4f82" type="text/javascript"> ecotouring news, issue 10, February 2000

ecotouRING news
issue 10, February 2000
the monthly Bulletin of the Ecotourism Ring
Issued Monthly and distributed for Free by www.ecoclub.com & www.ecotourism.cc

In this Issue:  

1 Ecotourism Ring Statistics
2 Our New Members 
3 Special Feature: ecoclub Launched, Ring Homepage Re-designed
4 Our Zoo Poll Results: Pro-Environment or Not?
5 World Ecotourism News (with our infamous "comments in brackets")
6 Trade Shows / Conferences
7 Free Classifieds - NEW!
8 Eco-Quiz :  (Correct Answer Gets Free Game) - NEW!

1. Ecotourism Ring Overview:  

1. (a) Ring Statistics.

SEVEN new members joined during the past month. We now number 54 sites from 24 countries. 8-week Traffic has grown to 2486 Hits  and the Ecotourism Ring is ranking 56th at the top-100 travel related Webrings. ecotouRING news free subscriptions are also expanding.

1. (b) Ecotourism Ring Top-10 by Traffic generated

Rank (Previous) Clicks Last 8 wks Ecotourism Ring Member Site:
1 (1) 147(112) Amazon Rain Forest Expedition
2 (3) 99(53) Eco-Tours in Bhutan
3 (2) 81(101) Estonian Ecotourism Association
4 (8) 65(41) Daintree Wilderness Lodge - Australia
5 (3) 61(53) ecotourism.cc - Free Ecotourism Resources
6 (6) 60(44) Kosrae Village Resort, Micronesia - Naturally!
7 (9) 55(39) African Safaris & EcoTourism
8 (5) 52(46) AmazonAid.Org
9 (-) 46(-) Sunny Brook Cottages -NH, U.S.A.
9 (-) 46(-) Ecotourism on Florida's Space Coast

2. Our new Members:    

Warmest welcome to our new members from Venezuela, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, and Hawai.

Wildlife Venezuela - Complete webguide to ecology & ecotourism to venezuela circuits and adventure expeditions.
Wild Scenes - Australia - We lead scientific expeditions into wilderness areas of Australia, organise field trips and arrange tours. If you like science, camping and adventure, and you are full of enthusiasm and a burning ambition to get out into the wilderness, then you have reached the right scene
Birds & Bush Tours - Australia - Personalised Birdwatching and Nature Tours to the best sites in North, Far North and Western Queenland, Australia.
Arikara Safaris - South Africa - Join Rob & Kathy in Inkwenkwezi game reserve in the malaria free Eastern Cape Province of Southern Africa. The reserve is home to Rhino, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Warthog, and Zebra to Springbok, Impala, Gemsbok and the unique Eastern Cape Kudu. Birdlife includes the rare Stanley's Bustard
Ecotourism In Pakistan - A free data bank by the Pakistan Ecotourism Society which is working for Nature in the mountain ranges of Pakistan and is fighting those NGOs who are exploiting public money.
Hawaii Ecotourism Brochures online - Instant free access to Hawaii Ecotourism brochures for activities and adventures. View, print, or download any brochure. Includes email and website links.
4x4 Tours - South Africa - Experience Maputoland, KwaZulu-Natal. We do Eco-tourism tours by 4x4 through Northern KwaZulu-Natal and the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park - now a world heritage site.

3.  Special Feature: ECOCLUB.com launched.  Ecotourism Ring Homepage Redesigned.

Your humble Ringmaster  has launched the ECOCLUB.  ECOCLUB (www.ecoclub.com) , will be a Free Ecotourism Club.   Eco-lodges, local ecotourist operators and Ecotourists can become Members for Free. Others can become Sponsors. ECOCLUB will offer among other things a Free Hosting & Email Program for genuine Eco-lodges that meet our stringent criteria.
 
ecotourism.cc , the Ecotourism Ring Homepage, is being re-designed and developed as an internet ecotourism portal. This is hoped to increase traffic to all Ecotourism Ring Members. 


4. Poll 

Final Result  Question: Zoos, are they For  or Against Nature?

For: 50 % Against: 34% Neither 16%  (out of a total of 56 votes)
Comment:  At least half of the respondents do not believe that Zoos are clearly for Nature. Then again the other half believes they are. It would be fair to argue that leading Zoos fund conservation and help preserve endangered species. However, is there something more perverse than the sight of an animal behind bars? What crime dit it commit?

NEW POLL: ARE YOU FOR OR AGAINST USING CLONING TO REVIVE AN EXTINCT SPECIES?  GO TO www.ecotourism.cc to VOTE.  

The Poll will end on the 15th of   March, results in the next ecotourRING news.


5. World Ecotourism News   - (with our infamous Comments in Brackets)  

VOLCANO ERUPTS NEAR GUATEMALA CITY - RTR - 17/1
A volcano near Guatemala City erupts forcing officials to evacuate at least two neighboring villages.


BANGLADESH HOSTS GLOBAL TIGER FORUM
- AP- 17/1
Endangered tiger species are the focus of an inaugural conference in Dhaka attended by conservation specialists
from 14 countries.

GROUPS POOL RESOURCES TO ASSESS WORLD'S WATER - ENN  - 18/1
Mounting concern over a declining resource - water - has prompted the Global Environmental Facility and several national
governments to pool $14 million to assess the quality of the world's water. The Global International Waters Assessment,
a project of the United Nations' Environment Program, has been tabbed to study the condition of the world's groundwater
and major bodies of water.

NATO BOMBING CAUSES ENVIRONMENTAL FALLOUT - UPI  - 18/1
NATO's 78-day bombing campaign of Yugoslavia has caused massive environmental damage and sparked serious health concerns
across the Balkans, an Athens daily reported today.(UPI is not read Yippie)

POSSIBLY BIGGEST DINOSAUR DUG UP IN ARGENTINA - RTR - 19/1
The bones of what may be the largest dinosaur species yet discovered were found by a villager in a vulture-ridden
series of canyons in Argentina's southern Patagonia region. (Vultures to be followed by culture vultures)

eBAY UNDER SCRUTINY FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES AUCTION ITEMS - ENN 21/1
Items such as cheetah-skin rug, ivory bracelet or tortoise-shell snuffbox appear on electronic auction site eBay.com. (How long to human kidneys)

NEW CATALYST MAY IMPROVE PLASTICS - AP- 21/1
A team of researchers at the California Institute of Technology has developed improved catalysts that could lead to better plastics.
(the only good plastic is dead plastic)

HEAT WAVE KILLS 22 IN AUSTRALIA - AP - 24/1
A heat wave in eastern Australia killed 22 people in four days.

NEVER FORGET A FACE? BECOME A BIRD-WATCHER - RTR - 24/1
The same part of the brain exercised by people who "never forget a face" is used by bird-watchers, researchers said today.
(That explains why idiots prefer sunbathing)

JAPAN HITS BACK AT NZ OVER WHALING CRITICISM - RTR - 25/1
Japan hits back at New Zealand for criticising its whale-hunting programme, accusing P.M. Helen Clark of "siding
with an environmental group that uses violent means to achieve its goals". (whereas whaling is entirely peaceful)

PLANS ARE OFF FOR RESORT NEAR CALIFORNIA RESERVE - S.Jose Mercury News - 25/1
The specter of a luxury health spa planned for a peaceful hillside near Ano Nuevo State Reserve has haunted environmentalists
for more than a decade. But a deal to protect the land as open space was signed late last month. (Better never than late)

LARGE FINE ORDERED FOR BRAZIL SPILL - AP - 26/1
Brazil President Cardoso ordered the federal oil company, Petrobras, to pay the maximum fine possible
for a massive oil spill in Rio's Guanabara Bay. (Federal? so who pays - the tax payers who will be swimming in the oil?)

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP CLAIMS INDIANA ARSON - AP - 26/1
An anti-development group that has claimed to have set fires at a Colorado ski resort and at an Oregon logging company said
Tuesday it had burned down a home under construction in a sensitive Indiana watershed. (Since when setting up fires and burning down homes is ecological?)

BIOSAFETY TALKS CONCLUDE IN SURPRISING ACCORD - ENN - 1/2
The Biosafety Protocols negotiated in Montreal this past weekend are being cautiously praised by both environmentalists
and industry representatives. The agreement on rules to regulate the international trade of genetically modified
organisms has been extremely controversial and five years in the making. Greenpeace called the agreement a historic
step toward protecting the environment and consumers while industry representatives called the rules "workable." (If everyone is happy then there must be something fishy)

PLAN TOSSES LIFE PRESERVER TO NEW ORLEANS - ENN  - 1/2
New Orleans is sinking and the surrounding Louisiana coastal wetlands are disappearing. By the year 2100, the legendary
festive port city may be lost in the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico. (Plenty of time to party though)

CRUISE-SHIP POLLUTION SETTLEMENT - Anchorage Daily News - 1/2
Cordova's Shorebird Festival is in line for a portion of the $10 million payment coming from Royal Caribbean Cruises
Ltd. for its illegal dumping in the waters of Southeast.(Er, ...Excellent)

RIO RESCUES BLACK MARKET MONKEYS, TURTLES, BIRDS -RTR-1/2

Environmental crime police fighting Brazil's massive illegal
trade in tropical wildlife said today they had arrested
seven dealers and rescued hundreds of creatures during a
weekend raid in Rio.

KENYA DROUGHT CONTINUES - AP   - 3/2
Seasonal rains were not enough to ease a drought in large parts of the east African nation of Kenya, leaving at least
2 million in need of food aid, the U.N. World Food Program said today.

CLINTON WANTS $150 MILLION FOR RAIN FORESTS - RTR - 4/2
The Clinton administration Friday will unveil a $150 million "Greening the Globe" initiative to protect the world's tropical
rain forests, the Washington Post reported Friday. (I wonder what part of a SINGLE Cruise-ship $150 million buys, the top deck or at least the propeller bits)

TEXAS BEGINS $11 MILLION PLAN TO RESTORE RECEDING SHORELINES - Houston Cronicle - 4/2
Playing catch-up to other coastal states, Texas has started its own battle to keep erosion from stealing Gulf beaches,
bayshore parks and millions of tourist dollars. (See comment above)

THREE BALKAN COUNTRIES CREATE WETLANDS PRESERVE - Various  - 7/2
In the wake of World Wetlands Day Feb. 2, environmentalists are celebrating the creation of Lake Prespa Park, covering Greece, Albania and F.Y.R.O.Macedonia, as a vital sign in the conservation of the world's freshwater ecosystems. The three Prime Ministers officially opened the park. (Proving that there is more to the Balkans than cruelty, bombings and misery)

AUSTRALIA CUSTOMS FOILS LIZARD SMUGGLING ATTEMPT - RTR  - 9/2
Australian Customs officials have foiled an attempt to smuggle 31 native lizards out of the country after searching a man
at Melbourne airport. (how stupid, apart from cruel, must one be to hide 31 lizards)

FRANCE WANTS TIGHTER RULES FOR SHIPS NEAR EUROPE - RTR  - 9/2
France, cleaning up from an oil spill last year, said on today it would press for tougher maritime safety rules within
a 200-mile radius of Europe.(What happens at 201 miles though?)

BLACKBIRD POISONING PROGRAM EXPANDS - AP  - 9/2
U.S. federal wildlife officials are expanding a controversial blackbird poisoning program this spring to try to KILL up
to 2 MILLION of the birds
that feast on farmers' sunflower crops. (One day HOPEFULLY, we will look back at this as BARBARIC)

BOLIVIA NAMES NEW SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT MINISTER - RTR - 10/2
Bolivia President Hugo Banzer added another member of the social-democratic Revolutionary Leftist Movement (MIR) Party
to his cabinet Wednesday, naming Jose Luis Carvajal as the nation's new sustainable development minister. (Are my eyes working properly or am I seeing things)

HARD TO SELL DEAD REEFS TO 3 MILLION TOURISTS A YEAR - Palm Beach Bost -11/2
Coral reefs off Florida's coasts are in bad shape, a scientist warns, because polluted runoff from farms and urban areas has killed off all but 5 to 10 percent of the coral. A doubling (100% increase) of nitrogen has been recroded, in the last 20 years time - in an area that's four miles offshore."
"I've been saying this for years and it's been falling on deaf ears in South Florida," said Brian LaPointe, senior scientist with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. LaPointe predicted ecotourism in South Florida soon will feel economic effects from the dying reefs. (This will not be a problem as ecotourists can easily be replaced by masses of sunbathing idiots)

WORLD TOURISM ORGANISATION APPROVES SUSTAINABLE TOURISM STANDARD - Time - 14/2
An eco-friendly hotel rating system pioneered by Costa Rica's Tourism Insitute has been adopted by the WTO. The system rates hotels with leaves (maximum 5) instead of stars and is based on 153 questions. Energy conservation and support to local communities are included. For more information visit www.tourismo-sostenible.co.cr   (Excellent. It would be good if all pro-ecotourism nations adopt this system. If there are no standards there is no control and no measure of progress) 

FLOODS WREAK HAVOC IN SOUTH AFRICA & MOZAMBIQUE - RTR  - 15/2
More than 100 people were reported dead or missing today in floods that left a trail of destruction across South Africa and Mozambique.

TOP 7 REASONS WHY PEOPLE WILL NOT MAKE TRAVEL BOOKINGS ON THE INTERNET - Express - 16/2
New results from the US Tourist Industry Association Study (conducted September 1999):   1. Lack of Security on the Net, 2. Internet inability to offer definite confirmation, 3. Preference to deal with a live person, 4. Confusing Systems, 5. Travellers plans for the trip were not definite yet, 6. Bookings are usually made by someone else,  7. Sense that good deals can not be made on the Internet. (I think that all of these 7 problems can be dealt with easily by genuine ecotourist operators because to begin with, their clientelle is more informed, opinionated, educated and is not a bargain hunter, if the bargain is at the expense of the host community at large. )


6. Trade Shows / Conferences
If you are organising or are aware of an ecotourism related Trade Show or Conference please send us the details to include it here.

Event Name: International Adventure Travel and Outdoor Show
Date: Sep 11-14, 2000
Location: Anchorage, AK, United States
Venue: Venue Unknown
Event Type:
Public Show
Frequency: Annual
 Request Info
Event Description:
Discover the world of Adventure Travel at the International Adventure Travel and Outdoor Show (IATOS.) Come to the show to find out what's new and exciting in adventure travel, to plan your next vacations, and to have a great time! Over 100 seminars will be led by the biggest names in adventure travel. Meet actual tour guides from around the globe that will take you to some of the world's most exciting places through dramatic film and slide presentations. 
Source: tscentral.co
m

7.  Free Classifieds:

Subcribers may send free 1 line classifieds by email to classifieds@ecotourism.cc 


8. ECO-Quiz   Answer correctly by email to quiz@ecotourism.cc and receive a clever puzzle game by email..
Last Month's Question was: Guess the proportion of South Africans who can expect to live to 60 
The Answer is:   50%  (Mr. Mbeki has a lot of work to do)

NEW QUIZ:
What Percentage of Forest Canopy in the Mount Kenya Reserve has been destroyed, mainly for marijuana cultivation?


Feel Free to Contribute News, an Article, an oppinion or an idea to the ecotouRING news.
(EMAIL article@ecotourism.cc)