Articles in the Ecotourism in Action Category
By Brad Nahill
When many people hear the words “shark” and “tourism” in the same sentence, the first thing they think of is how to avoid them. Unfortunately these people are missing the opportunity to witness and learn about one of nature’s truly astounding creatures. While shark attacks are real and many movies and media outlets capitalize on this fear there are common sense ways to avoid danger and have a great experience while contributing to shark conservation efforts.
By Brad Nahill
We came to Padre Ramos Estuary, home to one of the world’s most inspiring sea turtle conservation projects. Our motley group of international sea turtle experts was there as part of a research expedition to study and protect one of the world’s most endangered turtle populations, the Eastern Pacific hawksbill sea turtle. This project depends on the participation of local residents; a committee of 18 local non-profit organizations, community groups, local governments, and more.
By Brad Nahill
Our visit to Jiquilisco was organized by ICAPO and these turtles are part of an ongoing study to unlock the mysterious life cycles of the hawksbills. There are estimated to be fewer than 500 nesting females hawksbills left in their range. Until recently, researchers assumed that hawksbills only lived in and around coral reefs, of which there are relatively few along the Pacific coast of the Americas. However, research by ICAPO and their partners has shown that these turtles live primarily in mangroves.
Sikkim is a Himalayan state in northern India known for its rugged mountains, deep valleys and dense forests. It is also the only state in India with a Nepali majority as well as a Lepcha and Bhutia population. As a result of its unique location and culture, Sikkim is an ideal place to benefit from ecotourism. Community-based ecotourism is a major draw to this area, and many such tourism experiences include homestays.
By Oshin Chin
Malaysia is a hard-to-rival ecotourism destination. And now, through a combination of charismatic animal species and government programs to protect them, several areas of Malaysia have found a way to regulate and harness tourism as a positive force for animal conservation. Whether it’s dolphins, monkeys, turtles or elephants you’re hoping to encounter (and maybe even help), Malaysia is the place to be.
Beginning in January of 2010, Blue Ventures, already in its eighth year of operation, began a project with the Belizean community of Sarteneja, the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (SACD) and other organizations to understand the impact the local coastal communities have on the nearby reef. For six weeks, volunteers with the Belize project are able to conduct research with Blue Ventures and their partner organization, the SACD.
By Karolyn Wrightson
Aboriginal elder Willie Gordon of Guurrbi Tours offers ancient stories oriented toward the human soul. The wisdom of Willie is what distinguishes his Guurrbi Aboriginal tours from others – his remarkable sense of what each visitor brings to the moment. To ensure that he bridges the gap between his culture and ours, he begins with his family’s story, then relates that to the story the visitor has (or lacks).
By Victoria Okoye
Mole National Park, Ghana’s largest protected ecosystem, is surrounded by nearly 30 indigenous rural communities that rely on the land for their livelihood. Addressing these fringe communities’ livelihood concerns is an important part of the work done in the area by one tour company, M&J Travel and Tours, committed to ecotourism in Ghana. It currently works with more than 350 women to support the local Shea-butter production efforts for commercial trade.
By Adriana Braun and Julio Bin
Ecotourism for people in wheelchairs? You may wonder what that looks like, how it’s done. You’d be pleasantly surprised to learn that in many destinations there are efforts in place to improve tourism infrastructure to better serve people with disabilities. Brazil is one such example. Recently the Brazilian company Accessible – Adapted Tourism has developed a new project featuring an online tour guide for travelers with reduced mobility.
On March 11th, shortly after the first earthquake, Japan Ecolodge Association, in collaboration with local experts, mobilized a relief team to collect and deliver basic necessities to the victims of what is now being called the Great Tohoku Kanto Earthquake and Tsunami. The Association has set up Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Relief Fund and is accepting donations both online and via wire transfer. “Japan’s Eastern Pacific Coast and other regions affected by the earthquake and tsunami are in dire need of your generosity.”