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ecotouRING news No. 5 - September 1999 ______________________________the bulletin of the Ecotourism Ring  Check the List of Ecotourism Ring Members

  In this Issue:  
1. Ecotourism Ring Overview 2. Our New Members 3. Member News 4. Selection of World News 5. Practical info / Free offers  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Ecotourism Ring Overview: (a) Ring Statistics, (b) New facility, (c) Debate, (d) NEW: Members Ranking :  

1. (a) Ring Statistics

Four new members joined during the past month. We now number 38 sites from 17 countries. There are also 7 sites in the Queue.

Thanks largely to our new members we have jumped 15 places, from the 71st position to the 56th position in the top 100 Travel Rings world-wide, based on clicks generated (from 950 clicks to 1427 over the past 8 week period). The new ranking target is 50 by December. Let's do it !

1. (b) New Log-in facility for Members

A new Log-in facility has been introduced at www.ecotourism.cc, facilitating the Log-in process for Ring Members. By entering your Site ID (number) and your password, you can easily update the description of your site and your email. Please remember to LOGOUT when finished.   

1. (c) Debate: "Ecotourism: Nationalistic or Internationalist?"

A poll currently under way at the Ecotourism Ring Homepage  currently stands as follows: Nationalistic: 0%, Internationalist: 60%, Neither: 40%.

Please send in more arguments and cast your vote at the Ecotourism Ring Homepage

1 (d). TOP-10 Ecotourism Ring Members (based on Ring Traffic generated, during past 8 weeks)

Rank Clicks Site
1 83 Estonian Ecotourism Association
2 63 Amazon Rain Forest Expedition
  63 Ecotourism at The Mining Co.
4 51 www.ecotourism.cc
5 42 Kosrae Village Resort - Eco Resort In Micronesia
6 40 Eco-Tours in Bhutan
7 34 Ecotourism Reservations Desk
8 32 Whale and Dolphin Encounters
9 31 1worldview
  31 Kola Peninsula Ecotours, Russian Federation
  31 Alaska Vistas Company
  31 Ecotourism on Florida's Space Coast
  31 Commencement Maritime - Alaskan Wilderness Adventure Ch

2. Our new Members:    

Warmest welcome to:


3. Member News:  

News from our Members: Australian Cairns Queensland Rainforest Ecotours:

Platypus Research Volunteers Needed

September 1999 -- Would you like to participate in the first radio tracking surveillance project of the platypus in tropical north Queensland? Then don't delay in taking part on this unique opportunity. Scheduled for early November, we need 6 nature minded people to take part in this 24hrs surveillance. Two days in the field are required in accommodated sharing camping facilities. Cost AUD$128.00 per person, per day and includes all (B/L/D) meals and beverages. Fees for this trip will be utilised to help this research project in acquiring further scientific equipment. Hurry !!! Seats are exclusive and limited. Please provide your educational details, age and referees. E-mail: research@wildscapes-safaris.com.au
Wildscapes Safaris
PO Box 510 SMITHFIELD, QLD 4878, AUSTRALIA
Tel: 07 4057 6272   International + 61 7 4057 6272
Fax: 07 4057 8093  International + 61 7 4057 8093
E-mail:
research@wildscapes-safaris.com.au
Web Site:
www.ozemail.com.au/~wildscap

New Domain LIVE SOON - www.wildscapes-safaris.com.au

FINALIST 1999 Tropical North Queensland Regional Tourism Awards
WINNER 1999 Queensland Tourism Awards


4. Selection of news headlines from around the world - our comments in (brackets) 

YUGOSLAVIA FACES ECOLOGICAL DISASTER, GROUP WARNS
Yugoslavia faces ecological disaster from 11 weeks of NATO bombing unless urgent measures are taken in the worst affected areas, said an international humanitarian group Saturday in Belgrade.
Source: Reuters - 16/08/99

FLORIDA MAN GETS LONGEST TERM IN ENVIRONMENT CASE
In the longest sentence meted out in a federal environmental crimes case, a Florida man was sentenced Monday to 13 years in prison for dumping toxic waste into Tampa's sewer system and waterways, the Justice Department announced.
Source: Reuters
- 17/08/99

U.S. SUED OVER DOLPHIN-SAFE TUNA CAN LABELS
Marine mammal activists  said they would file suit today in an effort to overturn what they regard as a weakening of federal standards on labels appearing on cans of tuna fish aimed at protecting dolphins.
Source: Reuters - 18/08/99

NEW SPECIES OF STRIPED RABBIT FOUND IN ASIA
A new species of striped rabbit found in the mountain forests of Laos and Cambodia has been identified, British scientists
said Wednesday.
Source: Reuters - 19/08/99 (Is that rabbit lucky or what?)

PIGEON SHOOTING CANCELLED
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A pigeon shoot that animal-rights activists have protested for years has been canceled by organizers who cited a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that allows activists to try to stop it. Robert Tobash of the Labor Day Committee Inc., which has sponsored the fund-raising event for 65 years, said Tuesday he does not want activists dictating how he runs the Hegins pigeon shoot. Each Labor Day since 1933, thousands of birds have been released at Hegins Community Park in Schuylkill County as targets for as many as 200 people who pay to shoot. Last year's fee was $75.
Source: AP - 19/08/99

VIRGINIA DEVELOPING COASTAL BIRDING TRAIL
Bird watching is the fastest growing recreational activity in the United States, and the state of Virginia plans to capitalize on that by developing a coastal birding trail. The state has nearly 400 resident and migratory bird species that can be seen throughout the year.
Source: Environmental News Network
- 24/08/99

PLASTIC FROM PLANTS: COSTLY OR CHEAPER?
It is chemically possible to turn plants into plastics through the process of fermentation  --  it's just energy intensive and causes a lot of pollution, according to research presented Monday at a meeting of chemists in New Orleans, La. Plastics derived the old-fashioned way, via petroleum, are more environmentally benign, Tillman Gerngross, a professor of engineering at Dartmouth College, said at the American Chemical Society meetings. In contrast, Cargill Dow Polymers, who use maize or beet as input, argue that new developments make maize PLAS production 45% more energy efficient than traditional plastics.
Source: Environmental News Network 25/08/99 & Economist 11/09/99 (Biodegradable plastic and flying elephants?)

CAMPAIGN FOR ORANGUTANS
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Environmental groups launched a major campaign Tuesday to stop illegal logging in national parks that provide havens for orangutans, one of Indonesia's most endangered species. The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency and Telapak Indonesia launched the campaign after a yearlong probe into illegal logging in two of Indonesia's flagship national parks - Tanjung Puting in Kalimantan and Gunung Leuser on Sumatra island. Environmentalists say Tanjung Puting has 2,000 of the primates and Gunung Leuser has 2,500, though the numbers could be reduced following forest fires two years ago. Tanjung Puting was ravaged by massive forest fires in 1997. Source: AP - 25/08/99 

PRIVATE LAND HIDDEN IN U.S. PARK SYSTEM
Millions of acres of privately owned land is hidden within the US national park system and there is a growing threat many
of those parcels will be developed to the detriment of the parks, a conservation group says.
Source: Associated Press
- 25/08/99 (Not to mention public land)

ENDANGERED FLY PUTS LOS ANGELES DEVELOPMENTS ON HOLD
The Clinton administration has stalled construction projects worth millions of dollars -- including a school and hospital
-- near Los Angeles to protect a bug.
Source: The Washington Times
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
- 26/08/99 (I wonder what would happen if it was a defence or corporation project)

GREENPEACE DELIVERS ITS MESSAGE IN CHINA
China's breakneck economic growth is threatening a national and global ecological disaster, Greenpeace said today in
its first ever report on the country.
Source: Reuters
-27/08/99 (Yes, in fact isn't that true in most countries?)

SOLAR THERMAL TECHNOLOGY DEEMED A SUCCESS
An experimental solar energy plant in Daggett, Calif., was declared a success Monday by U.S. officials who said the
technology is immediately applicable to sun-drenched markets where energy costs are high. The plant, known as Solar Two,
uses nearly 2,000 giant mirrors to reflect sunlight onto a centrally located 300-foot-tall receiver. Molten salt, which flows through the receiver, is heated to 1,065 degrees Fahrenheit and transferred to a storage tank. When electricity is needed, the liquid churns a steam generator.
Source: Environmental News Network-31/08/99 (So good, cheap, safe and simple that it will never work)

HONDURAS PROTECTS FORESTS BY 'SELLING' OXYGEN
Honduras is joining other poor nations that "sell" oxygen to industrialized countries and use the money to protect
tropical forests, in an agreement with Canada to be signed on Sept. 15.
Source: Reuters - 07/09/99 (How "clever", this way we are counting oxygen twice! In fact Canada can sell it back to Hondura so that we can count it once more...).

TURK HELP IN GREEK EARTHQUAKE MAY BRING WARMER TIES
Greek and Turkish rescue workers joined to search for survivors of Tuesday's earthquake in Athens, less than a month after they did the same in Turkey. Dead toll: 138 dead in Athens, over 15,000 in Turkey.
Source: Various - 08/09/99 -16/09/99 ("It takes a thousand dead to educate a general")

COUSTEAU SOCIETY TEAM ACCUSED OF HARASSING WHALES
A vessel carrying a Jacques Cousteau film crew has been ordered off the St. Lawrence River in Quebec following allegations
it harassed and injured whales, Canadian Coast Guard officials said Friday.
Source: Reuters - 11/09/99 (What about whale hunters?)

ALCOHOL-RUN CARS RETURN TO BRAZIL
Brazilian car manufacturers, looking to boost slumping sales, are returning to the alcohol-fueled cars that used to dominate
Brazil's highways.
Source: Associated Press
- 13/09/99 (But strictly no drinking and driving)

AUDUBON SOCIETY FIGHTS FOR CONDORS
The battle to save the endangered California condor is colliding with another environmental priority: using windmills to generate cleaner power.
Source: Associated Press
- 14/09/99 (Why not use solar pannels?)


5. Practical info: