The ‘green’ issue: do golf courses damage the environment?

A WWF Turkey ad about the environmental impact of golfI love this week’s story about the Scottish pensioner who’s taking on property magnate Donald Trump to contest his golf course development in Menie, Aberdeenshire.

85-year-old Molly Forbes, who lives on the Menie Estate, says the development will threaten her home. She’s launched a legal challenge against the plans, claiming that environmental assessment regulations were not met, and that the impact of the complex on nearby conservation… Continue reading

Sustainable tourism now a ‘reality’, not just a ‘trend’ says Rainforest Alliance

I was interested to find out more about the Rainforest Alliance at WTM last week. I first heard about the organRainforest Alliance logoisation when I was out in Central America last month – it’s a not-for-profit organisation with three distinct arms, advising and campaigning on sustainable agriculture, forestry and tourism in rainforested areas around the world.

Its work in tourism ranges from training hotel staff on green technology, to helping them attain certificates of sustainability, to educating tourists on how they… Continue reading

NatureAir: expansion for the world’s first carbon-neutral airline

I had a fascinating meeting at WTM yesterday with NatureAir, the world’s first (and only) carbon NatureAir - the world's first carbon-neutral airlineneutral airline.

It’s going through an exciting period right now. It’s hoping to sign codeshare agreements with international players like Continental Airlines, Copa, Mexicana and Iberia in the near future.

This means passengers won’t have to check their luggage back in at Costa Rica’s San Jose airport before they fly onto their final destination with… Continue reading | 1 Comment

New Mexico’s brand new ecotourism

It’s World Traval Market in London this week, and I’ve been finding out about an interesting launch of a new ecotourism programme by the state of New Mexico.

It’s not a state I know a whole lot about but is apparently home to the first National Park in America, has three of the US’s 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and is home to lots of great wildlife including wolves and antelope.

The plan is to build a series of sustainable, solar-powered,”off grid” camps, a bit like the luxury safari camps you see in Africa.

The programme also… Continue reading

Plastic planet: one triumph and one tragedy

I’ve just been readinA plastic bag in the Red Seag an update on efforts in Egypt to make the Red Sea the first plastic bag-free zone in the country.

Discarded plastic bags were causing the deaths of birds, turtles, dolphins and other marine creatures which swallowed or became entangled in the rubbish blown out to sea. I’ve dived the Red Sea a couple of times and been disappointed to see litter – it really makes your heart sink… Continue reading

Conservation crisis: saving the Tasmanian Devil

I’m researching a feature about conservation volunteering for Australia and New Zealand magazine at the moment, and have been upset to hear what’s happCute, healthy Tasmanian Devilening to the Tasmanian Devil.

They’re much cuter in real life than in the Looney Tunes cartoon. They’re not fussy eaters, and have one of the strongest jaws in the world so will chomp down bones and all, but they’re actually quite a shy marsupial, and an icon the Tasmanians are very proud of… Continue reading

The Cove: a review

the-cove-underwaterI finally got to see The Cove last week. If you haven’t heard about it, I posted a trailer for it back in July. It’s a documentary about the annual slaughter of 23,000 dolphins in a hidden cove in Taiji, Japan. After the best are cherry-picked by oceanariums around the world, the rest are stabbed to death. The meat, which is toxically high in mercury, is sold as whale meat, and even given to children in free school lunches.

I’d been looking forward to… Continue reading | 1 Comment