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2015 PATA Grand Award– Environment
The Success of Self-reliance
Jetwing Yala, Yala, Sri Lanka

Jetwing YalaAkin to a phoenix rising from the ashes – recovering after a decade from the devastating tsunami of 2004 – Jetwing brings a truly ‘at-one-with-nature’ concept to a more refined and elegant form with Jetwing Yala. Set within the immediate outskirts of the Yala National Park, Jetwing Yala boasts a tremendous commitment to sustainability and the environment, bringing a wildlife experience complemented with the finest in luxury and comfort. Designed by renowned architect Murad Ismail, the 90 room property overlooks spectacular sand dunes and the Indian Ocean and is a landmark that changes the face of the deep south of Sri Lanka. Jetwing Yala has been created from ground up to be as sustainable as possible with the intention of conserving energy and resources, reusing and recycling and being a part of the environment whilst causing no harm to nature.

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Clean, accessible water is vital to tourism, used in most of the tourism businesses, from hotels and restaurants to leisure facilities and transportation. Hotels also depend upon their supply industries, such as agriculture and the food and drink industries, none of which would function without sufficient water.

Thinking about how to conserve water is important. Water conservation can save a significant amount of money by using less: fewer water treatment costs, less labor costs, and less energy use. Using less water also strengthens the local economy as more economic resources are available for the local area. Water conservation also helps protect ecosystems that include tourist attractions that depend on natural resources. Learn more about it from Kuoni’s Water Management Manual for Hotels.

There are many ways to reduce water usage that are more efficient than taking shorter showers, like eating less meat. Here are some useful tips for water conservation that you can easily apply:

In some parts of Ethiopia, finding potable water is a six-hour journey. People in the region spend 40 billion hours a year trying to find and collect water, says a group called the Water Project. And even when they find it, the water is often not safe. A possible solution: a new product called Warka Water, an inexpensive, easily-assembled structure that extracts gallons of fresh water from the air.  By Tuan Nguyen. Read more.

UNEP CBD - Tourism Supporting Biodiversity

A healthy natural environment is one of the world’s most important tourism attractions, and that visiting nature serves to heighten awareness of its intrinsic value for us all, a new manual launched by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) presents guidelines on sustainable tourism and management.

Geared towards being both practical and accessible, Tourism Supporting Biodiversity: A Manual on applying the CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development, highlights the important role tourism plays for biodiversity and aims to improve knowledge and materials to better integrate biodiversity into sustainable tourism development.

“The manual is a reference tool for planners, developers, managers and decision makers involved with tourism development and resource management in areas of sensitive biodiversity,” said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, CBD Executive Secretary. “The purpose is to help them to mainstream biodiversity concerns and ecosystem services within sustainable tourism development.”

With its emphasis on management and governance, the manual, prepared as a result of experiences compiled by the Secretariat and decisions taken by countries at the eleventh and twelfth meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, reflects a wider perspective on approaches and experiences in sustainable tourism development and management. It serves to complement the more technical User’s Manual on the CBD Guidelines on Biodiversity and Tourism Development, published in 2007.

The manual is the result of a collaboration between the CBD Secretariat, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and some 140 experts from around the world to identify current trends and upcoming issues and opportunities on the links between sustainable tourism development and the CBD agenda, and is meant to be used as a transformative tool for sustainable consumption.

 

 

Download PDF here

 

FINALIST – 2015 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, Best in Community Engagement & Development

IMG_2626-e1440147722754Creating unforgettable learning experiences in the Cambodian provinces of Kratie and Stung Treng, CRDTours works closely with their partner NGO, CRDT (Cambodian Rural Development Team) to create sustainable changes through community-based tourism initiatives, such as rural development and environmental conservation.

Not only does CRDTours give tourists hands-on cultural experiences, such as whipping up local dishes with their host families, attending traditional religious blessings, and participating in on-going development projects identified by the local communities. But they also make sure the local communities don’t become overly dependent on tourism as a livelihood source by limiting the carrying capacity of visitors to Koh P’dao, an island nestled in the mighty Mekong river and home to a number of their tourist programs.

By expanding their community development tours’ projects to include chicken and pig raising and building toilets and rainwater collection systems, CRDTours is able to reach more beneficiaries and maximize long term benefits while also developing non-tourist centric methods of livelihood such as livestock raising, maintaining home gardens, and environmental education.

Mobilizing local communities key to CRDTours’ success. They are trusted by the local community, provide trainings and improve community awareness about issues such as environmental conservation. During village demonstrations, events, and livelihood trainings focused on deforestation and environmental awareness, 60% of beneficiaries were able to raise at least 3 environmental issues, such as illegal fishing and climate change present in their community and offer solutions.

CRDTours actively involves the local  community members, encouraging them to play a role in development and environmental conservation initiatives, which include:

  • Finding alternative livelihoods to slow/stop the depletion of natural resources
  • Raising awareness about the impact of unsustainable natural resources and gradually change the community’s behavior towards the environment
  • Promoting ecotourism as an incentive for community members to stop harming wildlife and take action to protect it

Ecotourism has been an incentive for communities to protect their rare, Irrawaddy dolphin neighbors and make them proud of their community. Over a quarter of the Community Based Ecotourism (CBET) annual development fund was given to the community fishery for river patrolling. By 2013 community beneficiaries stopped using gillnets (which dolphins are known to get caught in) close to the known dolphin pool and reduced their time spent fishing by 45%. Thanks to the complete removal of gillnets in the area, two baby dolphins were born in the Koh P’dao pool earlier this year.

CRDTours website

fog catchers

When dense fog sweeps in from the Pacific Ocean, special nets on a hillside catch the moisture and provide precious water to the village of Bellavista, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) outside of Lima, Peru. With a few thousand dollars and some volunteer labor, a village can set up fog-collecting nets that gather hundreds of gallons of water a day—without a single drop of rain falling, conservationists say. By Helen Fields. Read more.

 

How Washing Machines Could Use a Lot Less WaterEarlier this year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hosted the inaugural MIT Water Innovation Prize, inviting attendees from around the world to pitch their water-conservation device or business to a panel of judges for a chance to win grants totaling $30,000. April Wolfe Read more.

Drought-hit central western Queensland communities look to build resilient future

November 24 2015 – Despite unprecedented drought across a vast area of outback Queensland, a group of local councils has embarked on a long-term planning project aimed at building resilient communities to withstand future dry times and economic challenges. Chrissy Arthur Read more.

Discovering Beaches on Nias Island, Indonesia

Categories: Asia, Planet, Recommended Reading, Sea, Southeast, Water
Comments Off on Discovering Beaches on Nias Island, Indonesia

Nias Island is a stunning Indonesian island with a few surfer tourists enjoying the scenic beaches, abundant wildlife, and welcoming local population. We interview Sustainable Tourism Advisor Björn Svensson for some interesting insights on this tropical island and talk about his role in advising how to develop sustainable tourism in this pristine location. Peter Berg Schmidt. Read more.

 

The Last of the Pink Dolphins

With the number of these unique mammals plummeting due to development, land reclamation and pollution, now is the time to see them before it’s too late.

When Simon Holliday jumped into the water to swim from Hong Kong to Macau on 24 May 2014, he was feeling anything but ready. Kate Springer Read more.