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ecotouRING news No. 6 - October 1999 ________________________________the bulletin of the Ecotourism Ring

Ecotourism Ring Members LIST

  In this Issue:  
1. Ecotourism Ring Overview 2. Our New Members 3. Member News
4. Special Report: Panamanian Ecotourism. Ecolodge for Sale! 5. Selection of World News 6. Conferences 7. Practical info  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

1. (a) Ring Statistics: We made it to the TOP-50!

One new member joined during the past month. We now number 39 sites from 17 countries.  This month, we managed to enter the top-50 travel Webrings by traffic, more specifically we briefly reached the 46th position and then stabilised at the 49th. Clicks generated by the Ecotourism Ring climbed from 1427 to 1827! (+28%). Congratulations to all!

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

Rank Clicks Member Name
1 109 Amazon Rain Forest Expedition
2 100 Eco-Tours in Bhutan
3 95 Estonian Ecotourism Association
4 56 Daintree Wilderness Lodge
5 55 Whale and Dolphin Encounters
5 55 About.com: Ecotourism
7 53 Ecotourism FreePage
8 51 www.ecotourism.cc
9 50 Kosrae Village Resort - Eco Resort In Micronesia
10 50 Pyrenees Horse trails

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

The poll currently under way at the Ecotourism Ring Homepage stands as follows: Nationalistic: 0%, Internationalist: 85%, Neither:15 %.


2. Our new Members:    

Warmest welcome to:


3. Member News:  

Er, ...no news received. Come on Members, don't be shy!


4. Special Report - Panamanian Ecotourism: A well-kept secret.  Also, Ecolodge Property For Sale!

We received the following from a fellow Member of the Ecotourism Society:

"Panama has a wealth of forests, wildlife and local cultures, and has long been a well-kept secret as a tourism destination. This, however, is changing. Not only will Panama soon be in the news as the Canal reverts to Panamanian control at the end of the year, but also as Frank Gehry (the architect responsible for the stunning Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain) is heading a hand-picked group of talented architects to design at least two major buildings in Panama.

Now, in Panama, the emphasis is very much on ecotourism. IPAT, the Panamanian Tourism Authority, are keen to protect the country's natural resources (considered by the Lonely Planet's recent publication to be superior to those of Costa Rica and without the commercialism) and are encouraging tourism ventures to support both conservation and research. The
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, who have long had research bases in Panama, are actively involved in tourism planning; leading hotels have pledged to finance the conservation of sections of coastline or rainforest, and many ecotourism ventures are providing facilities for scientists as part of the TCR (Tourism, Conservation & Research) programme. Considerable tax incentives are on offer to those investing in Panama's tourism, and the future for the industry looks exciting.

Panamanian Eco-lodge for Sale!

For personal reasons, we are having to sell an area of rainforest in Panama. We are keen that someone with our own ethos is the purchaser, both to protect the rainforest itself (55% is virgin) and for the benefit of the few families who live in the area.   Our Web site is at www.burbayar.com. The photos, I'm afraid, are not up to date as work is still progressing, but they will give you an idea of the house and area. We anticipate beginning with small groups of tourists within the next month. If you'd like more information I can be contacted at this e-mail address (jubennett@hotmail.com) or at the e-mail address shown on the Web pages (burbayar@hotmail.com).

With best wishes,
Judy Bennett "


5. Selection of news headlines from around the world  

KIWI IN DANGER
New Zealand conservationists warned that the country's national icon, the flightless, burrowing kiwi bird, could be virtually extinct in five to 10 years if rates of decline are not halted.
Source: ENN 16/09/99

EARTH IS LEAKING, EARTH IS DRYING
Within a billion years the earth could become as barren as Mars, according to geologists from the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Their calculations show the oceans are leaking billions of gallons of water into the Earth and only a trickle is coming back out.
Source: ENN / New Scientist 19/09/99

"SPIDER" WOMAN CAUGHT
At Frankfurt airport,  1,300 Mexican spiders were found hidden in the luggage of a French woman. The woman was arrested on suspicion of smuggling a protected species. The estimated value of the hairy Mexican bird spiders was $14,000.
Source: AP 24/9/99

DOGS SAFE IN SEOUL
The South Korean government said Monday it would not legalise the sale of dog meat ahead of the 2002 World Cup soccer finals here.
Source: AP 27/9/99

DOG SURVIVES 7 DAYS AFTER QUAKE
A dog named "Tora" (Tiger in Japanese) survived seven days without food and water, trapped in a 16-story building that was knocked off its foundations and partially toppled in Taiwan's lethal earthquake. 
Source: AP28/9/99

CELLS Vs NESTS
The growing number of cell-phone towers and digital television antennas kill 4 million birds in the Eastern United States annually according to ornithologists at Cornell University.
Source: ENN 29/9/99

A VIETNAM FOR ELEPHANTS
According to Fauna and Flora International's Hanoi office, the 98 wild elephants that have been confirmed living in Vietnam's fragmented forests are in danger of extinction if no action is taken to protect them.
Source: AP 29/9/99

LESS CAVIAR, MORE STURGEON
To save its sturgeon from extinction, Russia will sharply cut sturgeon fishing and reduce the production and export of caviar this year, officials said Monday. Russia's catch of sturgeon - the main source of caviar - will be one-third lower this year than in 1998, with most of the reduction coming in the Caspian Sea.
Source: Interfax / AP 4/10/99

MORE WHALES
Southern right whales, hunted to the brink of extinction earlier this century, are making a comeback off the Argentine
coast according to an Argentine scientist.
Source: Reuters 6/10/99

NO EVOLUTION IN KENTUCKY
The word "evolution" was deleted from guidelines of what Kentucky public school students should know and be tested on.
Source: AP 6/10/99

OZONE HOLE SMALLER
The ozone hole over Antarctica   - the region where Earth-shielding ozone typically gets depleted  - is smaller
this year than last, NASA reported.
Source: Reuters 7/10/99

BEARS RETURN TO PARKS
The black bear has returned to Big Bend National Park and re-established a population after a 50-year absence caused by hunting.
Source: AP 11/10/99

SUBSISTENCE HUNTING ALLOWED
The United States and Canada reached an agreement under the 1916 Migratory Bird Convention that will allow regulated
subsistence hunting for indigenous peoples in Canada and Alaska.
Source: ENN 13/10/99

7 IN 8 BIRDS DO NOT FACE EXTINCTION IN NEXT 100 YEARS
But One in Eight DOES, because of damage to the environment, a global wildlife group said in Kuala Lumpur.
Source: Reuters 14/10/99


6. Conferences

6.1. 5TH INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON TOURISM STATISTICS + CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

Conference date: 19 - 23 June 2000

Location: Glasgow, UK

Themes: Tourism Futures; Meeting information needs in the new Millennium; Sustainable tourism indicators; SME tourism businesses; Visitor attractions market; Tourism demand; New ways of collecting tourism data.

For more information please contact:

Claire Scott
The Moffat Centre for Travel & Tourism Business Development
Glasgow Caledonian University, 1 Park Drive, Glasgow, G3 6LP, UK
Tel: + 44 (0)141 337 4224
Fax: + 44 (0)141 337 4222
Email: c.a.scott@gcal.ac.uk
Website: www.moffatcentre.com

6.2. First  Regional  Conference on Medicinal Plants, Traditional Medicines and Local Communities in Africa:
Challenges and Opportunities of the next Millennium


Dates: 16-19 May, 2000;  Place: Nairobi, Kenya.

We are pleased to inform interested parties that the Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI) in collaboration with other organisations is planning to organise a four-day international conference on the promotion and development of medicinal plants and traditional medicine in Africa on 16-19 May 2000 in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference will be composed of a combination of presentations and workshops. The conference will be held parallel to the Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP -5) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be convened in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15-26 May 2000.

To submit abstracts, to register or for inquiries, please contact: Dr. Barbara Gemmill
- by E-mail ( < Barbara  Gemmill > herren@ africaonline.co.ke )
- by Fax (254-2562175)
-by regular mail ( Environment Liaison Center International, P.O.Box
72461, Nairobi,  Kenya).


7. Practical info: