TIES Activities Report

:
Our Projects and
Milestones in 2008







































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EcoCurrents
Sustainable development,
capacity building &
community well-being
Edition 29
Ecotourism Training
Center, Thailand
Eco Training, South
Africa
Huaorani Ecolodge,
Ecuador
Ecomantra, India
Rainforest Expeditions,
Peru
Mai Kana Project, Fiji
Ecotourism: “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and
improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990)
2 | ecotourism.org
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
Criteria (GSTC) and the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship
Council in 2008, and planned progress for 2009. These ini-
�a�ves, as well as those of many others are moving the
travel and tourism industry to a new level of sustainability.

At TIES, we con�nue our commitment to these programs, and
we look forward to communica�ng the progress made as we
move into 2009. We also look forward to hearing from you
and the great work so many members have accomplished
around the globe! Thank you for your con�nued support!

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




Kelly Bricker, Chair, TIES Board of Directors
TIES Principles of
Ecotourism
• minimize impact
• build environmental and cultural
awareness and respect
• provide positive experiences for
both visitors and hosts
• provide direct financial benefits for
conservation
• provide financial benefits and em-
powerment for local people
• raise sensitivity to host countries’
political, environmental, and social cli-
mate. (TIES, 1990)
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 3
In This Issue
6
Ecotourism Training Center: Leading by Example
Reid Ridgway, Ecotourism Training Center, Thailand
Huaorani Ecolodge: Providing a New Model
for Community Tourism in Latin America
Gerard Coffey, Tropic Journeys in Nature,
Ecuador
12
15
Lessons from Nature:
Experiential learning at
Ecomantra
Mahrukh Goel,
India
Could More Problems Mean
MORE Solutions?
Jorge Espinoza
Rainforest Expeditions, Peru
16
18
Mai Kana: Linking Pacific Island Agriculture
and Tourism
Tracy Berno, Oceania Sustainable Tourism Alliance
EcoTraining: It’s not only about wildlife training
Taflin Tiley, EcoTraining, South Africa
10
TIES Activities Report: Our Projects and
Milestones in 2008
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
21
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.
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
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
As the world’s oldest and
largest ecotourism organi-
za�on, TIES is commi�ed
to promo�ng the princi-
ples of ecotourism and
responsible travel. With
the goal of uni�ng conser-
va�on, communi�es and
sustainable travel, TIES
serves its members in over
90 countries as the global
source of knowledge and
advocacy in ecotourism.
Our Mission:
TIES promotes responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and
improves the well-being of local people by:
- Crea�ng an interna�onal network of individuals, ins�tu�ons and the tourism industry;
- Educa�ng tourists and tourism professionals; and
- Influencing the tourism industry, public ins�tu�ons and donors to integrate the princi-
ples of ecotourism into their opera�ons and policies.

Our Team:
TIES Staff: Jon Bruno, Director of Finance • Mikael Castro, Director of Special Events
• Ayako Ezaki, Director of Communica�ons • Julia Fisher, ecoDes�na�ons Manager •
Ferdinand Weps, Director of Membership & Opera�ons
4 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents
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
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 5
Ecotourism Associations
around the World
6 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

BY REID RIDGWAY
B
y the definitions of ecotourism, there
are few grassroots organizations
that outshine the Ecotourism Train-
ing Center (ETC) in Khao Lak, Thailand.

The program is building local capacity for both
the tourism industry and for marine conserva-
tion, and it’s proven a powerful instrument
of poverty alleviation as well. But it doesn’t
stop there: ETC, as an educational outreach
platform, is helping the whole community to
better understand their coastal resources.

The Beginning
Emerging from the void left by the Indian
Ocean tsunami 4 years ago, ETC has demon-
strated effective ways to build opportunities
for a community devastated by the waves
that engulfed much of Southeast Asia in 2004.
The students of ETC are local disadvantaged
young adults, often, though not always, deeply
affected by the tsunami. The program is a nine-
month intensive training program in English Lan-
guage, Computer Skills, and Marine Conservation.
The students graduate with profession-
al credentials as PADI undersea tour lead-
ers, or SCUBA instructors in many cases,
and are placed in jobs that pay them four
to six times their previous earning power.
Marine Conservation
A recent report, REEFS AT RISK, co-authored
by the World Resources Institute and the
UNEP, and widely considered the seminal
study on coral reef conservation, advocates
in its conclusion that local reefs must be
protected at local levels. Both capacity build-
ing and community education are cited as nec-
essary ingredients in the fight to save the reefs.

Learn more about ETC

Website: www.etcth.org
Email: reid@etcth.org
Phone: +66 (0) 87
263-6016 (*drop the
(0) for internation-
al calls to Thailand)

Mailing Address:
Ecotourism Training
Center (ETC)
56/73-74 Pechakacem
Road, Moo 5, Tamboon
Khuk Khak, Amphur
Takuapa, Phang-Nga
Province, 82190
Thailand

Ecotourism Training
Center: Leading by Example
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 7

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.

“...local reefs must be pro-
tected at local levels. Both
capacity building and com-
munity education are...
necessary ingredients in
the fight to save the reefs.”

The Future
In the past, ETC has survived by dona-
tions, but is now engineering a way to
self-sustain its mission, through a com-
mercial dive operation and tour-book-
ing agency called SMART (Sustainable
Marine Adventures & Responsible Tour-
ism) (Web: www.smartecotours.com).
The SMART business plan recently re-
ceived a top academic award at the
Global Social Venture Competition,
stemming from the renowned Haas
School of Business at UC Berkeley.
The idea is simple. SMART will offer a
range of environmental tour activities
to visitors, diving being a central of-
fering, and the graduates of the ETC
program will be the hosts and guides.
10% of SMART’s gross revenues will
go directly to fund the ETC program.
Tourists will have a direct experi-
ence with the people whose lives
they are helping to change, and
the students will have a natu-
ral cause to be excellent hosts.
SMART, to be launched on January 1st,
2009, is now seeking investment part-
ners with ambitions to expand SMART
and ETC all over Southeast Asia.

ETC has it all: Cultural respect,
and exchange, poverty allevia-
tion, environmental protection,
capacity building for local peo-
ple, community education, and
it’s all fueled by ecotourism.

News article about ETC published on Gai-
aDiscovery.com

ETC Students Out in the sea
8 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents
ETC Student Story: Onuma Dareang
Photos by Reid Ridgway

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

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
Read more ETC student stories at:
www.etcth.org
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 9
The International Ecotourism Society
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|:.r.:· cc:-e·.~r.c:. cc¬¬u:.r.e- ~:J
-u-r~.:~¦|e r·~.e|
I NT E R NS HI P
• Administrative
• Fundraising & Development
• Conference & Special Event Planning
• Training & Education
• Membership
• Communications
• Website & Graphic Design
• IT Support
interns must obtain the appropriate visas, and all
interns are responsible for travel to Washington, DC
and for their own accommodation and board while
in DC. For interns working in Washington DC, TIES
will reimburse costs of local travel to/from work and
home.
How To Apply
Applications are continually being accepted, so you
are welcome to apply any time. Send a cover letter,
resume/CV, contact information for 3 references,
and a 3-5 page writing sample to:
employment@ecotourism.org. Make sure to
indicate which internship area you are most
interested in and when you would be available to
intern.
Further information available at:
The International Ecotourism Society
(TIES) offers internship opportunities year round for
you to contribute to ecotourism and to learn latest
industry trends and gain relevant work experience.
About Our Internships
All TIES internships are for a minimum of 3 months.
While most internship positions are located in
Washington DC, we welcome interns working
online from other locations. Overseas www.ecotourism.org
10 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

BY TAFLIN TILEY
E
coTraining believes that we
are running out of time on
our planet in terms of hu-
mans’ practices and ways of living.

So the mission is broader than local
field guide training. We seek to instill
an education and appreciation for the
environment through training local
and international learners; using com-
munity-based concession for wilder-
ness areas, and ensuring the learning
experience is sustainable through an
international community network.

EcoTraining offers leading profes-
sional Field Guide and other nature
training programmes in South Africa.

We ensure that the learners are of the
right standard and training, and consider
having the right philosophy and approach
just as important as wildlife knowledge.

Learners take the countless opportuni-
ties given to them each day to spread the
conservation ethic, and to realize the po-
tential influence that they may have on
others after completing a course. It’s not
only about wildlife and nature; it’s also
a cultural interchange for the learners.

EcoTraining’s formal Field Guide and
Nature Training programmes, ac-
credited by the Field Guides Associa-
tion of Southern Africa (FGASA), take

EcoTraining
It’s not only about
wildlife training

place at bush camps which collective-
ly open the door to 66,000 hectares
of stunning wilderness landscapes
teeming with buffalo, elephant, rhi-
no, lion and leopard as well as ante-
lope and a huge diversity of birds.

Not all the camps are accessible to
regular tourists visiting the parks, as
the focus is on wilderness areas that
involve private conservation efforts
and community-based employment.

Selati Camp is situated on the banks
of the Selati River in the 33,000 hec-
tare Selati Game Reserve to the
west of the Kruger National Park.

Karongwe Camp is situated on the banks
of the Karongwe River in the 9,000 hec-
tare Karongwe Game Reserve, to the
south-west of the Kruger National Park.

Kruger Park Makuleke Camp is situ-
ated in the 24,000 hectare Makule-
ke concession in the far northern
part of the Kruger National Park
and the Limpopo Transfrontier Park.

This area belongs to the Makuleke
community, who were forced out of
the area in 1968. After a lengthy proc-
ess the land was finally re-instated
to the community in 1998 on settle-
ment of a land claims court case.

Through EcoTraining’s courses, you will
gain in-depth knowledge about nature,
ecology and wildlife, but that is only
one aspect of your learning experience.

It’s about absorbing nature, learn-
ing how to interact with the en-
vironment, and being part of the
ecosystems. It’s about becoming in-
tertwined with the natural environ-
ment that sustains us and gives us air
to breathe, water to drink and beauty
to obtain peace and inspiration from.

The bush is powerful and on the cours-
es, you start to realize that the clut-
ter of modern society’s trappings be-
comes less relevant. There is a mental,
emotional and spiritual shift towards
respect, consideration and sensitiv-
ity towards nature and your peers.

EcoTraining is spreading our conserva-
tion ethos and message beyond Afri-
can soil - We have recently launched
operations in Australia to offer more
specialist nature-based courses.

Australia tempts learners with the
marine spectacle of its coastal reefs,
the prolific birdlife of the floodplains,
the extraordinary life in the deserts
of the world’s driest continent, and
the world’s oldest Indigenous culture.

For more information: www.ecotraining.
co.za (South Africa), and www.ecotrain-
ingaustralia.com.au (Australia).

Have we forgotten that wilderness
is not a place, but a pattern of soul
where every tree, bird and every
beast is a soul maker?” Ian McCallum
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

For my part, the knowledge of fauna & flora,
geology, human geography (including poli-
tics) and the interconnection between all three,
that I acquired with EcoTraining, proved invalu-
able during my ten year career as an Invest-
ment Banker in London, New York and Frankfurt.

EcoTraining offers individuals from all walks of life
more than a ‘good time’ - it also offers structured
personal development. EcoTraining courses, such
as FGASA Level 1 and Trails Guide provide great
opportunities for cost-effective, structured, edu-
cational and, most importantly, fun experiences.”

“Education comes
naturally…”

Photos by EcoTraining

In an increasingly pressurised western corpo-
rate world, candidates applying for any po-
sitions in any industry must demonstrate that
they possess qualities such as self-reliance, lateral
thought and (an attribute often missing amongst
the academically bright), basic common sense.

I have found through my experience under-
taken on three different EcoTraining courses,
that the skills and knowledge acquired dur-
ing a month in the bush often prove invaluable
tools, not only for those seeking a career in the
safari industry, but across the corporate world.

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.
12 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents
Huaorani Ecolodge:
Providing a New Model
for Community Tourism
in Latin America
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 13

Gerard Coffey is Conservation
in Action Foundation consult-
ant. For more information on
Huaorani Ecolodge, contact:
Jascivan Carvalho,
General Manager, at
manager @t r opi ceco. com
or (593 2) 2234594 / 2225907.

BY GERARD COFFEY
T
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
at their present location in the
North East of what is now Ecuador.

Living as nomadic hunters and
gatherers in an extensive terri-
tory bounded by the Napo River in
the North and the Cururay in the
South, the Spanish conquest passed
them by and they remained iso-
lated until the end of the 1950s.

Evangelical missionaries made the
first contact, and after them came
the oil companies and the log-
gers. The Huaorani’s long-estab-
lished territory suffered, pollu-
tion became a problem, the forest
was threatened, the tribe’s tradi-
tional lifestyle began to be under-
mined. The future looked very dim.

In 1994, Welsh ecologist Andy Drumm
became alarmed at the plight of this
traditionally proud, defiant peo-
ple. Working with Huaorani leader
Moi Enomenga, (featured in Joe
Kane’s book ‘Savages’), he founded
a socially principled tour operator,
Tropic Journeys in Nature (wwww.
tropiceco.com), in order to work
on a solution: community tourism.

The result was an innovative part-
nership promoting a new form of
ecologically friendly development
sensitive to Huaorani traditions. The
venture began with the develop-
ment of ‘Amazon Headwaters with
the Huaorani’ operated since 1994.

The programme proved a huge success
and gathered a number of awards, in-
cluding the TODO! Award in 1997 and the
ecotourism showcase award in 2000.

Success brought further plans, this
time for a more permanent struc-
ture both organizationally and con-
cretely: Huaorani Ecolodge (www.
huaorani.com), an ecotourism
project to be co managed by Trop-
ic and the Huaorani themselves.

A tourism association was
formed by the five communities

involved in the project, commu-
nity members were trained and
plans made to produce and sell
crafts.After consultations a site was
chosen and a lodge planned and
built; it opened in January 2008.

The project now provides work and
alternative income, and a reason to
protect the environment. As a bonus
the year end profits will pay for health
and education projects to be decided
on by the women of the community.

The social and environmental impor-
tance of the work has not gone unrec-
ognized. In November 2008 the project
was awarded by LATA (Latin American
Travel Association, www.lata.org) in
the UK as the best sustainable tourism
project of the year in Latin America.

There is still a lot to be done: more
training, promotion, and the strength-
ening of the Huaorani tourism associ-
ation are all crucial. But the creation
of a new forest reserve of some 30,000
hectares will provide a boost, protect-
ing the area’s precious wildlife and
providing further stimulus to tourism.

The People themselves will also be
winners, their disappearance only a
matter of time but with the advent
of community ecotourism, and the
support of Tropic, this vibrant group
now seems to have time on its side.
The project now provides
work and alternative in-
come, and a reason to
protect the environment.
As a bonus, the year end
profits will pay for health
and education projects
to be decided on by the
women of the community.

Huaorani Ecolodge received front page
treatment in the weekend travel section
of the prestigious UK daily The Guard-
ian (October 2007): “Take me to the
river - Under siege from oil companies
and loggers, the Huaorani of Ecuador
are fighting back - through ecotourism.
Piers Moore Ede is the first to visit their
Amazon lodge” (www.guardian.co.uk/
travel/2007/oct/27/saturday.green).
14 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents
Photos by Eco Farm

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)
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 15



a live snake in his hands, one is tempt-
ed to shed off his fear and try the same.

Some of our most successful experiential pro-
grams include: Snake Awareness and Common
Wildlife around Us; the Tribal Art Workshop,
which brings one closer to the lifestyle of
tribes in Maharashtra through their simple
paintings in huts; the Hut Building Program;
the Coconut and Bamboo Handicraft Work-
shops; Clay Modelling for Ganesha Idols;
and Holi Naturally, a workshop on making
natural colours during the Holi festivals.

Ecomantra has also created its own unique
training modules, as part of our efforts to
make outdoor management training pro-
grams exciting and accessible. One module
on wildlife even has a name that sounds
exciting and adventurous: the Jungle Book.
Another module is called Sholay Adventures
– based on one of Bollywood’s most success-
ful movie in the backdrop of wild mountains.

We also design Theatre workshops on
the theme of nature, which involve
role play and learning sessions, enjoyed
with a great deal of laughter and fun.

One of the most important goals of our
experiential programs is to bring people
closer to the wonders of nature and with
those who live closely with nature, be-
cause we believe that without awaken-
ing this inherent love for nature among
visitors, no amount of awareness on conser-
vation would convince people to take action.

BY MAHRUKH GOEL
A
t Ecomantra, we believe that Na-
ture is the best, most wonder-
ful teacher of all. Our experiential
learning programs are carefully woven
and created around the theme of nature.

We try to make the world of animals,
birds, insects and amphibians in the
backdrop of lakes, rivers, farms and
mountains interesting to learn from.

When Ecomantra was conceptualised in the
year 2000 as an ecotourism company, we
were looking at eco holidays as our primary
activity. To make our eco holidays more inter-
esting and meaningful for visitors, Ecoman-
tra’s founders Mahrukh and Ravi Goel,
began adding new activities in the form of
eco adventures and interactive programs.

Simultaneously, we began offering work-
shops and interactive programs to pro-
mote our message of nature conservation
in the city. Today the most active demand
we receive for these programs is from
corporate groups, among the age bracket
of 20 to 35 years and families who enjoy
these programs at our camps and resort.

Our experiential programs focus on bringing
a sense of wonder among participants and
strengthen the bonds among participants.
Visitors love the new experiences and ap-
preciate the knowledge they gain, as seen
in the feedback they give to us. Peer pres-
sure plays a great role as a positive element.
If a one sees another participant holding

Ecomantra Nature
Adventures
Address: 19, Rajas-
than Technical Centre,
Patanwala Estate,
LBS Marg, Ghatko-
par West, Mum-
bai - 400086, India

Tel: +91 22 25007347
Web: www.ecomantra.org
Lessons from Nature:
Experiential learning at
Ecomantra
16 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents



Socially the community has changed in sev-
eral ways. There are more decision making
venues beyond the original communal board
of directors. Now there is a Tourism Commit-
tee, a modestly functional PTA, a community
office, etc. There are also health and educa-
tional safety nets and increased capacity to
negotiate with public and private corporations.

Environmentally, the community has set aside
areas for conservation, mostly around the tour-
ism resources – the lodge, the lake, the clay lick.
They pay for a government ecotourism conces-
sion and have fines for people caught poach-
ing in off limits area, which they have applied.

However, amongst the unforeseen effects of
the project is the distribution of dividends
amongst families (rather than reinvestment in
community projects) which in turn has caused
all sorts of diverse family investments or ex-
penditures, much like a free market scenario.

Furthermore, outside of the reserved ar-
eas, a business as usual scenario still un-
folds, albeit increased income accelerates it.

The community has had its share of inter-
nal conflict over the decisions of how to
spend its dividends, and often after diffi-
cult meetings, is learning to cope with con-
flict. Families have tended to keep two
homes – one in the city, and one in the farm.

It may be that the community has more
problems than it did twelve years ago,
but better prospects of solving them!
Could More Problems
Mean MORE
Solutions?

Jorge Espinoza is
among the most
experienced expert
guides at Rainforest
Expeditions, and is
also an author of
several pieces for
local newspapers.

BY JORGE ESPINOZA COLÁN
I
n Peru, twelve years of institution-
al life is reason to write home about.
That is why, twelve years after its signa-
ture, the joint venture contract between
Rainforest Expeditions (RFE) and the Infi-
erno Native Community (CNI) which gave
birth to Posada Amazonas, is still news.

Located in the Amazon district of Tambopata,
adjacent to its namesake 1.5 million hec-
tare reserve, Posada Amazonas is a rustic 30
room ecolodge that hosts guests on intro-
ductory three or four night tours. It belongs
to the CNI, but is co-managed with RFE,
and profits are shared 60/40, respectively.

The contract was conceived because
the CNI wanted to compete in the tour-
ism industry and RFE required a com-
mercial location to complement its older,
more remote Tambopata Research Center.

Along the way, RFE has made sustainable
development and conservation projects the
core of its business. The project was also
designed to generate economic incentives
in the community to leave forest stand-
ing. A brief analysis of each arena follows.

Economically, the community receives its
most significant impacts from dividends
and employments, including over a dozen
bilingual guides. These have signified an
increase on community families annual in-
come. Succesful communal suppliers include
small handicrafts, port, ethnobotanical serv-
ice and fish farm/ restaurant companies.
Rainforest Expedi-
tions (TIES Business
member) operates
three award winning
Amazon lodges: Posada
Amazonas (30 rooms),
Refugio Amazonas (24
rooms), and Tambopata
Research Center (18
rooms). Each Amazon
lodge uncovers a wide
array of fascinating eco-
tourism experiencies
in the middle of our
jungle, in the heart of
the amazon rainforest.
www.rainforest.com.pe

Photos by Rain-
forest Expeditions
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EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 17
media@ecotourism.org
YOUR AD
HERE

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.

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-
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.
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
Ranweli Holiday Village (Sri Lanka) and a long-
time Board member, supporter and friend of TIES.

A pioneering entrepreneur and inspirational lead-
er, Chandra’s dedication to ecotourism, conserva-
tion and sustainable community development have
touched numerous lives in Sri Lanka and beyond.

Among many legacies that Chandra’s lifetime achieve-
ments have left for TIES is our new tradition of planting
trees in honor of the recipients of the Lifetime Achieve-
ment Award. Chandra used tree planting as an opportunity
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.

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-
bership contribution and memorial donation to Ameri-
can Forests will plant 25 trees in honor of Chandra.

Nominations may be submitted electronically to TIES Board
Chair and Executive Director (ed@ecotourism.org), with the
subject line, “Lifetime Achievement Award Nomination.”
A Special
Way to
Share
Your
Passion
Give A
Gift of
TIES
Membership! Membership@ecotourism.org
Learn How:
Find Us On Facebook
Your Travel
Choice Makes
a Difference
18 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents

BY TRACY BERNO
Oceania Sustainable Tourism Alliance

The Project

Mai Kana links sustainable agriculture, sus-
tainable cuisine and the tourism industry by
promoting the “farmer-to-table” concept.

The People

The project is by and for passionate Pa-
cific people. The following partners col-
laboratively implement Mai Kana:

Robert Oliver, a Fiji raised and Caribbean/US
based chef who is best known for the devel-
opment of high profile tropical restaurants
and food program development in the South
Pacific, the USA and the Caribbean.

Dr Tracy Berno, formerly the head of the
tourism and hospitality department at Univer-
sity of the South Pacific.

Shiri, a talented photographer and book/
graphic designer based in Fiji.


Food and Tourism in
the South Pacific

The South Pacific has at its doorstep an
abundance of wonderful tropical and ex-
otic agricultural products. Despite this
abundance of locally produced foods
and food products, in most South Pa-
cific island nations, much of the food
served in the tourism sector is import-
ed, lacks innovation and fails to deliver
a “South Pacific experience” to visitors.
Mai Kana: Linking
Pacific Island Agriculture
and Tourism

The Mai Kana partners want to ad-
dress this lost opportunity.

Food is an essential component of the tour-
ism industry. It is obvious, but it warrants
mention that all tourists eat when they
travel, and dining is consistently in the
top three most popular tourist activities.
Food and beverage consumption represents
a significant part of tourist expenditure.

Yet for many countries, particularly devel-
oping countries, food represents one of the
highest areas of economic leakage in tourism.
The degree to which tourism in a country re-
lies on imported foods can significantly affect
the social and economic impacts of tourism.

Importing foods results in a loss of foreign
exchange earnings and lost opportunities
to expand and modernize local food pro-
duction and processing. Potentially, this
may result in a loss of local income and
employment, particularly in rural areas.

Enhancing linkages between agriculture and
tourism presents significant opportunities for
stimulating local production, retaining tour-
ism earnings in the locale, and improving the
distribution of economic benefits of tourism to
rural people, hence contributing to rural pov-
erty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods.

“Farmer to Table”

One way of linking sustainable agriculture,
sustainable cuisine and the tourism indus-
try is the development and promotion of the
“farmer-to-table” concept, which can sup-
port sustainable livelihoods and community
development by increasing demand for local
products and associated micro-enterprise.


“Natural ecosystems
(e.g., forests, wetlands,
grasslands, estuaries,
open space) provide a
variety of “ecosystem
services” (e.g., carbon
sequestrations, water
purification, flood con-
trol, soil regeneration,
wildlife habitat, polli-
nation, nutrient recy-
cling, viewscapes) that
underpin human wel-
fare.” Read more: www.
sandersi nternati onal .
net / ecosyst em. ht ml
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 19

When implemented well, the farm-
er-to-table concept can help ef-
fectively link sustainable local
food production and tourism activi-
ties, resulting in positive outcomes
for a broad range of beneficiaries.

The tourism and hospitality industry
can take advantage of the growing
interest in sustainable food systems
and sustainable cuisine by promot-
ing and using more local products
throughout the industry, while at
the same time, meeting needs for
an authentic, quality experience.

The Cookbook

The first project for the Mai Kana
partners is to publish a high quality
cookbook, MAI KANA: The food and
flavors of Fiji and the South Pacific.

MAI KANA is more than just a cookbook,
however. Through their shared passion
for the peoples, cultures and foods of
the South Pacific, Rob, Tracy and Shiri
aim to create a book that will improve
the quality of fresh, healthy food offered
to the South Pacific’s tourism markets.

The book will reflect the broad range
of both traditional and contemporary
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.

Pacific cuisines and will include tradi-
tional recipes and some not-so-tradition-
al recipes, all using local ingredients.

MAI KANA is not only an informative
source on traditional and contemporary
cuisines of the Pacific, but also an oppor-
tunity to contribute to and invest in the
sustainable development of the region.

Underpinned by a philosophy of sus-
tainable tourism, sustainable liveli-
hoods and sustainable cuisine, MAI
KANA will promote the beauty of the
South Pacific region and its cultures.

The book has at its core the devel-
opment of a Pacific cuisine cook-
ery book which will highlight and
raise awareness of Pacific foods
as part of the tourism product.

The book will also serve as a train-
ing tool for agricultural producers,
hotel chefs and hospitality/catering
educators, on the supply and use of
local products in the tourism sector.

With proceeds of the book, the
partners aspire to contribute to
the establishment of sustainable
farmer-to-table initiatives through-
out the South Pacific region.
©Living Pacific
(2008)
©Living Pacific
(2008)
©Living Pacific (2008)
20 | ecotourism.org
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.

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

Chew baby guava leaves for
“running stomach” - which
can be caused by eating too
many guavas!
Photos by Tracy Berno
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 21
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
22 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents
Members
around the
World
Sponsors &
Supporters
OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT
Where are TIES members?
TIES Global Network of Members
Quick Overview:
Membership growth in 2007-2008: 28%*
Number of countries represented by members: 90
Local, na�onal and regional ecotourism associa�ons: 55

*Increase in the total number of members from 2007 to 2008.
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
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 23
Members
around the
World
Sponsors &
Supporters
OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT
TIES Sponsor & Supporter Members 2008 -2009

La Selva Jungle Lodge: Founded in 1986 in pris-
tine primary rainforest of Ecuador, this Ecolodge
continues to reinvent ecotourism as it has since it
intuited the movement which was only a faint mur-
mur 25,000 guests ago. TIES member since 2008.

Lapa Rios Ecolodge: Lapa Rios is a model ecotourism
project that strives to show that “a forest left standing is
worth more than one cut down.” A pioneer in sustaina-
ble tourism and environmentally sound business practic-
es, Lapa Rios has won neumerous international awards.

Legitify: Legitify offers Digital Media Professional
Services and Publishing Tools. Legitify designs web-
sites, produces content for websites, and devel-
opes sophisticated tools for digital content man-
agement online. Legitify has been a member of
TIES and avid supporter of ecotourism since 1998.

Leisure Hotels: Leisure Group values India’s rich
natural heritage, and supports various eco-friend-
ly activities and community initiatives through
the Group’s propertoes. TIES member since 2007.

Lindblad Expeditions: A world leader in ad-
venture travel, Lindblad continues to pro-
vide real value to guests and to the local com-
munities, following the belief that business and
conservation go hand in hand. TIES member since 2004.

Maho Bay Camps: Maho Bay Camps opened in
1976 on the US Virgin Islands, based on the philoso-
phy that environmental sensitivity, human comfort
and responsible consumption are all compatible and
that they can enhance your vacation experience.

Mithun: A national leader in sustainable design
and urbanism, fresh ideas have emanated from Mit-
hun since 1949. Through an innovative blend of de-
sign, technology and nature, Mithun creates plac-
es that excel in beauty, spirit and performance.

OARS: OARS strives to enrich people’s lives by
providing outstanding adventure experiences.
Since 1969, OARS has been actively supporting
awareness, deeper appreciation, and preserva-
tion of the world’s rivers and natural ecosystems.

Rivers Fiji: Rivers Fiji is committed to sustain-
able tourism practices and works very closely with
neighboring riverside villages. Rivers Fiji guides
are local experts who grew up along the rivers
and know their environment better than anyone.

Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge: Sadie Cove
was built by hand from local driftwood and re-
claimed barn lumber by Alaska pioneer, Keith Iver-
son. The Lodge has been benchmarked by Green
Globe International. TIES member since 2008.

Trans Niugini Tours: Trans Niugini Tours is Papua
New Guinea’s leading inbound tour operator. Trans
Niugini Tours owns and operates a number of award
winning Wilderness Lodges in Papua New Guinea.

Worldnomads: World Nomads travel insurance is
available to people from over 150 countries. Through
its Footprints initiative, World Nomads gives back to
communities by contributing to social and educational
projects that help improve the lives of local people.

Adventure Life Journeys: Adventure Life is com-
mitted to providing quality small group tours that
have a positive impact on the local culture and en-
vironment. Each tour is designed to present the
best of each region. TIES member since 2001.

Alaska Wildland Adventures: Alaska Wildland
Adventures has operated tours, lodges, and wil-
derness adventure vacations in Alaska for over 31
years, with the goal of offering a high quality, au-
thentic Alaskan adventure. TIES member since 1991.

Canadian Mountain Holidays Inc. (CMH):
With the vision to be the leading sustainable tour-
ism operator in North America, CMH collabo-
rates with employees, governments, business,
scientists, and local communities to operate as an in-
tegral part of the community. TIES member since 2002.

Ecocamp Patagonia: Based in Torres del Paine
National Park in Patagonia, Ecocamp Patagonia is
the first hospitality company in Chile to receive
the prestigious ISO14001 Environmental Manage-
ment System certification. TIES member since 2007.

Ecoventura: Ecoventura is dedicated to preserving
the ecological integrity of the Galapagos Islands for
both its scientific value and economic benefit through
various ongoing conservation projects including Smart-
Voyager and the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund.

Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn: Since 1985, Finca
Rosa Blanca has had one important goal in mind: to
leave the minimum trace on the local environment.
Finca Rosa Blanca operates in a sustainable manner,
through regenerating resources, raising social con-
sciousness and providing educational opportunities.

Fachhochschule Eberswalde: Eberswalde Univer-
sity of Applied Sciences offers Germany’s only Master
program in Sustainable Tourism Management, focusing
on destination management, CSR, sustainable market-
ing, ecotourism and tourism in developing countries.

Holbrook Travel: With the goal of helping help travel-
ers experience incredible journeys, Holbrook trips show-
case the world’s natural and cultural wonders. Through
these journeys, Holbrook encourages travelers to truly
embrace travel and to seek new ways to see the world.

InkaNatura Travel: InkaNatura Travel is the only leading
tour operator in Peru owned by a nonprofit conservation
group, Peru Verde. InkaNatura contributes to the mainte-
nance of national parks, reserves, and archaeological sites.

International Expeditions: A founding mem-
ber of TIES, International Expeditions offers envi-
ronmentally responsible expeditions to some of the
world’s most remarkable places, providing guests
with the opportunity to enhance their appreciation
for the natural and cultural wonders of the world.

Intrepid Travel: For travelers with a yearning to get off
the beaten track, Intrepid opens up a whole new world.
With a huge variety of travel styles available, Intrepid
travelers explore the world’s most amazing places.

Jungle Expeditions: Through special itineraries and el-
egant River Boats, expert naturalist guides and crew will
lead you on a voyage to discover our 20 year old secret:
the Majestic Amazon Jungle! TIES member since 2008.
24 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents
OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT
Events &
Outreach
UCFC Program
DT Eco-Tour April 30, 2008
Focusing on key principles of ecotourism and
sustainable travel, DC Eco-Tour explored Rock
Creek Park, the American Indian Museum,
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
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 25
OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT
Events &
Outreach
UCFC Program
Ecotourism and Sustainable Development in El Salvador Workshop
February 25-27, 2008
As part of a collabora�ve project
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
Canada, these presentations offer case stud-
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
Kelly Bricker, TIES Chair, and Mikael Castro, TIES Director of
Special Events, at the ESTC 2008.
26 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents
OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT
Events &
Outreach
UCFC Program
What is the UCFC Program?

TIES’ exci�ng new educa�onal ini�a-
�ve, the University Consor�um Field
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
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 27
OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT
GSTC
Partnership
Your
Contribution
2009 and
Beyond
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Workshop at the
Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2008
(ESTC 2008), October 27, 2008, Vancouver,
Bri�sh Columbia, Canada
STSC: Sustainable Tour-
ism Stewardship Counsil
Tourism businesses can demonstrate
their commitment to sustainability
by mee�ng the social and environ-
mental standards created by leading
third-party cer�fica�on programs.
There are more than 50 na�onal
and interna�onal cer�fica�on pro-
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-
�on that would set universal minimum
standards for cer�fica�on programs
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.
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) Partnership
28 | ecotourism.org
EcoCurrents
OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT
GSTC
Partnership
Your
Contribution
2009 and
Beyond
Giving Back to the Global Ecotourism Community
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:
Supporting Future Ecotouriosm Leaders

As part of our efforts to support students in ecotourism and sustainable
tourism, TIES offers opportunities for students to participate in the net-
working and knowledge sharing experiences through our programs, provid-
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.
EcoCurrents
ecotourism.org | 29
OUR NETWORK | EDUCATION | GLOBAL IMPACT
GSTC
Partnership
Your
Contribution
2009 and
Beyond
Leading the Efforts to Make Tourism Sustainable
Together with our members and partners, TIES continues to promote efforts to make
tourism a viable tool for bio-cultural conservation and sustainable development.
ESTC 2009 - Portland, Oregon, USA
The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2009 (ESTC 2009) will
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
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
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�
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.

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