors. Now there is a Tourism Commit- three award winning
Rainforest Expeditions (RFE) and the Infi- tee, a modestly functional PTA, a community Amazon lodges: Posada
erno Native Community (CNI) which gave office, etc. There are also health and educa- Amazonas (30 rooms),
birth to Posada Amazonas, is still news. tional safety nets and increased capacity to Refugio Amazonas (24
negotiate with public and private corporations. rooms), and Tambopata
Research Center (18
Located in the Amazon district of Tambopata, rooms). Each Amazon
adjacent to its namesake 1.5 million hec- Environmentally, the community has set aside
lodge uncovers a wide
tare reserve, Posada Amazonas is a rustic 30 areas for conservation, mostly around the tour- array of fascinating eco-
room ecolodge that hosts guests on intro- ism resources – the lodge, the lake, the clay lick. tourism experiencies
ductory three or four night tours. It belongs They pay for a government ecotourism conces- in the middle of our
to the CNI, but is co-managed with RFE, sion and have fines for people caught poach- jungle, in the heart of
and profits are shared 60/40, respectively. ing in off limits area, which they have applied. the amazon rainforest.
www.rainforest.com.pe
The contract was conceived because However, amongst the unforeseen effects of
the CNI wanted to compete in the tour- the project is the distribution of dividends
ism industry and RFE required a com- amongst families (rather than reinvestment in Jorge Espinoza is
mercial location to complement its older, community projects) which in turn has caused among the most
more remote Tambopata Research Center. all sorts of diverse family investments or ex- experienced expert
penditures, much like a free market scenario. guides at Rainforest
Along the way, RFE has made sustainable Expeditions, and is
development and conservation projects the Furthermore, outside of the reserved ar- also an author of
core of its business. The project was also eas, a business as usual scenario still un- several pieces for
designed to generate economic incentives folds, albeit increased income accelerates it. local newspapers.
in the community to leave forest stand-
ing. A brief analysis of each arena follows. The community has had its share of inter-
nal conflict over the decisions of how to
Economically, the community receives its spend its dividends, and often after diffi-
most significant impacts from dividends cult meetings, is learning to cope with con-
and employments, including over a dozen flict. Families have tended to keep two
bilingual guides. These have signified an homes – one in the city, and one in the farm.
increase on community families annual in-
come. Succesful communal suppliers include It may be that the community has more
small handicrafts, port, ethnobotanical serv- problems than it did twelve years ago, Photos by Rain-
ice and fish farm/ restaurant companies. but better prospects of solving them! forest Expeditions

16 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

TIES Lifetime

�����

��� ��� Achievement


Award
���� ����� ���� ��� �������� ������� ������ �������
����� ������
��������������������

TIES’ Lifetime Achievement Award was established in


October 2008, and presented at the Ecotourism and
Sustaianble Tourism Conference. The Award hon-
����� � ������� ������ ������� �������� ���������
ors individuals who have made significant contribu-
����� ��� ��� ��� ���� ��� � � ����� ��� ��� ��� ���� ��� � ���������������������� tions to TIES and to the global ecotourism commu-
nity, and to recognize the distinguished achievements
of those who have demonstrated a lifetime commit-
ment to promoting ecotourism and responsible travel.

YOUR AD TIES will present the award recipient with a lifelong


membership, as a valued member of TIES global net-
work and a worldwide leader in the field of ecotour-

HERE ism. TIES Board of Directors will select the awardee


annually based on TIES staff and members’ recom-
mendations submitted over the course of the year.
media@ecotourism.org The Award is presented at TIES annual conference and/
or during TIES Board of Directors meeting. In addition,
TIES will plant native trees in honor of the awardee, ei-
ther in the local areas near TIES office location or in the
country or region closely affiliated with the awardee.

The recipient of the first TIES Lifetime Achieve-


ment Award is Chandra de Silva, Founder of the
A Special Ranweli Holiday Village (Sri Lanka) and a long-
Way to time Board member, supporter and friend of TIES.

Share A pioneering entrepreneur and inspirational lead-


er, Chandra’s dedication to ecotourism, conserva-
Your tion and sustainable community development have
touched numerous lives in Sri Lanka and beyond.
Passion Give A
Gift of Among many legacies that Chandra’s lifetime achieve-
ments have left for TIES is our new tradition of planting
Learn How: TIES trees in honor of the recipients of the Lifetime Achieve-
ment Award. Chandra used tree planting as an opportunity
Membership@ecotourism.org Membership! to share an experience and to commemorate a special
occasion, and invited many guests (including TIES Board
members in 2004) to join him in planting trees at Ranweli.

Find Us On Facebook In commemoration of Chandra’s receiving the first TIES


Lifetime Achievement Award, TIES is supporting the Trees
for Life Programme by Responsible Tourism Partnership
(RTP) Sri Lanka. The RTP Sri Lanka team has generously
agreed to plant indigenous trees in memory of Chandra,
with 100% of TIES memorial donation. In addition, TIES
has become a member of American Forests. TIES’ mem-

Your Travel bership contribution and memorial donation to Ameri-


can Forests will plant 25 trees in honor of Chandra.
Choice Makes Nominations may be submitted electronically to TIES Board
a Difference Chair and Executive Director (ed@ecotourism.org), with the
subject line, “Lifetime Achievement Award Nomination.”

ecotourism.org | 17
EcoCurrents

Mai Kana: Linking


Pacific Island Agriculture
and Tourism
BY TRACY BERNO “Natural ecosystems
The Mai Kana partners want to ad-
Oceania Sustainable Tourism Alliance (e.g., forests, wetlands,
dress this lost opportunity. grasslands, estuaries,
open space) provide a
Food is an essential component of the tour- variety of “ecosystem
The Project ism industry. It is obvious, but it warrants services” (e.g., carbon
sequestrations, water
mention that all tourists eat when they
Mai Kana links sustainable agriculture, sus- purification, flood con-
travel, and dining is consistently in the trol, soil regeneration,
tainable cuisine and the tourism industry by
top three most popular tourist activities. wildlife habitat, polli-
promoting the “farmer-to-table” concept.
Food and beverage consumption represents nation, nutrient recy-
a significant part of tourist expenditure. cling, viewscapes) that
The People underpin human wel-
fare.” Read more: www.
Yet for many countries, particularly devel- sandersinternational.
The project is by and for passionate Pa-
oping countries, food represents one of the net/ecosystem.html
cific people. The following partners col-
highest areas of economic leakage in tourism.
laboratively implement Mai Kana:
The degree to which tourism in a country re-
lies on imported foods can significantly affect
Robert Oliver, a Fiji raised and Caribbean/US
the social and economic impacts of tourism.
based chef who is best known for the devel-
opment of high profile tropical restaurants Importing foods results in a loss of foreign
and food program development in the South exchange earnings and lost opportunities
Pacific, the USA and the Caribbean. to expand and modernize local food pro-
duction and processing. Potentially, this
Dr Tracy Berno, formerly the head of the may result in a loss of local income and
tourism and hospitality department at Univer- employment, particularly in rural areas.
sity of the South Pacific.
Enhancing linkages between agriculture and
Shiri, a talented photographer and book/ tourism presents significant opportunities for
stimulating local production, retaining tour-
graphic designer based in Fiji.
ism earnings in the locale, and improving the
distribution of economic benefits of tourism to
rural people, hence contributing to rural pov-
Food and Tourism in erty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods.
the South Pacific
“Farmer to Table”
The South Pacific has at its doorstep an
abundance of wonderful tropical and ex-
One way of linking sustainable agriculture,
otic agricultural products. Despite this
sustainable cuisine and the tourism indus-
abundance of locally produced foods
and food products, in most South Pa- try is the development and promotion of the
cific island nations, much of the food “farmer-to-table” concept, which can sup-
served in the tourism sector is import- port sustainable livelihoods and community
ed, lacks innovation and fails to deliver development by increasing demand for local
a “South Pacific experience” to visitors. products and associated micro-enterprise.

18 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

Enhancing linkages between agricul-


ture and tourism presents signifi-
cant opportunities for stimulating
local production, retaining tourism
earnings in the locale, and improv-
ing the distribution of economic
benefits of tourism to rural people.
When implemented well, the farm- Pacific cuisines and will include tradi-
er-to-table concept can help ef- tional recipes and some not-so-tradition-
fectively link sustainable local al recipes, all using local ingredients.
food production and tourism activi-
ties, resulting in positive outcomes MAI KANA is not only an informative
for a broad range of beneficiaries. source on traditional and contemporary
cuisines of the Pacific, but also an oppor-
The tourism and hospitality industry tunity to contribute to and invest in the
can take advantage of the growing sustainable development of the region. ©Living Pacific
(2008)
interest in sustainable food systems
and sustainable cuisine by promot- Underpinned by a philosophy of sus-
ing and using more local products tainable tourism, sustainable liveli-
throughout the industry, while at hoods and sustainable cuisine, MAI
the same time, meeting needs for KANA will promote the beauty of the
an authentic, quality experience. South Pacific region and its cultures.

The Cookbook The book has at its core the devel-


opment of a Pacific cuisine cook-
The first project for the Mai Kana ery book which will highlight and
partners is to publish a high quality raise awareness of Pacific foods
cookbook, MAI KANA: The food and as part of the tourism product. ©Living Pacific
flavors of Fiji and the South Pacific. (2008)
The book will also serve as a train-
MAI KANA is more than just a cookbook, ing tool for agricultural producers,
however. Through their shared passion hotel chefs and hospitality/catering
for the peoples, cultures and foods of educators, on the supply and use of
the South Pacific, Rob, Tracy and Shiri local products in the tourism sector.
aim to create a book that will improve
the quality of fresh, healthy food offered With proceeds of the book, the
to the South Pacific’s tourism markets. partners aspire to contribute to
the establishment of sustainable
The book will reflect the broad range farmer-to-table initiatives through-
of both traditional and contemporary out the South Pacific region. ©Living Pacific (2008)

ecotourism.org | 19
EcoCurrents

Try a South Pacific


Recipe by Robert Oliver
“Grilled River Prawns with Guava Jelly Glaze
and Pineapple Mint Salsa”
This recipe works well with any good shrimp - but Fiji
River Prawns are of stand-out quality and be sure to
look out for them on menus if you are in Fiji. Sweet and
slightly briny, they hold up well to a sweet hot sauce.

Guava Jelly is made when guavas are in season and is a


staple in all Pacific and Caribbean households. There are
many terrific commercial brands available - I have never
had one I didn’t like, but my good friend Viti Whippy
keeps me in steady supply and hers is rich and delicious.

When the coup happened in Fiji in 2000, I called


her from New York to see how things were. Her pri-
mary concern was that the coup had happened when
guava season was about to begin, and any short-
age in sugar supply caused by the political situa-
tion would be ruinous to her guava jelly production!

When I lived in Fiji, my mother would look at the bird


droppings in March or so to see sign of guava seeds, and
when spotted, we would jump into the car and drive up the
Rewa Delta region to where there were miles of guava trees.
We would fill the trunk with the aromatic fruit, and eat
and cook and consume guavas relentlessly, disgustingly
for days. I have rarely seen guava used in a savory dish,
but its intense flavor holds up well to chili and ginger.

Ingredients:
- 25 pieces of medium size shrimp, or Fiji river prawns, head and tail
on, body shell and gut tract removed For the Salsa:
- 25 bamboo skewers - 1 pineapple (keep the pineapple top with a li�le of its base intact
for presenta�on)
For the Guava Jelly Glaze: - 1 cup loose packed mint leaves
- 3 cups guava jelly (mine is made by Vi� Whippy, and hers in - 3 cups diced seasonal fruit such as watermelon, pawpaw,
legendarily the best)
- 2-3 tablespoon sweet chili sauce (depending on desired heat) OR mango or the like, cut into a ½ dice
2-3 fine chopped fresh chilis - 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 inch of fresh ginger, finely sliced - 2 teaspoon masala or other favorite fragrant spice (5 spice or
- 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup coriander are good also)
- juice of 2 limes (the small orange ones are good) - 3 local limes
1. Thread the prawns onto the skewers lengthwise.
What’s it good for?
2. Mix the guava jelly glaze ingredients together in a small pot and warm quickly to combine.
Guava: Very high in Vitamin C
3. Skin and core the pineapple and cut into large chunks. Toss in the oil with the masala or
other spice. Grill or pan sear the pineapple, making sure it browns a Chew baby guava leaves for
li�le. Cool and cut into a ½ “ dice and combine with the other salsa ingredients. “running stomach” - which
can be caused by eating too
4. Grill the prawns and generously brush with the guava jelly glaze and serve with the salsa. many guavas!

Photos by Tracy Berno

20 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

TIES Annual Report:


Our Projects and
Milestones in 2008
OUR NETWORK: Members around the World • Sponsors & Supporters
EDUCATION: Events & Outreach • University Consortium Field Certificate Program
GLOBAL IMPACT: GSTC Partnership • Your Contribution • 2009 and Beyond

Uniting Conservation, Communities and Sustainable Travel

ecotourism.org | 21
EcoCurrents

OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT


TIES Global Network of Members

Members Quick Overview:


around the Membership growth in 2007-2008: 28%*
World Number of countries represented by members: 90
Local, na�onal and regional ecotourism associa�ons: 55

Sponsors & *Increase in the total number of members from 2007 to 2008.
Supporters
Membership Benefits Updates:
All new members joining at the Business member-
level will receive a free copy of the bestselling book
“The Ecolodge Sourcebook for Planners & Developers”
New video and mul�-media resources, includ-
ing the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Con-
ference 2008 (ESTC 2008) session videos, are
available for download to TIES members of all levels.

TIES members of all levels receive special discounts


to the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Con-
ference 2009 (ESTC 2009) and other TIES events.

In addi�on to the marke�ng opportuni�es through TIES


website, TIES members receive up to 50% discounts on
adver�sing in EcoCurrents and Digital Traveler eNewsle�ers.

*See: www.ecotourism.org or contact membership@ecotourism.org for details

Where are TIES members?

22 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT


TIES Sponsor & Supporter Members 2008 -2009
Adventure Life Journeys: Adventure Life is com- La Selva Jungle Lodge: Founded in 1986 in pris-
Members mitted to providing quality small group tours that
have a positive impact on the local culture and en-
tine primary rainforest of Ecuador, this Ecolodge
continues to reinvent ecotourism as it has since it
around the vironment. Each tour is designed to present the intuited the movement which was only a faint mur-
best of each region. TIES member since 2001. mur 25,000 guests ago. TIES member since 2008.
World
Alaska Wildland Adventures: Alaska Wildland Lapa Rios Ecolodge: Lapa Rios is a model ecotourism
Adventures has operated tours, lodges, and wil- project that strives to show that “a forest left standing is
derness adventure vacations in Alaska for over 31 worth more than one cut down.” A pioneer in sustaina-
Sponsors & years, with the goal of offering a high quality, au- ble tourism and environmentally sound business practic-
Supporters thentic Alaskan adventure. TIES member since 1991. es, Lapa Rios has won neumerous international awards.

Canadian Mountain Holidays Inc. (CMH): Legitify: Legitify offers Digital Media Professional
With the vision to be the leading sustainable tour- Services and Publishing Tools. Legitify designs web-
ism operator in North America, CMH collabo- sites, produces content for websites, and devel-
rates with employees, governments, business, opes sophisticated tools for digital content man-
scientists, and local communities to operate as an in- agement online. Legitify has been a member of
tegral part of the community. TIES member since 2002. TIES and avid supporter of ecotourism since 1998.
Ecocamp Patagonia: Based in Torres del Paine Leisure Hotels: Leisure Group values India’s rich
National Park in Patagonia, Ecocamp Patagonia is natural heritage, and supports various eco-friend-
the first hospitality company in Chile to receive ly activities and community initiatives through
the prestigious ISO14001 Environmental Manage- the Group’s propertoes. TIES member since 2007.
ment System certification. TIES member since 2007.
Lindblad Expeditions: A world leader in ad-
Ecoventura: Ecoventura is dedicated to preserving venture travel, Lindblad continues to pro-
the ecological integrity of the Galapagos Islands for vide real value to guests and to the local com-
both its scientific value and economic benefit through munities, following the belief that business and
various ongoing conservation projects including Smart- conservation go hand in hand. TIES member since 2004.
Voyager and the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund.
Maho Bay Camps: Maho Bay Camps opened in
Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn: Since 1985, Finca 1976 on the US Virgin Islands, based on the philoso-
Rosa Blanca has had one important goal in mind: to phy that environmental sensitivity, human comfort
leave the minimum trace on the local environment. and responsible consumption are all compatible and
Finca Rosa Blanca operates in a sustainable manner, that they can enhance your vacation experience.
through regenerating resources, raising social con-
sciousness and providing educational opportunities. Mithun: A national leader in sustainable design
and urbanism, fresh ideas have emanated from Mit-
Fachhochschule Eberswalde: Eberswalde Univer- hun since 1949. Through an innovative blend of de-
sity of Applied Sciences offers Germany’s only Master sign, technology and nature, Mithun creates plac-
program in Sustainable Tourism Management, focusing es that excel in beauty, spirit and performance.
on destination management, CSR, sustainable market-
ing, ecotourism and tourism in developing countries. OARS: OARS strives to enrich people’s lives by
providing outstanding adventure experiences.
Holbrook Travel: With the goal of helping help travel- Since 1969, OARS has been actively supporting
ers experience incredible journeys, Holbrook trips show- awareness, deeper appreciation, and preserva-
case the world’s natural and cultural wonders. Through tion of the world’s rivers and natural ecosystems.
these journeys, Holbrook encourages travelers to truly
embrace travel and to seek new ways to see the world. Rivers Fiji: Rivers Fiji is committed to sustain-
able tourism practices and works very closely with
InkaNatura Travel: InkaNatura Travel is the only leading neighboring riverside villages. Rivers Fiji guides
tour operator in Peru owned by a nonprofit conservation are local experts who grew up along the rivers
group, Peru Verde. InkaNatura contributes to the mainte- and know their environment better than anyone.
nance of national parks, reserves, and archaeological sites.
Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge: Sadie Cove
International Expeditions: A founding mem- was built by hand from local driftwood and re-
ber of TIES, International Expeditions offers envi- claimed barn lumber by Alaska pioneer, Keith Iver-
ronmentally responsible expeditions to some of the son. The Lodge has been benchmarked by Green
world’s most remarkable places, providing guests Globe International. TIES member since 2008.
with the opportunity to enhance their appreciation
for the natural and cultural wonders of the world. Trans Niugini Tours: Trans Niugini Tours is Papua
New Guinea’s leading inbound tour operator. Trans
Intrepid Travel: For travelers with a yearning to get off Niugini Tours owns and operates a number of award
the beaten track, Intrepid opens up a whole new world. winning Wilderness Lodges in Papua New Guinea.
With a huge variety of travel styles available, Intrepid
travelers explore the world’s most amazing places.
Worldnomads: World Nomads travel insurance is
Jungle Expeditions: Through special itineraries and el- available to people from over 150 countries. Through
egant River Boats, expert naturalist guides and crew will its Footprints initiative, World Nomads gives back to
lead you on a voyage to discover our 20 year old secret: communities by contributing to social and educational
the Majestic Amazon Jungle! TIES member since 2008. projects that help improve the lives of local people.

ecotourism.org | 23
EcoCurrents

OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT

Events & DT Eco-Tour April 30, 2008


Outreach Focusing on key principles of ecotourism and
sustainable travel, DC Eco-Tour explored Rock
Creek Park, the American Indian Museum,
UCFC Program the Senate Rain Garden, the Anacostia Water-
shed and the National Arboretum. Featuring
expert interpretation on DC’s green initiatives,
green transportation and local/organic meals
and snacks, the DC Eco-Tour offered an innova-
tive opportunity to experience the Washing-
ton area for both local residents and visitors.
DC Eco-Tour Sponsors & Partners: Anacos-
�a Watershed Society (AWS), Caribou Cof-
fee, Honest Tea, Na�onal Museum of the
American Indian, Sidwell Friends School

Public Forum: Indigenous Business Leaders in


Ecotourism April 30, 2008
Offering dynamic perspectives on conser-
vation, cultural issues, and sustainable
business practices, this international fo-
rum featured the following expert speakers
- Sylvie Blangy, TIES Board member and internation-
al expert on Indigenous community destinations.
- Lennart Pittja, Founder, Pathfinder Lapland,
a leading Sami ecotourism company in Sweden
- Dan Jonasson, Director, Swedish Ecotourism Society
Public Forum Partners: Swedish Ecotourism Society,
the Embassy of Sweden

Ecotourism Gala & Auc�on May 1, 2008


Showcasing many of the finest ecotourism destina-
tions and companies from around the world, TIES’
Ecotourism Gala & Auction featured an exclusive
collection of eco-holiday packages, generously
donated by TIES members from around the world.
Alexandra Cousteau, Co-Founder of EarthEcho In-
terna�onal, was the guest speaker at the Gala.
Granddaughter of legendary explorer Jacques-Yves
Cousteau, she is an inspira�onal social environmen-
tal advocate dedicated to promo�ng conserva�on
and sustainable management of water resources.
Ecotourism Gala & Auc�on Partners: House of Swe-
den, Washington DC

24 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT

Events & Ecotourism and Sustainable Development in El Salvador Workshop


Outreach February 25-27, 2008

As part of a collabora�ve project


UCFC Program by TIES and FUNDEMAS (the Busi-
ness Founda�on for Social Ac�on)
in El Salvador, this workshop aimed
to establish a na�onal strategy for
the sustainable development of
tourism through effec�ve partner-
ships among various stakehold-
er groups and decision makers.

Addressing key na�onal and interna�onal stakeholder groups, the work-


shop featured interna�onal experts represen�ng the Conven�on on Bio-
logical Diversity (CBD), the U.S. Agency for Interna�onal Development (US-
AID), the George Washington University, and the private sector groups.

The workshop par�cipants also engaged in a site visit in the Western re-
gion of El Salvador, highligh�ng the areas where the Improved Manage-
ment and Conserva�on of Cri�cal Watersheds Project by USAID is taking place.

The development of El Salvador’s na�onal strategy for ecotour-


ism and sustainable development recognizes the importance of promot-
ing economic growth that supports the conserva�on of the environment and
natural resources, while s�mula�ng local economies and improving the qual-
ity of life in rural areas through alterna�ve and innova�ve means of produc�on.

Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2008 (ESTC 2008)


October 27-29, 2008
Held in Vancouver, BC, Canada, the ESTC
2008 was a�ended by more than 400 par-
�cipants represen�ng over 40 states and
provinces in the United States and Canada,
and 26 countries from around the world.

The conference featured expert presentations


by a wide range of ecotourism and sustainable
tourism professionals and community stake-
holders. Addressing critical issues and chal-
lenges facing the tourism industry in the US and
Kelly Bricker, TIES Chair, and Mikael Castro, TIES Director of Canada, these presentations offer case stud-
Special Events, at the ESTC 2008. ies on latest industry trends, critical views on
current problems and innovative solutions.

ESTC 2008 Des�na�on Host: Bri�sh Columbia Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts

ecotourism.org | 25
EcoCurrents

OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT

Events & What is the UCFC Program?


Outreach
TIES’ exci�ng new educa�onal ini�a-
�ve, the University Consor�um Field
UCFC Program Cer�ficate (UCFC) Program, works col-
labora�vely with member universi�es to ad-
minister an ecotourism/sustainable tourism
cer�ficate of study applicable to a range of
academic disciplines and degree programs.

UCFC Vision: All travel professionals will demonstrate an inher-


ent, reality-based understanding of the principles of ecotour-
ism and sustainable tourism programming and development.

UCFC Mission: To foster a holis�c understanding of ecotour-


ism and sustainable tourism programming and development through
the educa�on of mul�-disciplinary students and professionals.

Who are the UCFC Participants?


This program is for those who want to develop a holistic understand-
ing of structuring, programming, and implementing ecotourism and
sustainable tourism. The UCFC certificate will ensure an educational
foundation in ecotourism and sustainable tourism, with a combina-
tion of flexible and standardized components, including experiential and
service learning opportunities, and internationally diverse opportunities.

Meet the UCFC Member Universities


Participating universities (as of December 2008): California
Polytechnic University, North Carolina State University, Universi-
ty of Minnesota, University of Utah, and West Virginia University.

“ What a great opportunity learn


side by side with professionals as
I get my degree!”
- University of Utah Graduate Student
UCFC Contact Informa�on:
Dr. Kelly Bricker, TIES Execu�ve Director and TIES UCFC Chair
Jeremy Schultz, UCFC Outreach Coordinator
Email: ucfc@ecotourism.org

26 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT

GSTC STSC: Sustainable Tour-


Partnership ism Stewardship Counsil
Tourism businesses can demonstrate
Your their commitment to sustainability
by mee�ng the social and environ-
Contribution mental standards created by leading
third-party cer�fica�on programs.
2009 and There are more than 50 na�onal
and interna�onal cer�fica�on pro-
Beyond grams for sustainable tourism, and
more are being created every year.
But how can the public tell which of
these programs are credible?
How can tourism businesses choose
which sets of standards will have
legi�macy?
And how can tourists be confident
that those businesses are serious
about social and environmental ac-
countability?
In response to these challenges, a
coali�on of tourism industry associa-
�ons, NGOs and government agencies
has been working to create the Sus-
tainable Tourism Stewardship Counsil
(STSC) - an global umbrella organiza- Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Workshop at the
Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2008
�on that would set universal minimum (ESTC 2008), October 27, 2008, Vancouver,
standards for cer�fica�on programs Bri�sh Columbia, Canada

Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) Partnership


The GSTC Partnership is a coali�on of 25 organiza�ons working together to foster in-
creased understanding of sustainable tourism prac�ces and the adop�on of universal
sustainable tourism principles. The Partnership, which was ini�ated by Rainforest Alli-
ance, the United Na�ons Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Na�ons Foun-
da�on, and the United Na�ons World Tourism Organiza�on (UNWTO), launched the
Sustainable Tourism Criteria at the World Conserva�on Congress in October 2008.
These criteria will serve as the minimum standard that any tourism business should
aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural re-
sources while ensuring tourism meets its poten�al as a tool for poverty allevia�on.
TIES is a member of the GSTC Partnership Steering Commi�ee, along with a number
of other organiza�ons represen�ng both public and private sectors, including: Car-
ibbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), Conde Nast Traveler, Conserva�on
Interna�onal, the Conven�on on Biological Diversity (CBD), Expedia, Inc., Interna-
�onal Hotel & Restaurant Associa�on (IH&RA), IUCN, Ecotourism Kenya, Sabre/Traveloc-
ity, Solimar Interna�onal, Sustainable Travel Interna�onal, Tourism Concern, and VISIT.

ecotourism.org | 27
EcoCurrents

OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT

GSTC Giving Back to the Global Ecotourism Community


Partnership
Your membership contributions, financial and in-kind donations in 2008 have helped
TIES give back to conservation, communities and sustainable travel in a numbe r of ways:
Your
Contribution Supporting Future Ecotouriosm Leaders
As part of our efforts to support students in ecotourism and sustainable
2009 and tourism, TIES offers opportunities for students to participate in the net-
working and knowledge sharing experiences through our programs, provid-
Beyond ing access first-hand knowledge of the latest developments in the industry,
and gain practical skills. Through student discounts, volunteer opportuni-
ties, and scholarships sponsored by partners, TIES made a contribution of
over US$8,700 to help more than 50 students participate in the ESTC 2008.

ESTC Student Scholarship Sponsors: Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Thompson Rivers University.

Sharing Opportunities for Indigenous Business Leaders


Recognizes the important roles that Indigenous peoples play, as business
leaders and environmental stewards, in the sustainable growth of tour-
ism, TIES is committed to supporting initiatives promoting and strength-
ening Indigenous peoples’ voices in the global tourism industry. TIES has
established the Indigenous Leaders Fund, a donation-based scholarship fund
that will contribute to supporting Indigenous leaders’ participation in the
ESTC and other TIES conferences and workshops. Through special discounts
and scholarships sponsored by TIES and partners, we made a contribution of over US$4,800 to
support Indigenous leaders’ participation in the priority interest workshop “Indigenous Business
Leaders in Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism” (October 27, 2008) and the ESTC 2008 conference.

ESTC Indigenous Leaders Scholarship Supporters: the Tourism Company, Sir Andrew
and Lady Fairley Foundation, Canadian Ecotourism Services, Hitesh Mehta, HM Design.

Strengthening Our Network of Ecotourism Networks


Providing the vital links between governments, NGOs, businesses and citi-
zens, our partners in local, national and regional ecotourism associations are
the nucleus of the global movement for ecotourism. TIES is proud to serve
as an umbrella organization for ecotourism associations around the world.
TIES offers complimentary membership to not-for-profit, non-governmen-
tal and multi-stakeholder ecotourism associations that serve as national
or regional bodies supporting ecotourism businesses and organizations.

Sustaining Ecotourism Initiatives


As the world’s oldest and largest ecotourism organization, TIES is commit-
ted to promoting the principles of ecotourism and responsible travel. With
the goal of uniting conservation, communities and sustainable travel,
TIES continues to serve as the global source of knowledge and advocacy in
ecotourism - through our advocacy campaigns, training and education
programs, events and outreach, online networks, and membership servic-
es. Please see more news and updates from TIES at www.ecotourism.org.

28 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT

GSTC Leading the Efforts to Make Tourism Sustainable


Partnership
Together with our members and partners, TIES continues to promote efforts to make
tourism a viable tool for bio-cultural conservation and sustainable development.
Your
Contribution ESTC 2009 - Portland, Oregon, USA
The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2009 (ESTC 2009) will
2009 and be held in Portland, Oregon, USA, from November 2-4, 2009. The ESTC
2009 will be co-hosted by our 2009 destination hosts: Travel Portland and
Beyond Travel Oregon (TIES Sponsor & Supporter Members). Building on the suc-
cesses of the past conferences, and the lessons learned from the collec-
tive experience of the ecotourism and sustainable tourism community,
the ESTC 2009 will continue to seek sustainable change for bio-cultural
conservation, with renewed and strengthened focus on solutions, implementation, and action.

Learn more & Get involved: www.ecotourismconference.org

GSTC as a Practical Tool for Businesses and Communities


TIES is organizing workshops on implementation of the GSTC for communi-
ties and ecotourism operators. These workshops will assist ecotourism op-
erators and communities interested in learning more about sustainable op-
erations in their own work, which ultimately assist bio-cultural conservation
and poverty alleviation through tourism around the globe. Presently, TIES
is planning to launch the first workshop on implementing the GSTC at the
ESTC 2009, in conjunction with the development of key indicators to support this global initiative.

Learn more about the GSTC: www.sustainabletourismcriteria.org

The Climate-Friendly Traveler


How are YOU responding to the challenge of climate change? TIES new
e-publication, The Climate-Friendly Traveler, will be launched in Janu-
ary 2009. This exciting new addition to our e-library will feature prac-
tical tips and resources on how to reduce travelers’ climate foot-
print. We encourage our members to share ideas and tips - tell us
what you have done to minimize the climate footprint of your travel!

Share your stories and ideas: editor@ecotourism.org

Your Travel Choice Makes a Difference


Through our new and ongoing ecotourism initiatives in 2009 and be-
yond, TIES will continue to engage a wide range of tourism profes-
sionals, community stakeholders and travelers around the world,
encouraging everyone to make the travel choice that makes a differ-
ence every time. Working with our members and destinations around
the world, we aim to positively transform the way the world travels.

Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months: www.ecotourism.org

ecotourism.org | 29
Uniting conservation, communities and
sustainable travel, ecotourism is about reducing
environmental footprint and maximizing positive imacts.

By “teaching a man to fish,” ecotourism empowers communities


around the world to fight against poverty and to achieve
sustainable development. By offering market-linked long-
term solutions to the critical environmental and
social challenges, ecotourism helps preserve
the planet’s bio-cultural diversity.

ECOTOURISM
n. Responsible travel to natural
areas that conserves the
environment and improves the well-
being of local people.

Founded in 1990, TIES is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organiza-


tion dedicated to promoting the principles of ecotourism. As
the world’s largest and oldest ecotourism association, TIES
works with its members and partners in over 90 countries to put
sustainability at the top of the global tourism industry agenda.
Learn more and get involved: www.ecotourism.org�