This week in Ecotourism (1 Sept 2017)

Posted September 3, 2017 by ecoadventuretravel
Categories: Conservation, Eco-Tourism, Environmentally Friendly, India, Kayaking, New Zealand, Pacific Islands / Oceana, United States

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A few stories entered my awareness this week related to Ecotourism

A quick look at the state of ecologically aware travel around the world shows the planet emerging from the economic slump in some areas, coupled with an awareness of the need to protect vulnerable areas of the planet. A few highlights I found appear below:

Costa Rica - Carribean Sea - Parismina (Eco-Tourism)

  1.  From Fiji: In Fiji, the Momoan Park is going to become a center for eco-tourism, and ecotourism activities, according to an article published in the Fiji Sun.
  2. From India:  An article in The Hindu.com relates that in India, the Telangana State Forest Development Corporation has proposed projects specifically to attract visitors looking to appreciate nature and wildlife. The backwaters of Nagarjuna Sagar Reservoir in Nalgonda district have been acquired and a proposal has been submitted for transfer of land to the TSFDC, selected for fishing and views. Independent cottages, common dormitories, restaurant and other amenities would come up and a tourism circuit connecting nearby interesting places is planned, Mr. Mitra said.Another eco-tourism project has been proposed near the Kawal Tiger Reserve. About six acres of land would be purchased to serve as visitor amenity center for those planning to go on a jungle safari.
  3. From New Zealand:  A new aquarium and marine center will open in 2021, which has been designed to educate and provide information related to local eco-tourism.

    It is hoped this expansion of the Marine Parade aquarium will generate jobs, grow the local economy, creating a unique eco tourism destination, and deliver a landmark conservation center of excellence. The aquarium and center have a cost of $45 million, with a $7m investment from the council over three years, and the balance sought through a mix of private, and public investment.

  4. From Delaware, USA: An online newspaper in Delaware reported that various companies have different tours that allow tourists to gently observe nature.  Those include “floating yoga mats”, LED lit stand-up paddle tours, full moon excursion tours, and kayaking, on which tourists can observe wild horses, eagles, osprey, pelicans, herons, horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, and end up with a stop at a local brewery.
  5. From Indonesia:  The Asia Sentinel had a story about ecologically conscious travel in the rainforests of Sumatra.  It mentions the Hadabuan Hills as one of many locally-recognized conservation areas (according to the article, it is not a national park, a wildlife sanctuary, or anything else, just an unmanaged area that happens to contain some of the rarest wildlife in the world).  While discussing Sumatra and the effects of the 1997 World Economic Crisis, the article’s author also mentions the  “gargantuan and magical Gunung Leuser National Park”, which made me want to plan travel there right away.
  6. Thenmala_Ecotourism_bridge

“One could even combine a visit to Hadabuan Hills with a trip to nearby Lake Toba, the volcanoes of Beristagi, and a foodie trip to tasty Medan. [They] can even arrange for you to have some tuak or palm wine as you sit on your bungalow balcony watching bats flit against the stars.”

Sounds wonderful.

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Contact Attorney Robert Miller for any questions about international travel related to eco-tourism.

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Traveling with a DUI conviction

Posted July 30, 2017 by ecoadventuretravel
Categories: Eco-Tourism

Traveling with a DUI conviction

beers and handcuffsIf you have a criminal conviction of any kind, including a DUI conviction, international travel can be more difficult. This article is written by an Orange County DUI Attorney and is intended to provide some information regarding the effects of traveling to other countries with a DUI on your record.

Once you are convicted of a DUI, the world is divided into two different categories: The countries you can visit with a DUI, and the countries that you can’t visit with a DUI.

A DUI conviction can result in the total denial of the ability to immigrate to some countries (especially Canada). Business or personal trips to some foreign countries, including Canada, may be blocked or become extremely difficult to obtain after your DUI conviction. Pre-application through the Canadian Consulate, or the Canadian Embassy, is required, even for a short visit for pleasure or business.

If you are seeking to enter the United States, the exclusion of admission is a possibility if there are other charges or if your DUI case was a felony. If you seek to become a citizen, then denial of naturalization for 5 years after DUI case is over is a possible occurrence.

Our Orange County Immigration Attorney advises that possible deportation from U.S. to your country of origin, if not a U.S. citizen, does not normally result from a DUI conviction.  However, that could be possible if there are multiple criminal convictions while in the U.S.A. (especially drug crimes, weapons crimes, crimes of violence, or any crime that results in a sentence of a year or longer), or for a felony-level DUI case such as a “DUI with great bodily injury” or any “vehicular homicide”.

With a DUI or any other conviction, a permanent resident “Green” card renewal or work visa renewal can be denied or delayed.

Travel from U.S.A. and back to the U.S.A. can be delayed at customs, or even prohibited altogether. This inconvenience can last for hours or even days, causing you to miss connecting flights.

We have a guide to what the policies of various countries are as to entry with a DUI on your record.  Feel free to contact our team of Orange County DUI Lawyers also with any updates, comments, or questions about international travel.

What is ecotourism?

Posted June 17, 2017 by ecoadventuretravel
Categories: Eco-Tourism, educational, Environmentally Friendly

TractorRideAlthough there are more detailed ecotourism definitions, basically, ecotourism is this – it is environmentally friendly travel.

Through this particular form of tourism, travelers can immerse themselves in the land’s most naturally beautiful wonders and gain a new appreciation for what mother nature has to offer. Ecotourism adventures are fueled by conservation and a dedication to enjoying the land without human interference. If you’re committed to limiting your environmental impact or supporting locally driven efforts, this is the trend for you.

Beyond thrilling and educational day trips, it’s easy to make a positive environmental impact with a few simple decisions. For example, getting acquainted with your destination’s seafood options will help you to be more conscious of what you’re ordering for dinner. In the US Virgin Islands, for example, long-lived predators and various groupers are among the most threatened fish, while Lion fish are a non-native species invading the ocean and hurting the food chain.

In Peru, along with many other countries in Latin America, there are operators taking existing land, and existing farms or other businesses, and recreating them into thriving ecotourism locations.

Across all age groups, a preference for ecotourism (or “green travel”) is a growing aspect of the travel industry.  People in the industry are taking note.
 
“We see that more and more of our customers are concerned about not just the impact of their travel to the destination, but also once they get there. It’s more than not changing your hotel towel every day; many travellers now base their decision on where to stay based on the hotel or resorts environmental responsibilities,” said Andrew Shelton of Cheap Flights. 
 
He shares his top three tips on how eco-tourists can do their bit to decrease the impact on the environment:
 
1: Travel light: Not only will you save on baggage fees, but lighter luggage also increases the plane’s fuel-efficiency.
 
2: Conserve where possible: Due to severe drought, many parts of the world are currently very aware of how much water gets wasted on a daily basis, but the water conservation habits learnt now are applicable everywhere – especially in ecologically sensitive environments. Every drop counts –  don’t run the tap while shaving, re-use  towels for multiple days and ask room service not to clean the room.
 
3: Buy local: Doing so supports the local community and reduces the carbon footprint as goods were grown / manufactured in the area. 
What are your experiences and tips for ecotourism?

 

Costa Rican Ecotourism

Posted May 8, 2017 by ecoadventuretravel
Categories: Eco-Tourism

Costa Rican Ecotourism

One of the countries that I’ve been to that does eco-tourism well is Costa Rica.  In visits to five different areas of Costa Rica over twenty years, I have found that Costa Rica takes ecology and conservation efforts seriously, and allows people to experience nature in a non destructive manner.

Last week, I participated in a canopy zip line tour.  The advantage of being near the canopy, or treetops of the rainforest, is that is where the majority of the bird life, and animal life, live, to avoid predators, and to enjoy the sunshine and protection of the treetops.

The canopy tour starts by taking you via tractor to the top of one of the local mountains, where you are locked into a main carabiner, and two backup carabiners, and walked onto a platform.  The platforms are built non-destructively around trees, using steel braided cables, plastic, and wood blocks, and is well secured, even if the platforms sway with the trees.

The zip line goes as fast as 90 miles per hour, and braking is done by leather glove – you put one hand on the cable, and one hand on the cable, and pull down to brake or slow.  There is also a resistant wood block that acts like a brake as well.

While the best speeds are done when your center of gravity is up, and the ride is safest when your legs and arms aren’t out where branches can catch them, some of the riders choose to ride upside down, or backwards.  Helmets are required at all times, along with the gloves, for safety reasons.

As Costa Rica, as a nation, moves from agriculture becoming their primary contributor of GDP, to tourism becoming the largest source of money into the country, more and more zip line tours are coming up.  I had a great time and would highly recommend it.

 

This Week in EcoTourism News

Posted August 28, 2016 by ecoadventuretravel
Categories: Africa, Eco-Tourism, educational, Environmentally Friendly, Hiking, India, United States

An article that I recently shared pointed out how purchasing experiences brings more happiness to individuals than purchasing things.  Purchasing a home, clothing, cars, and other material goods doesn’t come close to the happiness boost that experiences such as travel, dining with friends or family, or nature does.

Spending time in nature, while minimizing impact on nature, is a travel goal worth underlining, and worth promoting wherever in the world it happens.  This past week the following stories came across my desk:

  1. Romania Tourism Revamp Aims for more Danube, Less Dracula.  One man, Mr. Patzaichin, is bringing tourists to the Blue Danube of Strauss, rather than the focus in the past two decades on the culture and myths around Dracula. Romania is a country that can certainly have both.
  2. Apatani Tribe Giving Back to Nature.  In rural India, a tribe living in the Ziro Valley is notable for their low impact on their environment.  The customs and practices of the tribe may teach others how to use techniques that have the least impact on the environment.
  3. The Nenetsky Nature Reserve in Arctic Russia is opening a new eco-tourism route, called “Barefoot Across the Tundra“, in 2017.  It’s a five kilometer route, and sounds like quite an experience:  “Walking across the tundra barefoot is a fantastic experience. You have the indescribable feeling of sinking into the moss, catching your toes on the lichen, having berries burst under your soles, and then walking across soft, warm sand,” said Valentina Semenchenko, deputy director of environmental education at Saylyugemsky National Park.”
  4. In Maine, a Couple has Started a new Ecotourism Company, Venture Outside, which aims to provide tourists with “physical and holistic activities in natural settings around the world”.  Their most popular excursion is called the TMT  — the Try Maine Tri — a five-day adventure designed to rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit. The itinerary includes three sports, interspersed around other activities in various places throughout Maine, including the Boothbay-Camden area, Downeast-Acadia National Park region, and Baxter State Park.
  5. The Country of Ghana is getting a 1.2 billion Ultra Modern Ecotourism Park in its Capital City.  That funding will bring construction of amusement parks, orchards, an arboretum, wildlife safaris, museums, ecocommercial enclaves, and ecolodges, with as little disruption to natural vegetation cover as possible.

Thoughts on Ecotourism in the form of sustainable farming

Posted July 16, 2016 by ecoadventuretravel
Categories: Eco-Tourism, educational, Environmentally Friendly

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Some thoughts on Ecotourism from news stories this week (July 8-15, 2016):

After reading about the eighth annual Ecotourism conference, which took place earlier this month, this week I saw an “ecotourism” article about a working farm, with goats, in Reno, of all places, which I thought was a strange subject and location for ecotourism.  When I, and I believe most people, think of ecotourism, we tend to think of unspoiled wilderness, or nature, and certainly pre-agricultural era environments.

The article really is about structuring farms to take advantage of natural symbiosis and existing processes in nature, and to that extent, it reminds me of the work of Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms.  You may be familiar with Joel Salatin from author Michael Pollan’s works mentioning him (in books and articles).  Salatin raises cattle, pigs, chickens, and other animals, and uses the symbiotic relationships between the animals and the growth and decomposition of natural processes to make a self contained system for growing animals and crops naturally. Joel is well known in the organic farming world for his nine books and many lectures, as well as being featured in several documentaries.  And his farm has been a tourist attraction of sorts as a result.

For example, Salatin’s structure of farming emphasizes healthy grass on which animals can thrive in a symbiotic cycle of feeding. he calls himself a “sun farmer”, as a result, as the grass grown by the sun is the center of the structure of the farming process.  Cows are moved from one pasture to another rather than being centrally corn fed. Then chickens in portable coops are moved in behind them, where they dig through the cow dung to eat protein-rich fly larvae while further fertilizing the field with their droppings.

I hadn’t thought about that as an eco-friendly aspect of tourism, but it clearly is.  It appeals to those interested in viewing the farm and the processes, and educates and helps save the impact on the Earth as well.

–Robert Miller

 

 

 

 

Saving Turtles and Eco-Travel

Posted July 9, 2016 by ecoadventuretravel
Categories: Eco-Tourism

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The BBC World News had an interesting article about saving Turtles in the wild in Sri Lanka.  I have personally seen Sea Turtle hatcheries in Costa Rica, and in Mexico, and in general they provide a safe space for turtles to lay their eggs, in a protected area, and return to the ocean once hatched without harassment by tourists or predators.

Sea turtles are given legal protection in the United States and its waters under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which declares the following species of turtles as threatened species and thus endangered:

  • Hawksbill turtles;
  • Leatherback turtles;
  • Kemp’s ridley turtle;
  • Green sea turtle; and the
  • Loggerhead turtle.

This designation makes it illegal to harm, harass or kill any sea turtles, hatchlings or their eggs. It is also illegal to import, sell, or transport turtles or their products. In the United States, the National Marine Fisheries Service has jurisdiction over sea turtles in the water, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for them on land. Other countries have their own conservation laws and regulations that apply to sea turtles.

Some regulations affecting sea turtles are global in scope. The “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species” (CITES) controls international trade in endangered and threatened species. Sea turtles are covered under Appendix I of this agreement and receive protection from international trade by all countries that have signed the treaty.

As a result of the need to protect Sea Turtles and their eggs, a need has arisen in the eco tourism niche where persons can help achieve these goals.

Some charities that mix volunteer opportunities with fundraising and other efforts to help turtle conservation:

http://www.turtleconservationfund.org/

http://www.conserveturtles.org/

Home

http://www.seeturtles.org/

~Robert Miller