Archive for February, 2015

Could you attend with me the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection meeting during ITB Berlin?

ITB Invitation! Save the Date

Aloha dear eTN Reader,

I am just about to board my flight from Honolulu via Newark, Brussels to Berlin and wanted to send you this important reminder.

As you may know, I am a proud member of the UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection.
Are you attending ITB Berlin?

Here are 2 important events around ITB Berlin I do not want you to miss:

– The UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection during ITB Berlin.
Scroll down for more details! 
If you have anything to contribute to this important subject, email me at 

The eTN Networking Lunch at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Potsdamer Platz Berlin on March 3
Click here for more information

Please join me on March 3 and 6 and receive a  complimentary $500 advertising credit on eTN.

Mahalo, Danke and Thank You!

Juergen T Steinmetz,
Publisher eTurboNews
Mobile during ITB: +49-178-5361100   email:
ITB appointment request? click here

3 and 6
Attend this important UNWTO event !

UNWTO 30th meeting of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection.

6 March 2015, 14.00 – 16.00

Room A5, CityCube Berlin Congress Centre
ITB Berlin (South), Messedamm 26, 14055 Berlin, Germany

The UNWTO World Tourism Network on Child Protection during ITB Berlin on March 6:

Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Carol Bellamy, Chair of the World Tourism Network on Child Protection. Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism
AND: You and me

Special session on policing and law enforcement
Paula Hudson, Federal Agent, Australian Federal Police:

Police and Tourism Sector Partnership to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation (Vietnam-Australia)

Robert Shilling, Coordinator of Operations, Crimes against Children, Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Unit, INTERPOL:
The IC-CAM project; a joint collaboration between INTERPOL and the InHope network of hotlines

Sarah de Carvalho, CEO, Happy Child International (HCI) Foundation, UK:
Harnessing the power of sports to tackle the sexual exploitation of children on a global basis

Dorothea Busche, Manager, DRV German Travel Association Annual Congress and Child Protection / Dorothea Czarnecki, Project Coordinator, ECPAT Germany:
Promoting Child Protection in Vietnam – Experiences of DRV and ECPAT Germany

Gabriele Guglielmi, Coordinator of International Relations, Italian Federation of Trade, Tourism and Service Sector Workers (FILCAMS CGIL), Italy:
The SAFE HOST project: Joint action for implementing and disseminating tools against sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism in and from Europe

Rosa Martha Brown, President and Founder of Infantia Foundation, Mexico:
Progress on the protection of children in Mexico

UNWTO Agency of the United Nations
Capitán Haya 42, 28020 Madrid, Spain. Tel.: (34) 91 567 81 00 / Fax: (34) 91 571 37 33 –  /

The prodigal son returns as James Rattos makes a comeback in Kampala


(Posted 28th February 2015)

When James Rattos left the Sheraton Kampala just two years ago, where he served in various capacities before becoming the hotel’s Director of Sales & Marketing, over a decade of having a familiar face around at one of Kampala’s leading hotels came to an end.

James, a Kenyan citizen, went on to become the General Manager of Naivasha’s award winning Enashipai Resort & Spa but the allure of Uganda, The Pearl of Africa’ clearly got to him. While enjoying the challenges and opportunity to learn in his first position as a General Manager, and while leading the Enashipai from strength to strength – the resort is presently expanding the number of villas as a result of high demand for conferences and accommodation – did his adopted country of Uganda eventually get the better of him again.

All of us living in Uganda can of course testify about the appeal the country has as a destination and as a place to live and work and it is little wonder that James took the opportunity to become Sokoni Africa’s General Manager, starting his new position on the 01st of March.

Sokoni Africa’s several enterprises include the Le Petit Village Hotel, located in the Nsambya part of Kampala near the American Embassy on Quality Hill. Other ventures are the acclaimed Le Chateaux Restaurant at the same location, the original Le Patisserie, also on Quality Hill – where this correspondent carries out his regular weekend raids for chocolate croissants – and the more recently opened Le Patisserie at the giant Acacia Mall in the Kisimenti part of Kampala.

James, a former president of Skal Kampala, has also given notice of intent to stand at the forthcoming AGM of Skal Kampala once again for the position as Club President, a move already rapidly gathering support from members who have expressed their hope to this correspondent that James’ return will signal brighter times ahead.

Meet Reunion at ITB in Hall 20


(Posted 28th February 2015)

Reunion’s tourism industry representatives will be making an appearance in Berlin next week alongside other Vanilla Islands in an effort to attract more German visitors to the island. IRT, Ile de la Reunion Tourisme, will be joined by nearly 20 exhibitors representing the who is who from the island’s hospitality industry at Stand 132 in Hall 20, which is dedicated to the Indian Ocean islands.

Home airline Air Austral will be joined by the leading DMC’s and hotels, all aiming to increase visitor numbers from Germany, the second most important market for the island.

According to information received from IRT will the presence of Reunion at ITB Berlin focus on several objectives:

1) Promote the destination Reunion and increase awareness of the island

2) Strengthen existing relationships and develop new contacts

3) Introduce new and new partner offers on-site

4) Support the programming of professionals

5) Strengthen partnership with the International Trade and the one with the Vanilla Islands

On Thursday the 05th of March will stakeholders attending the world’s most important tourism trade fair have the opportunity to meet more than 400 professionals, on the occasion of a speed networking session which has been organized. This will give the island’s tourism industry the opportunity to expand their client portfolio through B2B meetings, but also to showcase the destination from its best side. After the event will a get-together allow for further interaction between the islanders and potential buyers.

The 19 co-exhibitors besides IRT are composed of local tourism professionals from the following hotel establishments: Diana Dea Lodge **** & Spa, Palm Hotel & Spa ***** Iloha Seaview Hotel ***, Relay Hermitage *** Le Boucan Canot **** **** Villa Delisle, Le Tsilaosa **** Roche Tamarin Lodges & Spa **** Le Saint Alexis **** The Nautilus *** The Juliette Dodu ***, the group Exsel Hotels, Côté Sun Hotels group, the Club of Reunion Hospitality. Also present will be the incoming agencies Connections Meeting, Papangue Tours, Anthurium, Mille Tours, Réunitours and the car rental company ITC Tropicar.

Destination information can be found via

Seychelles’ President Michel puts environmental concerns first as major resort project gets cancelled


(Posted 28th February 2015)

Seychelles’ President James Alix Michel has for some years now established himself as one of the globe’s foremost environmental leaders, taking the battle against the fallout of climate change to the world’s leading platforms. While at times accused by opposition critics that his spoken words and key note speeches are just that, words and speeches, did President Michel yesterday at the State of the Nation Address in Parliament make it all but clear to those critics that the gospel he preaches abroad applies equally at home.

A 250+ million US Dollar resort project, initially announced in 2007 and to go up at the landmark site of Cap Ternay, is now being aborted in order to protect the area, the bird and marine life at the Baie Ternay Marine Park and the Morne Seychelles National Park, both of which extend into area where the resort was to be built. Initially planned to include some 400 rooms was the project gradually downsized and the last public interaction between the developers, the Emirates Group, and the Seychellois public last November spoke of only 100 rooms, still however attracting outspoken critique and sustained opposition from locals.

With over half of the land of the Seychelles under protection already, which puts the archipelago into global pole position, will this latest commitment to environmental protection go a long way to reassure conservationists and environmentalists on the islands of the sincerity of government and bodies charged with ensuring that no resort developments will be approved unless they full comply with relevant guidelines and regulations.

Said President Michel in his State of the Nation address when announcing the shelving of the project: ‘We always follow the same principle. I have listened, consulted and studied the reports. All the scientific arguments suggest that such a project will affect the environment of the area. Naturally, as the President of this country, it is my duty and responsibility to take the best decision in the interest of the Seychellois people, and for the protection of our heritage. I have decided that there will be no such project at Cap Ternay’.

It is understood that the project developers, who only a few weeks ago had submitted a new draft outline of the downsized plans for the resort, have accepted the government’s decision. It could not be immediately established if the Emirates Group will be offered an alternative site for development.

Visit for added information about the Seychelles, its national parks, nature and bird reserves and marine parks.

RhiNEWS February: Rhino horn trade debate, habitat expansion & more

News updates from Save the Rhino International

Welcome to February RhiNEWS, bringing you rhino news and updates from around the world. Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
save_the_rhino.jpg header_top.jpg facebook.jpg twitter.jpg
RhiNEWS_Title_left.jpg FEBRUARY 2015
Equipment, education and environment are all key aspects of rhino conservation. This month we bring you positive news on these topics from South Africa, Zambia and Kenya. We also take a look at the latest updates from South Africa on the debate to legalise the trade in rhino horn.

South African rhino horn trade committee announced

bcf6c136-2b9f-4493-aec6-48d63f05f13e.jpg On 10 February, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs introduced the ‘Committee of Inquiry’ tasked with investigating the feasibility of a trade in rhino horn. The 21-member task team will look into technical and strategic aspects of the possible trade and has to submit its report to government before the end of the year.

South Africa emphasised that the country has not taken a position on the issue of legalising the trade in rhino horn and will not do so until the Committee has completed its work and presented its findings.

However, there has been controversy over the selection of the Committee’s members. Read more online


Expanding habitat for Kenya’s black rhinos

7da82a62-7309-446a-bc4a-70d9fe56f3da.jpg A lack of suitable habitat for rhinos is a serious limiting factor for the recovery of Kenya’s black rhino population. But in a positive step, the government-owned Mutara Conservancy and Ol Pejeta Conservancy have announced plans to partner and create more space for black rhinos to roam.

Mutara Ranch lies to the north of Ol Pejeta Conservancy and its rich grasslands and thick bush are home to many of the species also found on Ol Pejeta, including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, giraffe, antelope and zebra. The partnership with Ol Pejeta will provide benefits to wildlife and tourism opportunities.

Read more on our website.


New Education Centre for Lolesha Luangwa

7710fc99-2b47-4c3f-ad0c-6af3b97c1144.jpg Exciting plans are underway for the development of a new education centre at the North Luangwa Conservation Programme in Zambia. The centre will be used as part of the programme’s environmental education programme, Lolesha Luangwa.

The education centre will act as the hub for visits by local school children, where they can take part in lessons, watch videos and take part in practical exercises. The education centre will also become a space available for various other community activities (such as teacher-training courses) and an area where tourists can stop off and learn more about black rhino conservation in the region and the community engagement work being done there.

Read more about the plans on our website.


Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino – fundraising target achieved!

af6476c1-087c-4963-96e0-464cad3f32de.jpg On behalf of the rangers at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, we would like to thank all of our supporters who so generously donated to our Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino appeal. With the kind support of individuals, zoos, companies and organisations around the world, you’ve helped us raise £29,567 for rhino protection in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park since June 2014.

Visit our website to see how the funds have been spent.


World Wildlife Day

ef421260-16b4-4626-8e73-810b475c556d.jpg 3 March marks World Wildlife Day – a day that both celebrates the intrinsic value of wild fauna and flora and acts as a reminder of the urgent need to tackle wildlife and forest crime.

The United Nations-led initiative is encouraging the public to take a stand against organised wildlife crime before it’s too late.

Find out how you can get involved.

We would love to hear your thoughts on all our stories and the work that we do; please comment on our website, facebook or twitter pages! Or why not get involved and become a member or help fundraise for one of our programmes?

Photo credits: Poulomee Basu, Mark Carwardine, North Luangwa Conservation Programme, Dirk Swart, World Wildlife Day, Borana Conservancy

Events2013 - 2014

Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture with Neil Gaiman

We’ve released ‘VIP’ tickets here to see Neil Gaiman at the sold out 13th Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture on 3 March 2015.

ongoing events

RideLondon-Surrey 100

Join our RideLondon – Surrey 100 team and be in with a chance to win a limited edition print signed by David Miller. Find out more here.


Featured ProgrammeFeatured programme Borana Conservancy, Kenya
During January we sent a total of £76,290 to the field programmes we support.

This includes $38,168 to Borana Conservancy in Kenya, thanks to the Anna Merz Rhino Trust, to help pay for new accommodation and ablution blocks for Borana’s rangers. Borana is home to the newest black rhino sanctuary in Kenya, and its security teams work around the clock.

Sam Taylor, Chief Conservation Officer at Borana Conservancy, is part of the ‘Running for Rangers’ team who are currently training for the Marathon des Sables, a gruelling 250km race that takes place over six days in the depths of the Sahara Desert. Please donate to support their efforts online here.



rhino’s energy GmbH
A big thank you to rhino’s energy GmbH for kindly donating €1,500 for our Help a Ranger, Save a Rhino appeal. We really appreciate the support their donation and team fundraising at Christmas will provide in purchasing vital equipment for the rangers in South Africa. You can find out more about our partnership with rhino’s energy GmbH online.
Thank you twogether for their generous support for Save the Rhino with staff fundraising and pro-bono designs for our communication and fundraising materials. You can learn more about twogether, the full-service creative agency, online


footer.jpgSave the Rhino International, Unit 5 Coach House Mews, 217 Long Lane, London, SE1 4PR, United Kingdom

Save the Rhino International – Registered Charity Number: 1035072 © 2015 Save The Rhino International. All rights reserved.

No 344 Wildlife Trade News 27th February 2015

Sadly another dose of bad news about poaching,

wildlife and environmental crimes from around the world …

but with one upside, China is banning the importation of

ivory to the mainland for initially one year … a first step

into the right direction …

in the spotlight today ……………………

China bans ivory imports – what will happen next month? extract:

The ban will only affect mainland China and so will not incorporate Hong Kong which is the main destination of illicit ivory. As much of the trading takes place in Hong Kong it is unlikely that a mainland ban will have much impact on the elephant poaching in Africa. Until Hong Kong takes action the impact will me minimal.

China imposes one-year ivory ban on eve of Prince William visit Beijing announces short ban on ivory imports ahead of Prince William’s royal visit to a Chinese elephant rehabilitation centre next week (NA COMMENT: Can you believe a word the Chinese say?)

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei’s Regular Press Conference on February 26, 2015 extract: The Chinese government sets great store by the protection of wildlife, including elephant. We adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards illegal ivory trading, and severely crack down on ivory smuggling and illegal trading activities through ways of legislation, law enforcement and jurisdiction. We also organize extensive education campaigns to raise public awareness about this. As a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, China has been following the convention and playing a positive role in international cooperation of law enforcement. (NA comment: Where is the evidence to support this load of rubbish spoken by this person? How many years has China been in breach of CITES, multiple times – 10, 20, 30 years? Facilitated by the CITES kow-towing Standing (kneeling?) Committee.

China, Tanzania and the blood ivory blacklist. extract: In November of last year the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) released a damming report that shows Tanzania as a key player in the illegal ivory trade. In 2013, the East African country reportedly lost 10 000 elephants, equivalent to 30 a day. The poaching is due to a toxic mix of unlawful syndicates, often led by Chinese nationals, and corruption among some Tanzanian government officials. – See more at:

No 344 Wildlife Trade News 27th February 2015



We don’t need no legislation: wildlife protection depends on enforcement (NA comment: Seems like everyone outside of CITES agrees on this, so why don’t CITES bureaucrats enforce the convention? Why? Are they too cowardly – or simply pawns of China?)

Parliament group supports state’s palm oil industry. (NA bureaucrats on the palm oil gravy train suffering from selective blindness while selling their souls in return for a free lunch or two.)

CITES: CONCERNING: Secretary-General’s Certificates of Commendation (NA COMMENT: Why is one man allowed so much power in such a large international organisation? WHY? Wouldn’t it be seen to be more democratic and transparent if three people, possibly including a member of say, Traffic, were to assess a country’s merits for an award. CITES NEEDS TO CHANGE – DOESN’T IT?

“The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between governments. It has been in effect since 1 July 1975. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival in the wild.NA COMMENT: So why doesn’t CITES walk its talk, do as it is meant to? Read that last sentence again and ask yourself ‘why does CITES repeatedly fail its own mission statement – and the wildlife? How many species are threatened because of constant CITES failures?


THAI PM vows to quash illegal ivory trade

The Customs Department displays confiscated ivory products at a press briefing in Bangkok yesterday. They are among scores of contraband goods — including inhalants, sex toys, sex enhancement pills, baraku and electronic cigarettes — worth more than 500,000 baht in total, sent via the postal service since October. Pattarapong Chatpattarasill .



Viet Nam CITES Management Authority

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)

A9 Building
N°2 Ngoc Ha Street
Ba Dinh District


Tel: +84 (4) 37 33 56 76

Fax: +84 (4) 37 34 67 42

Email: cites_vn.kl @; tung.kl @


Forest Protection Department

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)

A3 Building
N°. 2 Ngoc Ha Street


Tel: +84 (4) 38 48 99 74

Fax: +84 (4) 37 33 56 85

Email: kimdt @


Environmental Police Department

Ministry of Public Security

N°. 499, Nguyen Trai Road


Tel: +84 (9) 77 20 76 47 (Contact person: Mr. Vu Duyen Hai, Vice Director)


Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department

Viet Nam General Department

Block E3, Duong Dinh Nghe street, Yen Hoa,
Cau Giay District


Tel: +84 (4) 39 44 08 33

Fax: +84 (4) 39 44 06 33

Email: thammuuhtqt @

Oystein Storkersen. oystein.storkersen

AND THE CITES STANDING COMMITTEE MEMBERS ARE HERE You probably won’t be surprised to know CHINA is on this committee.

China’s Luxurious Zoo Conditions Await Zimbabwe’s Elephants (NA comment: And if you believe this you probably also believe in fairies. Oh, and it was not long ago the CHINESE CITES MA denied all knowledge of plans to import these elephants – just goes to show you can’t believe a word he says, can you?)

Illegally-kept tigers saved in Shandong(1/5) CHINA The two tigers were found being kept in a high-rise building in Pingdu city with another young tiger which jumped to its death on February 18, Lunar New Year’s Eve.

Jokowi’s environmental commitments in Indonesia

Environmental Investigation Agency: Mega-rich tycoons control palm oil industry, driving deforestation and social conflict

A small group of mega-rich tycoons exercise huge control over the Indonesian palm oil sector and are directly responsible for human rights abuses, land grabbing, social conflict and deforestation, warns a new report.

The report by Transformasi untuk Keadilan (Transformation for Justice) and Profundo profiles 25 corporations dominating the sector and the families behind them. It finds that while forests get destroyed and communities are losing their land, “tycoons park their growing wealth in tax havens and continue to strengthen their grip on the sector without sufficient transparency and public control.”

An English summary of the report is at…/Summary%20of%20the%20tycoon%20study%20Tu…

It argues that research is needed into the “strong ties” of the tycoons with political parties and governments at different levels, warning that “their growing power could also be linked to issues like corruption, tax evasion and the poor functioning of democracy”.

The report also highlights the huge role played by the British bank HSBC in bankrolling deforestation. It reveals that, between 2009-14, HSBC provided more loans to the tycoon-controlled palm oil groups than any other bank.

EIA has previously highlighted the failings in HSBC’s internal safeguards that mean these loans have contributed directly to the destruction of orangutan habitats in Indonesia –…/EIA-Banking-on-Extinctio…

The report argues that such financial institutions need to strengthen their safeguards to ensure that they are not “facilitating the further growth of human rights abuses, land grabbing and social conflicts”.

In December 2014, EIA released a report revealing the role of palm oil companies in driving illegal logging as a consequence of corrupt and illegal practices in acquiring land from local governments. The companies profiled in this report control vast areas of land but are not named among the 25 tycoon-controlled firms.

Further research is needed into the role these opaque, ‘undercover tycoons’ play in driving deforestation, corruption and rights abuses away from the glare of publicity. Read our report at…/permitting-crime-how-palm-oi…

Reports blame illegal logging for felling Sarawak forest

India deploys undercover commandos to combat wildlife trade

US hardwood flooring giant facing Lacey Act pressure

Adenan marks first year in office with pledge to steer Sarawak away from Taib’s legacy – See more at:

Two rhino killed in Zim conservatory

World’s first all-female patrol protecting South Africa’s rhinos

Poachers DECAPITATE 100 deer and scatter their heads across Spanish woodland after the animals were trapped and hungry due to snowfall
Read more:

ZimParks recovers $50 000 elephant tusks from poachers

Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy Driving Animals Away from Humans

Study finds Peru’s protected areas aren’t where they should be

Cambodia deports activist leader…then suspends controversial dam

Timber Tycoon Blasts Name-Dropping Illegal Loggers. CAMBODIA

3 Wood Thieves Found Guilty By Gabon Court

Dayak Kenyah community fully backs Adenan’s steadfast stance
Read more:

Media Release: Sea Shepherd Commends Australian Boarding of Poaching Vessel: Now Calls For Arrest

Antique dealers wary of ivory ban bill

86 Indian fishermen arrested for poaching by Sri Lankan navy, officials say

Two Russian men accused of attempting to smuggle wildlife out of WA face court

2 held for illegal hunting at Changa Manga

Matusadona Anti Poaching Project – MAPP. ZAMBIA BREAKING NEWS: Prison Sentences For Ivory Dealers

In the two recent incidents where ivory dealers were arrested, sentences for the accused have now been announced:

Accused 1. sentenced to nine years effective jail time/ The counts against him are: possession of ivory; possession of 303 ammunition; and possession of AK 47 ammunition.

Accused 2. sentenced to 9 years effective jail time for possession of ivory.

Five other suspects are awaiting further court appearances and both vehicles that were involved in these incidences are still being held by the state.

Congratulations to all involved in these convictions for this victory against ivory poaching!

Fighting poachers is fighting terrorism. GABON At present, there are more forest elephants in Gabon than in any other country

Gabon: Where the fate of the elephant will be decided

Survival International attacks wildlife charities over abuse of tribal people British charity claims conservation groups are complicit in harassment and arrest of indigenous people in order to protect threatened animals

Tiger carcass found with head, paws, skin missing

Lahki the Blind, Abused Street Elephant Finally Retires at New Sanctuary Home

Welcome eTN Ambassador

A message from the eTN Publisher Juergen

Thomas Steinmetz

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