ECOCLUB

ISSN 1108-8931

INTERNATIONAL ECOTOURISM MONTHLY

Year 6 - Issue 64

Sponsored by: Zante Feast Holidays, Purple Valley Yoga, Hana Botanical Gardens

Report on Pac Rim Conference 

Pac Rim Regional Conference was held September 26-29 in Lake Chelan, Washington State, USA. The region includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii and Guam (Mariana Islands). The undersigned attended the conference as one of the representatives from Hawaii. The purpose of the organisation is to coordinate and distribute Regional and National information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Resource Conservation Service and other Departments and share success stories of our region with a web site. Officers do lobby Washington D.C. on agriculture issues. It was fruit harvest time, mostly apples, and we ate a lot of free apples! A few highlights, were tours of the surroundings areas. Grand Coulee Dam which makes a lot of the cheap electricity for the western area, (now closely guarded), a new very beautiful grape growing farm Tsilan Winery (Indian spelling of Chelan) with a natural material, wine tasting villa with roots in Italian design. We had a catered dinner there that was excellent. A tour of Leavenworth town which was saved from poverty by four older women who envisioned a theme Bavarian town for tourists. It is extremely successful and fun and they host festivals all year long. An idea that other towns have duplicated in different ways. There was business work to be done regarding financial woes that have been corrected and training sessions on legal issues. One particular video presentation called "Broken Limbs" was very touching. It regarded the children of farmers choosing an education and leaving the farm. Large corporations easing out the small farmers by controlling prices. And these farmers failing to meet their Mortgages and losing their farms. There was a solution called, Added Value, monies from the National Farm Bill. One way was to go Organic and sell locally. This was the answer for some of these farmers. The next annual Regional meeting will be held in Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii in October 2005.

JoLoyce Kaia, Hawaii
Hana Maui Botanical Gardens

ECOCLUB Sponsor Member
http://ecoclub.com/hanaaui

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3 Rivers Certified, following inspection

3 Rivers Eco Lodge, Dominica, is proud to announce that following our recent inspection by independent auditors on behalf of Green Globe 21, that we have been recommended to green Globe for full certification. The certification is the culmination of a years work by us in environmental and social issues, and the inspection was broad and thorough. We feel that the fact that the auditors examined every aspect of our work, and searched for clear evidence, increases the value of the certification, and shows clients that we take our environmental work very seriously. The auditors went through a year's worth of utility readings, and verified them against our various metering systems and bills. They also checked our booking system to check that the number of guest nights recorded by us was true and accurate, as the amount of energy used is measured against the number of recorded guest nights, in order to make the system fair and practical. The inspector then interviewed each member of staff, and asked them, in a friendly and simple manner, various questions to help him establish that they all had a fair understanding of the green work we do, and they really were an integral part of our environmental management system, as well as verifying my claims about each individuals work, such as using only organic pesticides, or biodegradable cleaners. He also spoke with a few guests, to find out if our claim that we educate all visitors about our environmental work was true, and to find out if our green work was one of their reasons for choosing 3 rivers for their holiday destination. Together with myself, he then spent some time touring the property, examining our eco systems, and finding out what methods we use for checking that everything is in good working order, and how we respond to problems and breakdowns. He also viewed some guest rooms, to check that we do indeed have eco soaps and washing liquids, educational books about our environmental work, and all the other little eco gismos that we claim to have in our paperwork and publicity materials. Paperwork is an important part of Green Globe 21 membership, as this is a major way in which our claims can be verified. Accordingly considerable time was spent reading through our files, checking our educational literature and community correspondence, ensuring we had an official environmental & social sustainability policy, examining our licenses, permits and emergency procedures, and reading through our plans of green action and green team meeting minutes, staff training records and verifying that our various claims had indeed been put into action. Paperwork may sound scary and arduous, but once you get used to the regular monthly reports it really and truly does not take long. We also found that the requirements guided us towards an efficient system of paperwork which has made our record keeping far more practical and useful. He gave constructive help on some minor observations which he made around the property, and advised on how best to correct them. The day was long, but pleasant, and was well worth it. The inspection was complete, and the time spent with the auditor was an enjoyable experience. Basically, as long as the truth has been told to Green Globe in the paperwork which is sent to them then the audit is nothing to be concerned about. As long as he does not discover big inaccuracies or major defects, a pass is likely.

Jem Winston, Dominica
3 Rivers Dominica Ecolodge
ECOCLUB Ecolodge Member
http://ecoclub.com/3rivers


After the monsoons, the Saga continues

We have reopened the Saga Eco Camp on Chilika Lake after the monsoons. The Lagoon is in full bloom now, the good (though late) rains of the monsoon and hinterland drainage giving her the looks of a plump, pregnant and inwardly happy expectant mother. We went out on a fishermen boat trip yesterday, the mystic pre-full moon light was sparkling with silvery reflection on shoals of fish. With so much fish, it appears to be the ideal situation for our winged friends from far-a-away lands to arrive by the millions soon, starting mid-November. The frolicking Dolphins are as yet missing, or may be I did not move around adequately in the 1100 sq km spread. The trees we planted two years ago have reached their adolescence, like naughty teens they are spreading around their leaves and twigs indiscriminately, making the camp almost invisible from 50 meters into the lake. I have stopped trimming them, somewhere down the line I felt that retouching the works of the original painter gives the painting a cheap look. The State Tourism Minister, Tourism Secretary, Tourism Director and other bureaucrats made an un-announced visit. Like any number of visits before, announced or unannounced, they were quite impressed by the simple, environment compliant features of the Camp run almost wholly by locals ( except myself, two cooks and one Manager -cum-Engineer, 14 others are locals, mostly fisher folk; in two years they have picked up quite a bit of the hospitality service). In Mid November we are having a 4 Day Eco Adventure Camp with 30 boys and 3 teachers from Kolkata's prestigious La Martiniere Boys' school. End November it will be for the Girls' School. The activities will consist of Nature Study, Rock Climbing, Sky Watching ( it is during the new moon phase) and Beach Trekking, besides the usual Camp Fire etc. I had a smaller version of such a camp last season, this year it'll be more organized. I love these camps, those young faces gleaming with a hidden joy of escape from the metropolis and finding a different level of interface with life, with this vast, elemental beauty, with life in myriad form. This is our green army of future, they will not plead like us to "Give earth a chance" but will actually be the Green Earth that you and I are striving for today. I am sure evolution will be on their side.

Shomnath Chakravarty, Orissa, India
Saga Eco Camp
ECOCLUB Ecolodge Member
http://ecoclub.com/saga


ECOCLUB Ecolodge Award 2004 - Winning Project Progress

Phase 4 of the award-winning Ranweli Holiday Village project, continued apace: 

1- The School green house is upgraded 2- Upgrade completed on schedule 3- Meanwhile, September efforts are already bearing fruit

Vijitha Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
Ranweli Holiday Village
ECOCLUB Ecolodge Member
http://ecoclub.com/ranweli 

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New Ecolodge Member in Thailand

We warmly welcome Golden Buddha Beach, on an island in the Andaman Sea, near Kuraburi, and about two hours north of Phuket. The island, despite its considerable size, has escaped the notice of the outside world, with beaches, hills, woods and wildlife relatively untouched. Golden Buddha, has kept the land in its natural state and donates 100 baht of every room night to a local conservation fund. The resort also sponsors a sea turtle conservation project, a coral reef watch, and a mangrove conservation project. More details at:

http://ecoclub.com/goldenbuddha 

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Eco Lógos

"There are no luxuries. We should reflect Sri Lanka
Chandra de Silva, General Manager, Ranweli Holiday Village
8 August 2004 - Lankabusinessonline.com

 

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