Special Edition ecotourism by jianghongl


									 Special Edition
   V o lu m e         3   I s s u e      2   s u m m e r         2 0 0 7

Park Road Industrial Estate, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim. 071 9856898, and info@greenbox.ie.              www.greenbox.ie            AUTUMN

Greenbox launches Ireland’s
first certified ecotourism packages
ecotourism on the Island of Ireland has taken a great leap forward in 2007 with the
development of the Greenbox ecotourism label. Work on the label began in Autumn 2006 by
a panel comprised of Greenbox staff and Greenbox Network member businesses, as well as
representatives from sligo Institute of Technology and The Western Development Commission
(WDC). over a number of months a set of criteria was designed that would reflect the efforts of
existing ecotourism operators in the Greenbox region, who were already providing experiences
for guests that were “based in nature, providing interpretation and information, environmentally friendly, contributing to conservation
and local communities, responsibly marketed and culturally respectful”. Criteria were also chosen that would reflect the uniqueness
of the region, particularly in a cross border peace and reconciliation context.

The standard was piloted in spring 2007 by a group of seventeen tourism businesses and involved the provision of a training and
mentoring programme for those embarking on the certification process. In the Autumn the first applications were assessed and
approved by an independent panel comprised of representatives from Fáilte Ireland, National Standards Authority of Ireland
(NSAI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Greenbox wishes to thank everyone involved in bringing the label to this stage and would encourage everyone to please read on and
possibly consider a Greenbox ecotourism package as their next holiday or short break.

                              The Greenbox- Ireland’s
                              Ecotourism Destination                           ecotourism
                                                                                                           There is a lot of misunderstanding of
                           The Greenbox is a completely unique                                             what exactly ecotourism is. It is often
                           region and is a natural location for                                            wrongly perceived as the ‘greening
                           Ireland’s first ecotourism destination.                                         of a tourist business’, and / or tourism
It boasts unique ecosystems, an unspoiled landscape, centres                                               that is related to nature. eco-tourism
of learning such as The organic Centre, a Geo Park (marble Arch                                            is much more than that. The core
Caves, Co. Fermanagh) and off shore islands of high conservation                                           of ecotourism is environmental
value such as Inishmurray Island in Donegal Bay.                                                           sustainability and ensuring that the
The geographic area is surrounded by water on all sides by the                 environmental impacts of any tourism products are minimised.
shannon erne Waterway, lough erne and The Atlantic ocean. The                  In addition, it encourages proactive nature conservation and the
region, which was once overshadowed by conflict, is now one                    promotion of local cultural values, while developing the local
of the most peaceful places in Ireland and nine years on from a                economy and working towards the long term viability of the
peace agreement (The Belfast Agreement) the destination is in an               region. ecotourism includes the following:
ideal position to welcome tourists to visit.
                                                                               * Conservation of nature;
The unspoilt nature of the Greenbox has contributed to attracting              * Conservation of cultural diversity;
a high concentration of “green” and ecotourism operators to the                * sharing socio-economic benefits with local communities;
region. The Greenbox is working to develop these resources                     * Increase in environmental and cultural knowledge;
further and to create a world class ecotourism destination with                * minimisation of tourism environmental impact;
a strong focus on raising ecotourism standards. This is being                  * local culture and biodiversity are often the main attractions.
achieved through a model of tourism partnership and brings
together representatives from many national, regional and local                ecotourism contributes to the long term benefits to both
agencies. In addition many sound environmental enterprises,                    the environment and local communities, and appeals to the
ecotourism products and community initiatives fall under the                   ecologically and socially conscious traveller.
Greenbox umbrella.

www.greenbox.ie and http://greenboxireland.blogspot.com
G r e e N B ox T I m e s      N e W s                                                                s P e C I A l    e D I T I o N    Au T u m N       2 0 0 7

  ecotourism Certification

  It is widely recognised that there is a need for a certification programme to identify the genuine
  ecotourism experience from ‘greenwashing’ – that is, where ecotourism is used as a marketing
  tool for operations that are not adhering to the principles of ecotourism. Certification provides
  an assurance of commitment to best practice and in this regard the Greenbox has developed
  and piloted Ireland’s first ecotourism label (The Greenbox ecotourism label)

  This label has been designed to guide visitors travel choices and help them to choose promoters of ecotourism products and the
  experiences they have on offer. It is also designed to act as a framework and marketing tool for operators who wish to adapt existing
  products to ecotourism or create new ecotourism products. A range of ecotourism experiences that have been certified to Greenbox
  ecotourism standard in 2007 are outlined in the following pages. To book or to find out more information please visit the Greenbox
  website www.greenbox.ie

  Greenbox Accredited ecotourism experiences
  Development Media Workshop                                                 developed this weekend based on ten years of research and development.
                                                                             He is experienced in all aspects of wilderness training in the North West
  The Development media Workshop is a not-for-profit organisation            Ireland environment and the centre employs a number of people with
  focusing on environmental and social issues, based in County               specific skills including those with instructor qualifications (kayaking,
  Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. To promote awareness about the                mountain guiding), educational backgrounds in history and geography
  habitats and species of the local environment, the workshop has            and specific survival skills.
  developed a series of film-making, animation and photography
  courses that will responsibly take people into these habitats. Through     The Breesy Centre
  filming, animating and photographing, participants will learn about
  the species and habitats they encounter, and have the opportunity to       The Breesy Centre’s ‘Hill Walking and relaxing’ package will take you along
  discuss issues around conservation.                                        the roaring cliffs of the Donegal Coast to the roaming hills of Cashelard.
                                                                             learn about mass rocks, hedge schools, famine pots and the fate of the
  Participants will be provided with all the equipment needed for filming,   Canadian World War II plane crash that came down over 60 years ago.
  animating and photographing. All equipment is of professional              relax in the evenings with a gentle massage and fine organic dining,
  standard. At the end of the course, participants will take away their      followed by live traditional music agus craic in our local pub. stretch it all
  own specially packaged DVD of films and animations, or CD of               out with a yoga session before embarking on your return trip!
                                                                             explore the Atlantic Waves of the Donegal Coast on the ‘North West
  The course will run from two days to week long programmes and              surfing & Biking experience’ and view the beautiful landscape while
  will utilise different local environments depending on the seasons.        touring the Kingfisher Cycle Trail on our doorstep! experience early
  These environments will include lough erne and Wetlands, Cuilcagh          morning yoga and the benefits it has to set you up for the day. refuel
  mountain, and Broadleaf Woodland. some courses will concentrate            your body with some of our finest organic home cooked cuisine during
  on ‘fine art’ style response to the environment through imagery while      your stay. As seen on nationwide rTe!
  other courses will focus specifically on documenting flora and fauna.
  species explored will include plants, moths and birds.                     The centres ‘english language exchange Programme’ allows foreign
                                                                             students to experience the beautiful rural countryside on offer in the
  Lough Allen Adventure Centre                                               south West of Donegal and enjoy a ‘home from home’ welcome! During
                                                                             their visit with us, students will learn english language, play Irish sports,
  Get in touch with how your ancestors lived and feel more alive than        visit Irish cultural historic sites, learn Irish dance and enjoy our best organic
  you have done in ages on the amazing ‘Wilderness Therapy sessions’         foods while staying at our eu Flower certified “green” accommodation.
  weekend hosted by the lough Allen Adventure Centre. experience the
  sheer joy to be had by immersing yourself in the beauty of nature and      Blaney Spa and Yoga Centre
  come away treasuring this positive and energising experience. The
  weekend is suitable for all ages from sixteen to ninety and has been       Discover and capture nature and the environment with the artist’s eye
  designed to help foster an appreciation for the wilderness experience      through the media of photography and landscape sketching. Gabrielle
  and to reaffirm your understanding of positive values.                     Tottenham (Yoga and Holistic Therapy Practitioner) welcomes you to
                                                                             come to Blaney spa and Yoga Centre to explore the beauty, landscape
  This ecotourism weekend incorporates a range of workshops on               and wildlife of the Fermanagh lakelands through the medium of paint.
  shelter building using natural materials, navigation techniques, fire-     Immerse yourself in the sumptuous surrounding of the purpose built
  lighting using flint, open boat skills, boat landing and packing for a     centre as you experience learning new skills by sketching landscapes,
  minimal impact expedition. You will then put the skills learned into       plants and traditional buildings with local artist Jill mulligan. enjoy
  practice on a two day expedition to a remote island in lough Allen.        discovering the beauty of the nature around us: the trees, the lakes and
  Throughout the weekend a series of talks aim to give participants a        sacred sites such as Inishmacsaint. Jill will guide you through a range of
  privileged insight into local biodiversity, archaeology and history.       techniques including pencil, charcoal and watercolour.
  Kevin Currid, the owner of the lough Allen Adventure Centre has
G r e e N B ox T I m e s       N e W s                                                                   s P e C I A l   e D I T I o N   Au T u m N       2 0 0 7

   Alternatively, come on a three day adventure photo shoot with renowned                The Gyreum
   local photographer Pip sides, who specialises in black and white fine art
   photography. Pip will take you on a magical tour of natural and sacred sites,         In the North West of Ireland, snug in the mountains lies one of
   using his skills and sharing them with you. enjoy looking at nature through a         the most renowned pilgrim sites of medieval europe, a place that
   lens and discover the beauty of plants, trees and special secret places.              inspired Dante’s Divine Comedy, a reputed entry point into the
                                                                                         underworld. People from across europe for 700 years have been
   The evenings are for relaxation and enjoying the peaceful and calming                 coming to sTATIoN IslAND on louGH DerG. They have endured
   surroundings. Your accommodation is in traditional cottages with stunning             great suffering to reach this place, but seem to return to the world
   views right on the shores of lough erne. A healthy self service breakfast,            renewed.This tiny island on a tiny turf coloured lake is one of the
   packed lunch and delicious evening meal are available on each day of your             three prime pilgrim sights in Ireland and it is once again to become
   stay. All Blaney spa’s meals are home made, and as far as possible they are           a focus for pilgrimage - albeit an eclectic 21st century procession
   prepared using local and organically grown ingredients.
                                                                                         ‘PIlGrIm’s ProGress’ is a fortnight’s movement, starting out
   Xtreme North-West Eco Adventure                                                       from the old Protestant Church in Clones on the border between
                                                                                         monaghan and Fermanagh and winding its way through marshes,
   The xTNW eco package have been designed to appeal to individuals who                  lakes, islands, over heath and bog, steep hills, by quiet rills, through
   are up for a challenge and ideally suits visitors to the who are experienced          driving rain and blasts of sun - through 7 counties until reaching the
   in outdoor pursuits (mountain biking, trail running and adventure racing).            goal; a 222km journey of discovery.
   The package places a strong emphasis on the environment and participants
   are encouraged embrace various aspects of ecotourism from sustainable                 We are creating a modern pilgrim route to vie with spain’s, that takes
   trail building through to the principles of leave No Trace. The experience            the Traveller through perils, joys, the despond of drizzle, miseries,
   will be an education on local landscape, biodiversity, history and culture.           great vistas hailed on hilltops, hopelessness, cloud clearances, the
   Complemented by experienced and professional tour guides both ‘on the                 sheer wind of a full Atlantic gale; a journey made bearable by sharing
   ground’ and on board Ireland’s first Bio Fuelled Tour Bus.                            the good and bad times with fellow pilgrims and the consolation of
                                                                                         warm rest in 12 extremely odd hosting stops at the close of day.
   Donegal Language School
                                                                                         of essential importance to this pilgrimage is the night stops which
   Improve your english language skills whilst enjoying the activity of your             are chosen for their extraordinary atmosphere, beauty and loyalty to
   choice, in the North West of Ireland. Not only will you gain a unique insight         the aspirations of sustainable ecology and for their spiritual raison
   into Irish culture but you will also participate in a range of activities including   d’etres. These halting sights are also spread out in such a way to
   surfing and horse riding. These courses are suitable for 12-18 year olds from         create an horse shoe shaped pilgrim route through ever changing
   Italy, France, Germany and spain who would like to improve their written and          and different landscapes that suits the notion of the Pilgrim’s
   spoken english while enjoying their favourite outdoor sports. The courses             moving through different moods, psychic spaces - and unlike
   are also suitable for those working in a business environment who need to             normal tourism - no assumed joy is guaranteed, simply a rigorous
   achieve a high competency in the english language.                                    challenge, a chance to view life anew.
   The main themes of the courses are improvement of reading, writing, spoken
   and listening skills and also improvement in selected outdoor pursuits:               Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat
   all delivered in a fun and enjoyable environment! The courses have been
   developed over the last 17 years with the ‘english and surfing’ course added          settle, soak and stargaze on the seven day ‘Ard Nahoo eco retreat
   in the last 2 years due to a growing interest in this area. All english teachers      experience’. Talk a leisurely stroll around the Ard Nahoo loop walk
   are local and hold TeFl qualifications and many are full time teachers on             and learn about useful “weeds”, healing plants and wild mushrooms
   their summer holidays. similarly, all activity coordinators hold appropriate          on a guided nature walk with Nikki. Discover the secrets of
   qualifications in their relative field of expertise. In addition to the language      “Greening up your home” with architect Peter Cowman (Director
   and activity components the courses include accommodation and weekly                  of the living Architecture Centre) or “Walk on the Wild side” with
   cultural excursions to historical sights and other local places of interest.          leitrim Wildlife expert miriam Crowley. Your retreat will also include
                                                                                         day trips to sites of local cultural interest such as lough Gill and
   Orchard Acre Farm                                                                     Parkes Castle with the Wild rose Waterbus or a walk to Knocknarea
                                                                                         or o’rourkes Table. enjoy bubbly in the bubbles at the farewell pool
   Join us on orchard Acre Farm for a short holiday with a difference. We offer a        party. All meals on this eco retreat are made with local, organic and
   great escape to rural Ireland near the stunning Fermanagh lakelands. There            Fairtrade ingredients as far as possible and include tasty breakfasts,
   are willow weaving, papermaking and wood carving weekends to choose                   light vegetarian lunches and delicious vegetarian evening meals.
   from. orchard Acre Farm has teamed up with mahon’s Hotel in Irvinestown;              Yoga classes are suitable for all levels including beginners and are
   a family run 3 star hotel offering you the best in traditional hospitality and        fun and rewarding. The theme for the week will be ‘Grounding’ –
   accommodation. This year the fifth generation of mahon’s to run the hotel             reconnecting with the earth energy. For maximum benefit guests
   has adopted eco friendly standards. orchard Acre Farm serves delicious                are advised to attend all classes.
   hand prepared seasonal and organic foods. Vegetarian is our speciality. In
   the workshops we guarantee personal attention and tuition. The tutors are
   experienced, knowledgeable, and have a great sense of fun.
   There is loads of free time so it is not all “work”. There is time to shop, time to
   explore the local area; Necarne estate is a few minutes walk from the hotel.
   We will make excursions to places of natural and historic beauty and you can
   also enjoy the live entertainment of Irvinestown by night.
Ireland EcoTours

Ireland eco Tours provide a range of Greenbox adventures in our                   provided with all the specialised equipment and led by a qualified cave
comfortable bio fuelled bus, probably the most eco-friendly tour bus              leader. You will learn about the geology and hydrology of the caves, as
in Ireland. our ‘Acorns & Antiques’ experience will see you embark on a           well the wildlife inhabitants of the cave and the folklore associated with
journey that many miss when they visit Fermanagh and if your idea of              the area.
heaven is walking through woodlands then this is the tour for you.
Begin your journey in enniskillen at the Tourist Information Centre and set       on the trip participants will experience, walking, crawling and wading
off on this day long tour of Fermanagh Woodlands and Nature reserves.             through water. You will experience complete darkness and discover
our first stop is Castle Archdale Country Park located on the eastern shore       sounds and smells of the cave environment. The Caving trip is carried
of lower lough erne. This nature reserve is host to castle ruins, remnants        out in an environmentally friendly manner and transport to and from the
of a World War Two airbase for flying boats, a visitor centre and café. Your      caves is shared to minimise environmental pollution.
guide will provide you, not only with information on the flora and fauna of
this nature reserve but many historical anecdotes as well.                        The Organic Centre
Next stop is Castle Caldwell Nature reserve, also located on the shores
of lough erne. This nature reserve surrounds a castle dating back to              everyone at some time in their lives should consider a visit to the peaceful
1612 and the estate itself is now a national nature and bird refuge.              setting of the organic Centre in rossinver, North leitrim. As well as being
Known for its beautiful setting, it attracts many bird watchers and flora         located in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland the centre offers
enthusiasts. last but not least we visit Correl Glen Nature reserve. A trail      the widest range of environmental, organic and craft courses available
follows a small wooded riverine cut by the sillees river and ascends onto         anywhere in the country. Their purpose built sustainable building is set
heathland overlooking panoramic views of the Fermanagh scarplands                 in extensive organic gardens which provide a natural atmosphere to
and Carrick lough. on our way back to enniskillen we pass by the lough            set the tone for your day’s activities and you can indulge yourself with
Navar viewpoint where panoramic views can be taken in of surrounding              gourmet vegetarian food from the onsite Grassroof café. The following
counties.                                                                         are some of the two and three day organic Centre experiences available
                                                                                  in summer 2008.
Ireland eco Tours aim is to operate with minimal impact on the environment
which is why Director Jerome o’loughlin has gone to great lengths to              Apples, pears, plums, strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries,
ensure that the company’s transport is as environmentally friendly as             nuts and a whole range of delicious fruit that may not be so familiar can
possible by converting the tour bus to run on Pure Plant oil (PPo). All           all be easily grown if you do the right things at the right time. on the
waste produced on the tours is recycled as far as possible and organic            organic Centre’s ‘Fruit Course and Garden Party Weekend’ you will learn
waste is composted. Participants are actively encouraged to follow the            the fundamentals of growing your own fruit through a one day course
“leave no Trace” code for visiting the Irish Countryside.                         in establishing a fruit garden and developing it at important points of
                                                                                  the growing year. on day two you will learn many secrets of organic
Corralea Activity Centre                                                          gardening at the Centre’s Garden Party. It is now widely accepted that
                                                                                  organic methods do work and are a viable way of achieving a healthy,
Corralea Activity Centre’s ‘mountain Bike ancient paths and discover our          productive and attractive garden. The centre will be celebrating this fact
heritage by Canoe’ Weekend Package is a real gem. You will discover the           with a garden party that includes talks, walks, food and music.
local landscape, geology and nature of the area on your bike and visit
heritage including raths, megalithic tombs and giants graves. After lunch         If you want to break out, drop out, downshift, move west, live a more
you will change your bike for a canoe and paddle across lough macNean,            sustainable life or simply learn to grow and make your own food the
visiting a crannog and discovering the legends of the lake and its unusual        ‘The learn to live the Good life’ experience could be the start. Hans
prison.                                                                           and Gaby Wieland, supported by the organic Centre staff will guide
                                                                                  you through an insightful and exciting five days featuring sessions on
Participants are provided with all specialised equipment and are led by a         growing vegetables organically, growing and using herbs, growing fruit
local guide/instructor. on the trip you will experience cycling along small       for the home, making yogurt and soft cheeses, baking and cooking
roads, forest paths, and a short walk through the forest to discover relics       with wholemeal and storing and preserving. The sessions will be
from 6000 BC. After lunch, you will explore upper lough macNean with its          complemented by an introduction to yoga and relaxation techniques,
islands, history, legends and wildlife. This is a carbon friendly package since   a lecture on sustainable building, a seaweed walk on a local beach and
you cycle away from the centre and canoe back home. The experience is             a visit to an organic farm.The Grassroof Cafe at The organic Centre will
ideally suited for adults who are relatively fit, although it can be adapted      cater for breakfast, a tasty vegetarian lunch and dinner every day.
to suit other groups of people such as families and older people. In the
evening you have the option of shopping in the village to prepare your            Interested in delicious local, artisan and organic food? Then the organic
own meal or book in one of the many local restaurants. local pubs provide         Centre’s ‘slow Food Celebration’ will be a real treat for the taste buds.
regular music entertainment. You will be accommodated in cottages that            slow food was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the
have been fitted with solar panels and accredited with the eu Flower eco-         disappearance of local food traditions and peoples dwindling interest
label, meaning that they are considered among the most environmentally            in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our
friendly in europe.                                                               food choices affect the rest of the world. slow Food is now a network of
                                                                                  producers and co-producers and has more than 83,000 members in 107
Alternatively sign up to get down on our ‘Going underground’ package.             countries around the world. Join a large group of likeminded souls for a
You will be taken into the depths of Fermanagh and Cavan and explore              weekend of fantastic local and organic food and wine. A workshop on
underground passages, streams and formations. Participants will be                saturday will inform about local food communities.

                                              This project is part financed by the European Union through its INTERREG IIIA Programme Ireland/
                                              Northern Ireland managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the ICBAN Partnership

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