A fascinating presentation by SeaWeb – “the ocean’s PR agency”

I attended a brilliant series of lectures last weekend, as part of Biosphere Expeditions’ 10th anniversary celebrations. Biosphere Expeditions is a conservation organisation which runs scientific research projects on which lay people can volunteer.

In the afternoon, we heard about big cat conservation Tessa McGregor, who heads up Biosphere’s snow leopard project in the stunning Altai Mountains of Central Asia. We also heard from Chris Gerrard of the Wildlife Trust who set up the Great Fen Project in Cambridgeshire (see my… Continue reading

Art with heart: underwater sculptures help Cancun’s damaged coral

I was pleased to hear that Cancun has devised an underwater museum as a new tourist attraction.Jason de Caires Taylor's new underwater museum in Cancun Not because I thought the world necessarily needed an underwater museum (more on that later) but because this is good news for the threatened coral reefs in the Cancun area.

The massive expansion of tourism over the last 40 years has led to the rapid decline in the quality of the… Continue reading

Distress in Marrakesh: mistreated monkeys in the medina

I’m in Marrakesh this week and had an eventful, if rather stressful, first day in the famous square.

We managed not to get run over by the marauding motorbikes (no mean feat), and also managed to snatch our wrists back from the henna-wielding women before they could begin a tattoo on us.

We enjoyed delicious tagines at Restaurant Marrekchi overlooking Djemaa el-Fna; there’s been a religious feast with lots of lamb this weekend, so it’s a great time to here (unless, of course, you’re a lamb).

We did get conned into spending 20 quid on dried figs… Continue reading