Category Archives: rainforest

Exploring enigmatic Dominica 

Birdwatching with Dr Birdy in DominicaThe 20-seater aircraft shakes us like dice in a cup as we approach the island. We’ve been struggling through thick fog for 15 minutes when the mist dissolves to reveal rugged green peaks soaring out of the sea, like a mysterious Jurassic Park-style lost world. 

“Welcome to the Nature Island,” the flight attendant chimes as we rattle towards the landing strip. With peaks up to 1,400 metres above sea level, Dominica is one of the most mountainous islands in the Caribbean, earning… Continue reading

Book Review: Wild Sri Lanka, by Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

Wild Sri LankaTo readers unfamiliar with Sri Lankan wildlife, the claims Gehan sets out in the introductory chapter to Wild Sri Lanka might seem fantastical. One of the best whale-watching destinations in the world? The largest annually occurring concentration of elephants in the world? The largest “bird wave” phenomenon in the world? It seems hard to believe, of an island roughly the size of Tasmania or Ireland.

But by presenting data he has gathered over many years, and sharing personal accounts of

Conservation “with people in it”: the Crees Foundation of Peru

Credit: Crees Manu

[This blog first appeared on ttgdigital.com]

National Geographic claimed earlier this year that Yasuni National Park in Ecuador may be the most biodiverse place on earth. But it’s not a crown Ecuador will wear for long, if a Peruvian conservation organisation has anything to do with it.

Crees is a charitable foundation based in the Manu region of Peru’s rainforest, where visitors can see conservation research and sustainable community development in action. In May, staff and volunteers at Crees plan to undertake their very… Continue reading

‘Top’ news from the Rainforest Alliance

At a tourism conference in Panama last week, I got chance to catch up with the Rainforest Alliance and hear about its latest news.

Federico Solano described a new scheme called Tour Operators Promoting Sustainability, or TOPS, for both local Latin American tourism companies and those sending customers from the UK and other countries.

After bringing together travel companies that have made a commitment to sustainable practices, the Alliance hopes to launch a group-wide marketing campaign, creating one of the world’s first networks of green-certified operators… Continue reading

Teeny tiny frog alert! New species found in Borneo

smallest frog in the world, microhyla nepenthicolaI was interested in the story from Conservation International on scientists in Borneo discovering a teeny tiny new species of frog – the Microhyla nepenthicola is about the size of a pea and lives in pitcher plants which hold pools of water.

When I saw the photo, I thought surely this must be the smallest frog in the world?

Au contraire – it’s only the smallest species discovered in the OLD world .

They’ve found even… Continue reading

Chelsea Flower Show – meeting James Wong and my favourite gardens

Tourism Malaysia's winning garden at Chelsea Flower ShowI went to Chelsea Flower Show for the first time last week and, considering how little I know about plants and flowers (see earlier failed attempts to cultivate herbs on my balcony), I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I was a guest of the Malaysia Tourist Board, which won Gold for its rainforest-inspired garden, designed by James Wong (off the Grow Your Own Drugs programme on TV).

The garden was really beautiful… 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