This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Best Practices and Tips for Ecolodges:
Sukau Rainforest Lodge Maho Bay Camps Lapa Rios Ecolodge
Water Conservation Tips for Responsible Travelers
Resources on Sustainable Water Management Cross-Cultural Native Fibre Weavers Project The Green Guide to the Mexican Caribbean
Special Report: Community
usta S s and tie ommuni U n i t i n g C o n s e r va t i o n , C
Based Ecotourism in Mongolia
Dear TIES Members,
As you’ve probably already noticed, TIES’ EcoCurrents has undergone signiﬁcant redesign. We are very excited to present to you the ﬁrst edition of the new and improved EcoCurrents, the eMagazine for TIES’ global ecotourism network. The overall theme for EcoCurrents in 2008 is sustainable use and management of resources in ecotourism. We are focusing not only on the natural resources that power ecotourism initiatives – water, energy, agriculture and forestry resources – but also on the development of human, social and cultural resources through capacity building. Water is undoubtedly one of the most essential resources sustaining and enriching our lives, and thus naturally plays a crucial role in ecotourism – whether it be in a coastal area or desert community. Tourism can have direct and indirect impacts on water resources: Water usage by tourists may put a strain on local residents’ need for water, and some tourist activities may lead to water pollution. On the other hand, access to safe drinking water, a fundamental need for all human beings, is among the top priorities for any traveler. Using the core principles of ecotourism as the guideline, we encourage all our members to approach water conservation issues from both global and local perspectives – by continuing to seek ways to address the water scarcity, access, and health problems, and by taking actions to use and manage water resources in a responsible manner every day. Ecotourism businesses and organizations, as well as responsible travelers around the world, have a unique opportunity to educate visitors, employees and community members about the importance of water conservation and sustainable water management. We hope that the examples featured in this edition will inspire you to action, and ask that you share your ideas and other innovative examples, as well as your comments and feedback on EcoCurrents, by sending a letter to: email@example.com.
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 empowerment for local people • raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate. (TIES, 1990)
Ayako Ezaki Editor
Next Edition (July 2008) / Alternative and renewable energy use for sustainable tourism development.
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In This Issue
Water Conservation Initiatives at Sukau Rainforest Lodge Albert Teo
Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Maho Bay Camps & Estate Concordia Preserve
Cross-Cultural Native Fibre Weavers Project, Annie Vanderwyk
Water Conservation Tips for Responsible Travelers
Useful Resources on Sustainable Water Management
Water Conservation and Water Saving Devices for Ecolodges Karen Lewis
The Green Guide to the Mexican Caribbean MEXICONSERVACIÓN
special report: A Case Study in CommunityBased Tourism with Nomads Katrina Shum
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The “Traveler’s Palm” featured in our logo is a symbol of the role nature plays in sustaining humanity. The palm served as a life line to weary travelers for centuries. The plant, native to Madagascar, is an excellent source of water as it stores water in it’s leaf folds, flowers, and hollow leaf bases (which hold up to a quart/liter of water), and grows to be around 25 feet tall and faces east-west, thus serving as beckoning compass.
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 international 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIES Staff: Jon Bruno, Director of Finance • Mikael Castro, Director of Special Events • Christina Cavaliere, Director of Training and Education • Ayako Ezaki, Director of Communications • Ferdinand Weps, Director of Membership & Operations TIES Yuta Interns Kinjo, & Volunteers: Natalie Communications Intern • Ehrlich, Communications Assistant • Arlene Levy, DC Eco-Tour Coordinator
TIES Board of Directors: Kelly Bricker, Chair • Tony Charters, Vice Chair • Andrew Fairley, Treasurer • Richard Denman, Secretary • Rajiv Bhartari • Sylvie Blangy • Chandra de Silva • Glenn Jampol • Karen Lewis • Hitesh Mehta • Ravi Ruparel • Keith Sproule • Wolfgang Strasdas • Masaru Takayama • Jan Wigsten • Carolyn Wild
Ecotourism: “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990)
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Ecotourism Associations around the World
TIES Association Members
Europe: Business and the Environment linked through Small Scale Tourism (BESST) • Ecotourism Norway • Ecotourisme France • Ecoturismo 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 • Israeli Ecotourism Society Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin Ecotourism Concern (ECO-BENIN) • Ecotourism Society of Ehiopia • Ecotourism Society of Nigeria • Ecotourism 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: Aboriginal Tourism Australia (ATA) • 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) 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: email@example.com
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Water Conservation Initiatives at
Sukau Rainforest Lodge
BY ALBERT TEO
ukau Rainforest Lodge is a 20room ecolodge in the jungle of Borneo, Malaysia. Located one hour by speed boat up Sabah’s longest river, Kinabatangan River, the lodge opened in 1995. It is100% selfsufficient on water and was only recently connected to local power grid.
heavy rainfall provide a steady source of clean drinking water. To ensure regular supply of clean water, high quality corrugated medal roofing was used to collect rainwater which is filtered and chlorinated for kitchen and guest rooms. During the dry seasons river water is also used by pumping the water through a series of water tanks, where sediments are removed at different levels before the ﬁnal ﬁltration process. Hot water is supplied by 2 units of 132 gallons of hot water solar heating systems.
Being est, located in the frequent the rainforperiods of
Further educational tips from the Sukau Rainforest Lodge are available at Frequently Asked Questions: www.sukau.com/public/components.asp Green Policies: www. sukau.com/news/details.asp?newsid=58
Conservation Practices in Guest Rooms
To minimize water usage at the lodge, all towels and linens laundry are sent to Sandakan for cleaning. Unless requested, we do not replace towels and linens for a two-day stay.
Part of our responsibilities is to educate the local community, guides, managers and tourists on the environment management policies of the company. Guests are encouraged to conserve water especially by minimizing ﬂushing of toilets and turning off the taps when brushing, shampooing or soaping.
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Sukau Rainforest Lodge Water Usage Guidelines
Activitiy Brushing Teeth Washing Hands Shaving Shower Method adopted Running tap for 5 min. Running tap for 2 min. Running tap for 2 min. Letting shower run while soaping under shower. Using old-fashioned large-capacity cistern. Running hose for 5 min. Running hose for 5 min. Running hose for 10 min. Qty. Used (Ltr.) 45 18 18 90 Method to be adopted Tumbler or Glass Half ﬁlled wash basin Shaving mug Wet down tap off, soap up, rinse off Short ﬂush liquid waste/ full ﬂush solid waste Water can Mop and bucket Buckets (2) Qty. required (litr.) 0.5 2 0.25 20 Qty. saved (Ltr.) 44.5 16 17.75 70
13.5 or more
4.0 or more
Watering Plants Washing Floor Washing Car
120 200 400
5 18 18
115 182 382
Part of our responsibilities is to educate the local community, guides, managers and tourists on the environment management policies of the company.
Albert Teo is Managing Director of Sakau Rainforest Lodge. Albert, President and Founder of Borneo Eco Tours, built Sukau Rainforest Lodge to complement good ecotour experiences with a quality ecolodge, and to provide great wildlife watching opportunitiess while demonstrating sustainable building and operating principles.
Photos courtesy of Sakau Rainforest Lodge Left page: (top) Rainwater Tanks; (bottom) Riverwater Tanks
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Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
at Maho Bay Camps & Estate Concordia Preserve
ll staff and visitors play important parts in the many conservation successes by Maho Bay Camps & Estate Concordia Preserve. Reducing fresh water consumption: Fresh water is the most precious commodity on islands like St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands that have no lakes, aquifers or permanent surface water supply. At Maho Bay Resorts, we pay particular attention to this issue. Our average water consumption per guest/day is 25 gallons, whereas most resorts use as much as 300 gallons per guest/day. Spring action faucets and showers prevent waste. Low-ﬂush toilets save up to 3 gallons per ﬂush. Our ﬁrst clean and odor-free waterless urinals, made by The Waterless Company, were installed in 1997. We save 12,000 to 15,000 gallons per year with this new technology.
We carefully monitor water use every day. Running toilets (a common problem) can drain as much as 2,000 gallons of water a day. At Maho Bay Camps, we ask our guests to shower only during certain times of the day to distribute the demand.
Photos courtesy of Maho Bay Camps (www.Maho.org) Left page: Living in the trees at one of Maho’s tent cottages Right page: (top) Guests on Maho Bay Camps deck; (bottom) Solar panels powering Concordia Eco-Tents
At our resorts, we make every effort to augment our water supply by collecting rain water in cisterns, conserving as much as possible, and by treating and using our own wastewater for irrigation. Rain Water catchments on almost every building at Maho Bay Camps collect about 345,000 gallons of rainwater a year. This supplies water to the laundry, housekeeping facilities and the bathhouses. During periods of good rainfall, all the water for our bathhouses may be pure, ﬁltered rainwater.
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Minimizing water pollution
Our washing machines use minimal water as well as minimal energy. We use 100% biodegradable laundry detergent and limit the amount of bleach we use to a minimum. Since our laundry is done without the use of harsh chemicals, the resultant wastewater stream becomes a viable water source for secondary usage. We also supply all of our tent-cabins with 100% natural biodegradable dish soap. Wastewater is pumped into a large aeration tank. Here, nature’s own bacteria break down and separate the solids. The system uses a process designed by the Santec Corporation speciﬁcally for our small capacity. Using gravity reducing back ups, the system sifts and chlorinates the wastewater, leaving a clear liquid ready for reuse in our organic orchard and garden. This is article is based on the “Managing Resources” section on www.Maho.org
Maho Bay Camps, TIES Sponsor & Supporter Member, was founded in 1976 by Stanley Selengut based on the philosophy that environmental sensitivity, human comfort and responsible consumption are all compatible and that they can enhance your vacation experience. The Estate Concordia Studios are on adjacent properties on St. John, about 25 minutes from Maho Bay. Boasting an environment where tree frogs and hummingbirds feel just as comfortable as you do, these eco-resorts are set in a pristine, natural setting, and are among the world’s ﬁnest ecotourism destinations.
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Water Conservation Tips for Responsible Travelers
Before you book:
Do your homework - look for hotels, resorts, and destinations with good water conservation practices. Add to your packing list - biodegradable soaps and detergents, reusable water bottle and water puriﬁer.
Did You Know?
Tourists in Grenada, Spain generally use 7 times more water than local people and this discrepancy is common in many developing tourist areas. (Source: UNESCO Water Portal “Facts about Water and Tourism”)
While you are there:
Use the minimum amount of water needed for a shower/ bath. Don’t let water run while shaving, brushing or washing. Check if the hotel has a linen reuse program - if so, reuse your towels and bed sheets, if not, request hospital ity staff not to change them every day.
Don’t contaminate local water sources:
Avoid washing soaps, shampoos, detergents off directly in rivers or oceans. Avoid using sunscreen with chemicals harmful to wildlife; when possible wear a T-shirt instead while snorkeling or at the beach.
An average 18-hole golf course soaks up at least 525,000 gallons of water a day - enough to supply the irrigation needs of 100 Malaysian farmers. (Source: Tourism Concern “Water abuse”)
Join Our Forum Share your ideas and suggestions on water saving tips for travelers and tourism businesses on TIES Online Forum - “Your Travel Choice Makes a Difference”: www.s8.createphpbb.com/ecotourism Write to Us Submit tips for the “Energy Conservation Tips for Responsible Travelers” section on the Q2 2008 edition of EcoCurrents: editor@ecotourism. org (Subject:“Energy Coservation Tips”)
More Tips to Share?
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Useful Resources : Sustainable Water Management
Green Lodging News ~ lodging’s leading environmental news source
This dynamic website (www.greenlodgingnews.com) provides up-to-date information on various elements of green lodging, including energy saving tips, waste management techniques, green design practices. Find the latest news and best practices on water conservation in the lodging industry here: www. greenlodgingnews.com/WaterConservation.aspx.
WorldWatch Institute ~ State of the World 2008
State of the World is the Worldwatch Institute (www.worldwatch.org)’s ﬂagship annual publication providing latest research on ways to nurture a safe, sane, and healthy global environment through policy and action. The theme of the State of the World 2008 is Innovations for a Sustainable Economy, with Chapter 8 (“Water in a Sustainable Economy”) discussing innovations in water management and policy: www.worldwatch.org/node/5561.
Sustainable Sanitation ~ Ecologically sound and socially viable solution
Ecosan Services Foundation is a Non-Proﬁt Organisation with the objective to provide Ecological Sanitation (“Ecosan”) services through training, capacity building, partnerships and project planning and implementation. Learn about the environmental, social, economic and health beneﬁts of Ecosan here: www.ecosanservices.org.
Ashoka’s Changemakers ~ Tapping Local Innovation: Unclogging the Water and Sanitation Crisis
Changemakers is an initiative of Ashoka (www. ashoka.org) that focuses on social innovation, providing solutions and resources needed to help everyone become a changemaker. The competition, “Tapping Local Innovation” was organized in partnership with the Global Water Challenge (www.globalwaterchallenge.org) in 2008. View the Challenge winners and other information here: www.changemakers.net/en-us/competition/waterandsanitation.
EarthEcho International ~ Empowering individuals to take action
A non-proﬁt organization founded in 2000, EarthEcho International promotes actions to protect and enhance the water planet. EarthEcho International’s mission is to use media and experiences to empower people to use the resources that can restore and protect Earth’s ocean and freshwater systems. Read more and get involved: www.earthecho.org.
More Ecotourism Tips & Resources
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By ANNIE VANDERWYK
ncorporating the Aboriginal weaving traditions and non-Aboriginal cultural experiences, this innovative project creates a national sustainable environmental management program, rehabilitating waterways through the reintroduction of native sedges. This extraordinary cross-cultural and cross-sectoral project is led by Aboriginal Yolugnu weavers from the Northern Territory, Ngarrindjerri weavers from South Australia, and the Barkinji weavers from Northwestern New South Wales (NSW). These Aboriginal nations represent the cultural ﬂow of water from the top end of Australia through the central river systems of NSW to the Coorong in South Australia, and the difﬁculties that Aboriginal communities have faced as water has increasingly been used nation-wide as as a commodity, primarily catering to commercial agricultural needs and interests. The partnership between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal weavers serves a further purpose in addressing cross-cultural education, as well as highlighting the spirit of reconciliation that has been emphasized in Australian government’s process of extending an apology to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for human rights abuses through a sad history of assimilationist government policy.
Native Fibre Weavers
Why Native Fibre? By producing shopping bags, ﬁshing nets, ﬁsh traps, and traditional clothing woven with native ﬁbers, the weavers are contributing their talent to the local, national and international effotrs addressing environmental and cultural challenges such as the use of plastic bags and artiﬁcial materials. The use of introduced noxious and invasive grasses for weaving has also posed signiﬁcant challenge, as those grasses have endangered native species. The NSW-based weaving group Twisted Sisters has developed a concept of weaving to eradicate introduced species, utilizing traditional knowledge of native species to produce products such as mats, baskets and nets across the country. The Trangie Native Fibre Weavers Statement In April 2008, a Native Weavers Workshop was conducted at the government agricultural research station in Trangie, a small rural town in the Central West NSW. The Trangie Workshop marked the start of the Working Group “Native Fibre Weavers Caring For Our Country.” All participants, both men and women, and formal weaving groups in attendance at Trangie agreed to form as foundational members of the Working Group.
The next edition of EcoCurrents will feature an article discussing the upcoming Native Fibre Weavers Workshop to be held at Camp Coorong in South Australia, and the initiatives on cultural tourism business development for weavers. The Camp Coorong Workshop aims to bring further public attention to the critical situation of the Coorong’s vital role in sustaining biodiversity and environmental health of one of the Murray Darling rivers, Australia’s most vital river systems.
For more information on Annie and her contributions to TIES, please see: www.ecotourismorg (Current Projects > Ecotourism and Indigenous Communities)
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“The weaving pattern represents life, stitch by stitch, circle by circle, the lands, waters and all living things [that] are connected like family.” - Ellen Trevorrow, Ngarrindjeri Weaver
Trangie Native Fibre Weavers Statement
The Trangie Native Fibre Weavers Statement represents the collective agreements of all participants of the Trangie workshop, in support of the newly formed “Environmental & Cultural Weavers Caring For Our Country Working Group.”
As a collective of weaving associations, Aboriginal cultural weavers and individual weavers, we are committed to a process of revitalising our environment to sustain our craft and our country s ecological future. We believe our craft reflects the connection of our hands to the earth and the cycle of life through individuals, our families and communities, as an extension of our belonging to Country. Through the strength of our collective voices as weavers and stewards of our Country, we are committed to the following outcomes: 1. To establish, with the support of the 13 NSW CMAs and associated Aboriginal staff, a national profile for the Environmental & Cultural Weavers: Caring for Our Country Working Group. 2. To represent, through the membership of this group, a commitment to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal reconciliation and respect through the valuing of Aboriginal cultural knowledge. 3. To actively apply cultural knowledge to the practices of caring for our country. 4. To pro-actively support the signing of Negotiated Land Access Agreements through the CMA and to work together with the broader community for access and co-management of aspects of the landscape that have cultural value to the group, including wetlands, soaks and river conservation. 5. To listen and learn from our environment. 6. To acknowledge the cultural needs of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian communities in sustaining cultural traditions through gaining access to aspects of the landscape that people value such as native sedges, rushes and reeds through personal agreement or through Negotiated Land Access Agreements. 7. To commit to the environmental management of these sites for the sustainable production of natural resources through land management programs and educational partnerships. 8. To commit to sustainable environmental management of our country and acknowledge the wider socio-cultural responsibilities of the Working Group to support Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal weavers in the development of economic self-determination through the promotion of native fibre crafts. 9. To promote our craft through exhibition or marketing to bring attention to the ecological needs and sustainable practices necessary to care for our country for holistic sustainable natural resource management. 10. To stimulate public awareness of environmental conservation and cultural values through supporting public education and cross-cultural exchange of knowledge through an on going commitment to Community Weaving Workshops and Weavers Conferences. 11. To strengthen the networks of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians through weaving relationships to care for our country.
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BY KAREN LEWIS
Here is a list of construction principles and products that provide a sustainable foundation for an ecolodge. The outline only offers directives, as solutions must be tailored to individual sites, and specific products and methods adopted based on independent research. The list includes suggested products to consider and/or research, as well as materials to build, maintain and/or improve an environmentally friendly and socially responsible hospitality business. Our design originated in a tropical climate yet the outline incorporates colder climate suggestions.
and Water Saving Devices
Introduction - the Lapa Rios Story
Change Habits - Install “Water is NOT a Renewable Resource” signs next to “Turn off the Tap” signs in employee areas and guest rooms.
Lapa Rios Ecolodge, a 14-bungalow ecolodge located in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, was designed and built in 1990s, utilizing community involvement, locally-found building materials, and time-tested practical solutions. Local community members have been involved in the on-going preservation of the regions’ rainforest, and the lodge incorporates locally renewable building materials (wood, grasses, leaves) and nearby agriculturalists as suppliers. In 1999, Lapa Rios signed up to take part in Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). This external review through third party certification, helped create a valuable list of products and practices.
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Water Supply, Treatment and Conservation Goals
hort Term Goals with small-medium costs: Collect data:
Compost food scraps and vegetable trimmings rather than using garbage disposals. Mulch around garden plants and trees. Use back-washing pool- or spa-water in gardens. Control guest linen changes.
ong Term Goals retroﬁt or initial construction with greater expense:
Use water meters to measure daily use in kitchen, laundry, gardens and guest (and employee) rooms. Graph initial water use, by zones measured. Set reduction goals, both short and long term.
5. Create a short and long term water budget 6. Improve and/or add to water saving devices
Dual ﬂush toilets or low ﬂow toilets (<6 liters), and/or waterless, composting toilets. High water efﬁciency washers. Cover pools and spas. Solar hot water panels with back up ‘On-demand’ water heater loops, nearby water use areas. Build rainwater capture and/ or containment: roof gutters and cistern storage. Plumb gray water lines to leech ﬁeld. Install biological ﬁltration system (leech ﬁeld) for gray water. Plumb ﬁltered water for re-use in garden irrigation, toilet ﬂushing, etc. Drip irrigation gardening, timed outdoor automatic watering system in combination with humidity detection gauge.
To view more tips on greening lodge operations, see: www.ecotourism.org (Business to Business > Building a Green
Routinely monitor and repair any toilet leaks, faucets and showers drips, leaking pipe ﬁttings or joints, broken garden hoses or irrigation systems, and capture tank lines and gray water drain lines.
Control number of guest towel offerings. Capture and re-use one-timeuse soapy laundry water.
3. Assess and install water saving devices:
Toilet tank seals. Displacement device in large toilet tanks. Low ﬂow faucet aerators or restrictors.
Use biodegradable soaps and/ or detergents (to ﬁlter and re-use water in gardens or toilets . Install “Water is NOT a Renewable Resource” signs next to “Turn off the Tap” signs in employee areas and guest rooms. Operate dishwashers and laundry machines only when full. Use a broom to clean drives, walkways and outdoor surfaces.
Low ﬂow showerhead restrictors. Insulate hot water pipes to reduce water waste (waiting for hot). Replace thirsty grassy areas and gardens with drought tolerant (endemic) plants. Use a rain gauge, garden hose timers, low ﬂow spray nozzles, and test soil moisture with a humidity gauge. ing. Rain barrels for garden water-
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Water Conservation and Water Saving Devices for Ecolodges (Cont’d)
Karen Lewis is Owner and Co-Founder of Lapa Rios Ecolodge (TIES Sponsor & Supporter Member), and a Board member of TIES. In 1990, Karen and John Lewis purchased over 1,000 acres of tropical rain forest in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. To maintain this bio-diverse reserve, and only use the land as a vehicle to sustain the Osa community, they created Lapa Rios. Lapa Rios demonstrates and educates sustainable tourism standards to its over-60 staff members and its guests. These efforts received the highest rating by the CST program. In 1991, Karen formed La Asociación de Educacíon, a Lapa Rios guest-supported foundation, to build the nearby Carbonera School. The foundation continues to help build and maintain several Osa primary schools.
Read more: www.LapaRios.com
“Water is NOT a Renewable Resource”
Photos courtesy of Lapa Rios Ecolodge Page 10: Rainforest; Page 12: Lapa Rios Pool
Advertise in EcoCurrents - firstname.lastname@example.org
Take Your Business to New Heights!
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TIES EcoCurrents eMagazine 2008 Topics
In 2008 the TIES EcoCurrents eMagazine will focus on sustainable use and management of natural and cultural resources in ecotourism, highlighting best practice examples and up-to-date information on relevant issues and challenges. First Quarter 2008 (May 2008): Conservation and sustainable management of water resources in ecotourism. Second Quarter 2008 (July 2008): Alternative and renewable energy use for sustainable tourism development. Third Quarter 2008 (September 2008): Agricultural and forestry resources and innovative solutions for ecotourism. Fourth Quarter 2008 (December 2008): Sustainable development, capacity building and community well-being.
Interested in submitting an article?
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to the Mexican Caribbean
“The Green Guide to the Mexican Caribbean” is an educational publication providing information on the unique ecosystems in the Yucatan Peninsula and in Mexico, and practical tips for both individuals and businesses on how to help conserve them. Launched by MEXICONSERVACIÓN, a Mexico-based non-proﬁt conservation organization, the guide offers valuable advice for travelers on minimizing negative impacts while enjoying the bio-cultural diversity of the region.
“Coral Reefs Are In Danger” As the Mexican Caribbean coastline develops into a popular tourist destination, unsustainable human activities are inﬂicting a great strain on its fragile reefs. “Cenotes, Lagoons & Beaches” Conserve water and favor hotels that have sound water conservation policies, for example: those that use gray water for gardening, or water plants only at night. “Boat Maintenance Procedures” Regular boat maintenance will not only extend the life of your boat, but will also help keep our bays and coasts pristine. It’s easy! The above has been adapted from “The Green Guide to the Mexican Caribbean” by MEXICONSERVACIÓN. The full guide is available for download (PDF) at: www.mexiconservacion.org.
The Green Guide: Tourist activities that damage the reefs, and how you can help. The challenges facing natural attractions on the coast. More tips and good practices on recreational boating.
Founded in 2006, MEXICONSERVACIÓN is dedicated to promoting, supporting and executing environmental protection, conservation and restoration programs. Partnering with other NGOs, government agencies, academic institutions, the private sector and the general public, MEXICONSERVACIÓN provides resources and services for various environmental protection programs.
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ESTC 2008 - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada October 27-29, 2008 www.ecotourismconference.org TIES’ third conference focusing on ecotourism and sustainable tourism in the U.S. and Canada, the ESTC 2008 will bring together 500+ experts, industry leaders and community stakeholders from across the region. Providing invaluable networking and knowledge sharing opportunities, the ESTC 2008 will utilize innovative multi-stakeholder strategies to implement sustainable change for bio-cultural conservation. The ESTC 2008 sponsorship opportunities at various levels are selling quickly. Take advantage of the promotional opportunities associated with this one-of-a-kind annual conference by becoming a sponsor today! See: www.ecotourismconference.org/ESTC2008/sponsorship for more information or contact: email@example.com
Take Your Business to New Heights
Advertise in EcoCurrents! firstname.lastname@example.org
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A Case Study in
Community-Based Tourism with Nomads
BY KATRINA SHUM Former Project Coordinator, The Itgel Foundation Former Researcher and Coordinator, TIES Frameworks for Community-Based Tourism with Nomads
Over the 2007 Field Season, my challenge was to develop a CBT framework for the Tsaatan Community & Visitor’s Center (TCVC). Working with the Tsaatan, we developed tourism strategies that enable herders to follow traditional nomadic patterns based on pasture selection rather than tourist hot-spots. According to Gantemur Damba, Chairman of the Sustainable Tourism Development Center, there is a need for “nomad-friendly tourism technology, a practical and theoretical tool that conserves the natural and cultural landscape of Mongolia by fostering sustainable development, re-inspiring nomads’ traditional connection with their herds and pastures, and empowering communities to enhance the core mobile identity of Mongols.”
Learn more about the Itgel Foundation and the TCVC: www.itgel.org
raditional nomadic culture is based on a chain of connections with the land: pastures grow near water, animals graze in the pastures, and herders follow their animals – the source of their livelihood. But what happens to this chain when tourism arrives? While community-based tourism (CBT) is a valuable strategy for conservation and development, it presents unique challenges for nomadic communities.
The Tsaatan Reindeer Herdsmen are a branch of the Turkicspeaking Tuvinian or Dukha ethnic group, and live in the mountainous taiga and forest steppe regions to the north and west of Lake Khovsgol. (Source: www.Unesco.org)
The Tsaatan Reindeer Herders
The Tsaatan reindeer herders are Mongolia’s smallest and most remote ethnic minority. Recent decades of socio-economic and political change, such as transition to a cash-based economy and forced relocations, have left the herders struggling to adapt. Uncoordinated efforts and the lack of well-developed economic opportunities threaten the community’s subsistence agricultural practice of reindeer husbandry.
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Nomad-friendly TCVC Tourism Strategies •
Communication: An effective communication system is key to coordinating travel logistics in the remote region. To enable the herders to continue their natural movement, high-frequency radios were distributed to the main camps, linking them to the TCVC building in town, which would act as a hub with a phone line to the rest of Mongolia. • Logistics: Below are some of the TCVC’s unique nomad-friendly tourism strategies. The Ortz Hotel – As a traditional abode, the Ortz Hotel is essentially a transportable guesthouse that allows the Tsaatan to host tourists without compromising family privacy or traditional nomadic patterns. This UNDP initiative is being integrated into the TCVC. Roster of Service Providers – To ensure that each herder has a fair employment opportunity, and to discourage settlement around tourist hotspots, the TCVC developed rosters for trained horsemen, guides, and cook to have an equal chance to provide services. Meal Kits – Meal Kits were sure that tourists do not food supply, which are often the time and effort required The Tssatan are currently in the process of establishing a Norkholol, a community group recognized as a legal entity able to gain a renewable ownership lease of natural resources on the land they occupy. Although a relatively new law, this legislation is promising for Mongolian communities, particularly with the growth of the mining industry.
The Grander Scheme: Tourism in Mongolia
Mongolia is in need of vertical supply chain management, especially given the vast land, far distances and poor transportation infrastructure. There is stiff horizontal competition with many tour operators at the national level each with independent vehicle fleets and networks. Most countries have a national strategy to streamline the value chain so that services are outsourced; this has yet to happen in Mongolia. The poor infrastructure and low labor costs may be to blame, but this trend is likely to change due to cost efficiencies, according to Jan Wigsten, founder of Nomadic Journeys. As labor costs increase, companies will likely outsource peripheral aspects of their operation to focus more on providing specialized tourist experiences.
developed to enconsume families’ rationed based on More investments and support in the lower to transport food. part of the value chain will develop regional operators who can offer more unique experi• Governance: Through a Participatory Ru- ences. The TCVC will essentially be a Tsaaral Appraisal, the community elected representa- tan-owned regional operator for the taiga. tives to manage the TCVC and the community fund.
M O N G O L I A
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