Archive for the Sustainable Events Category

World Travel and Tourism Council -WTTC Global Summit 2012

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Ecotourism, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Inkaterra, MICE Meetings, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Events, Sustainable Tourism, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

WTTC Global Summit in Sendai & Tokyo Japan

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is honored to be invited to the WTTC Global Summit, with Inkaterra, Peru’s leading provider of luxury and sustainable hospitality. Inkaterra has been recognized for the second time since 2010 by Tourism for Tomorrow as one of the three finalists in the “Conservation” category. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organized by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the winner will be announced at the WTTC’s Global Summit in Tokyo from April 16-19, 2012.

WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow awards at the Global Summit

This is the most influential Travel & Tourism event of the year, bringing together almost 1000 industry leaders, to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing Travel & Tourism today.

Attendance at the Global Summit is by invitation of the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Global Summit Host Committee only, and is reserved for those who lead Travel & Tourism enterprises and organisations in the private sector, or participate in public sector policy and support of the sector.

Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation, and Chairman of the WTTC Global Summit 2012 Host Committee, welcomes delegates to Japan:

WTTC Global Summit Japan 2012

“Japan has developed a distinct travel culture that is permeated with the spirit of hospitality. I want to make this year’s WTTC Global Summit a fusion of this unique culture and Japan’s cutting edge technology. The Global Summit will take place in April – a wonderful time of year in which spring can be enjoyed to the full, and the cherry blossoms – the symbol of Japan – are in full bloom. I look forward to hosting you all during the time of year in which the heart dances its most. You are all very welcome to Japan. ”

The 12th annual WTTC Global Summit will be held in two locations:

WTTC Global Summit Plenary

Sendai City (16-17 April 2012). A year after the Tohoku region was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, the Global Summit commences with the Sendai Recovery and Asia Outlook Forum (in association with PATA) to be held in Sendai City, the provincial capital of the Miyagi Prefecture and a focal point of last year’s disaster recovery efforts. It is the largest city in the Tohoku Region of Japan, is situated in the center of Miyagi Prefecture. It has prospered as the capital of the Date” feudal clan’s territories since Date Masamune reigned over this district and built Aoba Castle at the beginning of the 17th century. Explore the site of Sendai Castle ( or Aoba Castle) or rest and relax in the neighborhood of Mt. Aoba-yama, which has been transformed into a gracious public park. Sendai is known as “The City of Trees.” The main streets, Aoba-dori and Jozenji-dori, are lined with rows of beautiful zelkova trees, Ichiban-cho-dori Street, which crosses Chuo-dori Street and runs parallel to Aoba-dori Street, is a shopping area. A local market, with many smaller stores lining the side streets, make for a delightful shopping excursion.

WTTC Global Summit Tokyo 2012

Tokyo (17-19 April 2012). The plenary session of the 12th Global Summit will then be held in Tokyo and will examine, amongst other subjects, the role of Travel & Tourism as a driver of economic and social advancement at a time of global turbulence. The Global Summit will take place at International Convention Centre Pamir, Tokyo. As one of the great world cities, Tokyo offers everything a visitor can dream of, ranging from modern skyscrapers to traditional temples, 5-star restaurants and numerous bars and restaurants serving cuisine from every corner of Japan and the world. Whether you are enjoying the springtime display of cherry blossom, shopping for cutting edge consumer electronics or following the latest Tokyo fashions in the many department stores – Tokyo has something for everyone. The Global Summit will be held in Shinagawa district in the southern part of Tokyo, conveniently located to all major attractions of  Tokyo.

For more information on the Speakers line-up, click here.

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific supports the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Environment Initiative, with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines –The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social,  Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs  & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, please visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI.

Photos & text source: WTTC Global Summit 2012.

Sustainability 101. Towards sustainable cities and communities

Posted in Environment, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Events, Sustainable Living, Western Visayas, Zero Carbon Resorts with tags , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by Sustainability Guru

Greening a destination – how to make a city or community sustainable?

For simplicity, we are using the UN’s definition of sustainability:

A sustainable society meets the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainability Triple Bottom Line graphic: People, Planet, Profit.

According to Wikipedia a sustainable city, is a city designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution – CO2, methane and water pollution.

San Francisco Green City Winner. Photo courtesy of Siemens Green City Index report

Cities compete with each other globally for the attention of investors. Almost every municipality sites sustainability as one of its key targets, but it is often not clear as to how this declaration translates into action, or if the actions that are taken go beyond green window dressing.

Bacolod City Official website screen shot

Bacolod City – green or green window dressing?

The first step when steering towards urban sustainability is visible greening: planting trees, promoting subsistence gardening or saving wetlands for birds.

Sustainable Tourism Development Workshop in Villa Ica, Don Salvador Benedicto

Making Don Salvador Benedicto a true Eco-destination – A Sustainable Tourism Workshop

The next steps are environmental measures which bring social and economic benefits. Health concerns can put emphasis on quality of water, provision of ecological waste management and cleaner energy.

The Coron Initiative - the making of a sustainable destination

The Coron Initiative -Greening Coron for future generations

Waste management can also turn into business, when sorting produces material for local crafts people and bio waste becomes a source of energy. Clogged sewers lead to a ban on plastic bags while lessons about ecosystem services are learned when rivers are cleaned and watersheds are managed in an effort to prevent flooding.

Public Market trash, Bacolod City. Photo courtesy of Lisa de Leon-Zayco

Bacolod City’s Public Market trash. Photo courtesy of Lisa de Leon-Zayco’s Facebook posts

Climate change & environmental degradation effects in Boracay Island

Flooding at the World’s 2nd Best Beach! Climate change & environmental havoc

Almost every city in the world is dealing with an influx of people from different ethnic backgrounds, and cultural events play an important part in creating a sense of pride in the community and are promoted as a means to support minorities. Cultural heritage is increasingly understood as a resource to be kept alive, both for visitors to cities and for the people who live there.

Bacolod City's Electric Masskara - A sustainable festival??? photo courtesy of sunstar.com

In the cities that try to fake it, the grassroots heritage aspects AND authenticty disappear as events grow bigger and more commercial.

In the cities that try to fake it, the grassroots heritage aspects and authenticity disappear as events grow bigger and more commercial. Major events that require substantial investment, such as festivals and sporting events  do not always enhance quality of life for local communities after the television cameras have left.

Tokyo -heritage conservation & environmental protection IS the life and culture of the people

Tokyo – the masters of Waste Management & 3R’s –      Reduce, Reuse, Recyle

Some cities are aware of the links between global targets and local actions. Sustainability measures are taken at the local level, including investment in renewable energy and efficiency requirements for local buildings. More advanced cities broaden the focus to cover social impact and how sustainable development policy is delivered. WATCH TOKYO WASTE MANAGEMENT video.

Sustainable city Seoul - urban development with environmental protection

Sustainable Seoul – urban development with environmental conservation

Refurbishment of existing buildings becomes big business, public transport systems are improved and sustainable public procurement practices are introduced.

U.N. Shanghai Manual for Sustainable Cities

Shanghai Manual – helping leaders of the world’s cities use integrated urban planning, management, financing and technology to green their economies and build climate and economic resilience.

While all these aspects constitute progress, it is misguided to think that they combine to create urban sustainability. True systemic change is missing from the picture. Progress to date has been far too slow and incremental changes to business as usual don’t go far enough.

Climate change mitigation & flood water management- Boracay band-aid style solution!

Boracay’s White Beach downright degradation- flood water flushed out on White Beach!

The tough road ahead will have to include holistic visions, integrated planning and brave strategies to implement them. For this to become a reality, the language of money must become more about sustainability, renewable energy sources must be fully integrated into urban infrastructure and the pedestrian must become king of the road.

Source: The Guardian

Visiting Shanghai's Urban Planning Museum

Visiting Shanghai’s Urban Planning Museum. Shanghai established ECO CITY framework in 2010.

 

Do positive. Do not wait for another disaster to do your part on mitigating climate change.

DO POSITIVE. Learn the lessons from disasters: think SUSTAINABLE.  TAKE ACTION.  Demand from your political representatives to do their job, WORK towards healthy and clean ENVIRONMENT  and community!

Green Growth, Climate Change solutions, the grassroots way. Our Sustainability initiatives includes Capacity Building and Training towards sustainable cities, communities and greening destinations based on RIO +21 Agenda,  Shanghai Manual & UNWTO to include Good Governance, Resilience, Disaster Preparedness and Management, Greening Events/Festivals, Sustainable Tourism development  with Green Hotels, Clean Blue Asia & Zero Carbon Resorts.  Educational programs can be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community of potential and emerging ecotourism sites.

 Learn more from: sustainabilityguruvisit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

 

Finally, Fine Filipino Food Fest in Tokyo!

Posted in Cuisine & Dining, Cultural Scenes, Sustainable Events with tags , , on September 24, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

Philippine Food Fair 2011, Imperial Hotel Tokyo

Featuring the Doyenne of Philippine Cuisine, Ms. Glenda Barreto, showcasing culture and heritage through culinary art

I have always wanted to write about the under-rated, oft-misinterpreted or worse, misrepresented authentic Filipino cuisine, but failed to find the real deal, one that showcases the Philippines’ rich melange of culture, tradition and heritage, authentic in essence and presentation.

Ms. Glenda Barreto, Doyenne of Philippine Cuisine

I first met Ms. Glenda Barreto, Doyenne of Philippine Cuisine and  owner of Via Mare group during my Puerto Azul days, as she was a member of the Golf & Country Club and favorite caterer of Malacanang Palace. Till now, Via Mare is still the irreplaceable Filipino fare provider to most high level occasions not only in the Palace but also to prominent political and social figures of the country for their  impeccable cuisine and unparalleled service.

CBRT Conference 2011 Regional Food Showcase by Via Mare

At the National Conference on Community Based Rural Tourism this year, I had the honor to meet, listen and shared with my co-speaker, Ms. Barreto. I told her that every time I go home to Manila, I would always eat at Via Mare and bring back  special native desserts, cassava cake and two kinds of rice cakes –bibingka galapong & puto bumbong – all the way to Peru. I am so happy that their Landmark  Makati branch already know how to pack these delicacies for long-haul trips, thus, I still get the freshly-cooked flavors after 30 hours of travelling back to Lima! When we moved to Tokyo, Japan, I go home to the Philippines every so often for my Sustainable  Tourism initiatives and conference engagements, thus, I make sure I eat at Via Mare, probably the only excellent authentic Filipino cuisine that suits my palate, my only “other home” of comfort native food.

Philippine desserts by Via Mare: Jackfruit Tapioca, Cassava (yuca) Cake, Purple Yam (ube) pudding, Coconut-Pandan Rice pudding

At the Conference, Ms. Barreto presented on Special Regional Food Presentation & Exhibit where she talked about Food Knowledge, Effective Menu Planning, Recipes, Pricing and Personalized Service. She also showcased the actual Regional cooking at the venue and feted us to the best Conference dinner I have ever tasted!

On September 26- October 2, 2011, Tokyoites and nearby ‘burb-dwellers can savor the fine offering of Tita Glenda’s cuisine at the Philippine Food Fair at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, together with stellar chefs, Myrna Seguismundo of Restaurant 9501 and patissier Jessie Sinsioco of Le Souffle. It will be seven full days of alluring and  scrumptious epicurean pleasures from the Philippines’ most fabulous, no less! Service offerings at the Imperial Viking Sal will be available during Luncheons and Dinner and Filipinos in Japan can partake in this rare opportunity of excellent Filipino cuisine at a special discount.

Lunch & Dinner Buffet of Filipino Fine Food at the Viking Sal, Imperial Hotel Tokyo

Greening Philippine M.I.C.E., go or no go?

Posted in Conventions & Exhibitions, Events, News, Lifestyle, Good Governance, Green Hotels, MICE Meetings, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Events, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by Sustainability Guru

A Review of the PhilMICECon 2011.

Philipine MICE Con 2011 Cebu, Philippines

As MICE practitioner since 1984, and as pioneer MITE member  I had been attending the MICE Conferences since PCVC-MITE inception of “Dream Meetings” in 1991. This time however, I had the honor to be part of the Philippine (Meetings, Incentive travel, Conventions, &  Exhibitions) M.I.C.E. Conference (PhilMICECon) 2011 in Cebu, Philippines as invited Guest Speaker to share my advocacy on Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality & Events, during the Green-themed Plenary on the topic, “Stepping Forward without Footprints.”

Graciously attended by Joma Gutierrez & Ms. Noemi Cruz of Phil.Tourism Bureau

From the pre-conference arrangements to arrival day after a direct flight from Tokyo to Cebu via the country’s flagship carrier Philippine Airlines and all throughout my stay, I   was graciously attended by the ever-efficient and long-time Tourism industry friends, Ms. Noemi Cruz and Joma Gutierrez of the Philippine Tourism Bureau (PTB, which I still keep on calling PCVC) organizers of the Phil MICE Con. Right after my check-in at the Continental Club of Marco Polo Cebu, networking started with co-speakers, Bill Laviolett Managing Director, I&MI (Incentives & Meetings  International) Media from France and Corbin Ball, Owner, Corbin Ball Associates, USA.

At the Marco Polo Continental Club

Our first day started with a Welcome Lunch for buyers and speakers at the Imperial Waterpark Resort in Mactan Island, greeted by the entire Cebu Organizing Committee, which prepared exotic Asian themed dances. Most heartwarming was the Cebu’s children’s rondalla which performed lively native numbers. After the scrumptious Cebu cuisine highlighted buffet, entertained by Philippine dances, off we go to probably the most “thrilling” show of all –the world famous Cebu Dancing Inmates – doing their Michael Jackson tributes. Turned out, we not only watched but also danced with them! The Cebu Provincial Detention & Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) opens its gates for performances every last Saturday of the month –a good example of social responsibility in tourism. At sundown, we moved to the Waterfront Hotel  Cebu for the Oriental Opulence-themed cocktails and dinner. The ballroom was  transformed into a grand and lavish Eastern enclave and participants were beset with the bountiful Chinese buffet.

Dancing with World Famous Cebu Dancing Inmates

The next day, the Techno-themed Opening ceremonies were graced by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, Philippine Tourism Department Secretary Alberto Lim and Hans Hauri, Chairman of the Phil MICE Con Cebu Organizing Committee. Glad to see that  Bluewater Resortswith Director of Sales & Marketing Margie Munsayac, hosted coffee break has followed some green meeting practices I suggested for the event, with their native snacks in eco-friendly, reusable baskets and drinks in bamboo cups!

Phil MICE Con Opening with DOT Secretary Alberto Lim

We segued to Marco Polo Hotel Ballroom, for the “i.WE.u.peopleconnect” – Techno motiff S.R.O. lunch, welcomed virtually by the hotel’s CEO in Hong Kong via Video conference. Educational Tracks Breakout sessions followed with various MICE-relevant topics.

Finally, Green Day Plenary has come keynoted by Authentic Ecolodges author Hitesh Mehta who awed the audience with his “Turning Blueprints into Green prints” presentation and “dance” performance. Then it was our turn to talk on  “Stepping Forward without Footprints”, where I shared in the discussions moderated by Ms. Chit Juan of Echo Sustainable Living Store, with Engr. Eric Raymundo, who presented the “Zero Carbon Resorts” project of his NGO, Gruppe Angge Passte  Technologie (GrAT) and Ms. Agnes de Jesus, Vice President, Energy  Development Corporation who imparted the Geothermal projects at Philippines’ eco sites.

After the coffee break, panel discussions on “New Media Marketing” and an energetic Hi-tech Connect-motif lunch was hosted by the Radisson Blu, Cebu’s newest de luxe hotel. Happy to meet long-ago hotelier friends, Lourdes Macalindong, VP Sales & Marketing of SM Hotels & Conventions and Agnes Pacis, dynamic Director of Sales & Marketing of Shangri-la Mactan.

After the afternoon and closing plenary session, an all-out pomp and pageantry Closing & Turn-over Ceremonies was tendered by Davao, the PhilMICE Con 2013 host, led by no less than their gutsy yet graceful Mayor Sara Duterte. So looking forward to helping out in the DAVAO Phil MICE Con, with long-time friend, Ms. Mary Ann Montemayor who is the Chair of the Davao Regional Tourism Council  and has sounded me off that they are starting Sustainable Tourism activities for the province. Dazzling!

However, the big question for me during the whole conference as I was trying to observe is, IF the Philippine MICE industry insiders are ready to embrace Sustainability and Green practices in their respective activities? Phil MICE Con organizers led by dynamic Stanie Soriano has graciously included the “Greening Events Guidelines” that I have particularly  prepared, on the printed program, but I doubt if anybody has read it. Not one participant even  mentioned to me having seen it.  Based on the almost non-reaction from the audience  after our plenary “Green” presentations, it seems that “Greening” for them was just  donning the green hats or outfits as was the obligatory theme for the day. Beyond that, no one has approached any of us speakers, as a matter of interest in implementing  green hotel practices, zero carbon resorts nor green events at all.

At breakfast on our last day, with good tourism industry colleague, Angel Bognot  who has launched his Afro Asian World Events, former Region VII Tourism  Director Dawnie Roa, and Ms. Jenny Franco of Travel Vision, I have some  encouraging signs that Cebu are into the Sustainable and Eco Tourism mode and that they are supporting greening efforts by the province. Likewise, I was also told earlier by long-time Cebu tour operator, Alice Queblatin of Southwind Travel that they are seeking help to improve their community-based rural tourism endeavors in Olango, Cebu. Alice’s daughter, Cookie Chan @kukitalk, likewise sent me a direct message via Twitter that she will implement green practices that I have shared in the next big convention she will be organizing next in Cebu. At least with these pro-active and reliable pillars of Cebu’s Tourism industry, I can see the “green” light at the end of the tunnel that came out of the Phil. MICE Con 2011.

This is a call to action and cooperation to GREEN Philippine M.I.C.E., folks. It is high time for Filipino tourism industry leaders to focus on Sustainable Tourism, greening their hotels/resorts and organize Green Meetings & Sustainable Events as a way forward and uplift the Philippine Tourism industry.

I sure look forward to helping and working with Davao‘s Green Leaders towards a greener Phil MICE Con 2013!

For details on the PhilMICE 2011 conference program, please click here.

Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working on Sustainable Festivals & green events with its Sustainable Tourism programs and projects in the Philippines – The Coron Initiative , The Boracay Initiative & The Negros Initiative . Environmental, Social, Good Governance & Resilience Capacity building programs & training include Disaster Preparedness & Management for both public and private local stakeholders/proponents. Sustainability Guru Asia Pacific is working towards green economy for the grass roots, in cooperation with Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels and The Clean Blue Asia Pacific. For more info, visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Greening your events

Posted in Environment, Events, News, Lifestyle, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Events with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

Sustainable Events Management with CSR

 

 

Concerts, sporting events, meetings, conventions and big outdoor gatherings are an essential part of community life that has a positive effect on society. Unfortunately they can have negative impacts on the environment. Events generate garbage, use electricity, require a lot of materials to run them, along with plenty of travel by the audience and/or participants that leave carbon footprints.

 Sustainable Events Management. Any event can be managed sustainably, whether small or large, a conference or caucus, a onetime concert or something that is ongoing, like a series of spectator sports   – the concept of minimizing impacts of purchasing, energy production, transport, waste and sanitation can be applied in almost any situation. A sustainably managed live event seeks to minimize its resource use and all the potentially negative impacts on the environment. “Greening” an event or meeting involves all aspects of the planning process, a detailed collaboration of everyone involved, from producer to supplier, from venue to viewers.

Practice Sustainable Events in order to satisfy the needs of attendees and host community alike, while protecting and improving future opportunities.  Simply minimize and reduce the environmental cost of your events and embed the concepts of sustainability into your purchasing and operational decisions.  Educate all participants to avoid careless and negligent behavior from those who leave their trash, plastics and heavy impact to the already fragile environment due to global climate change.

Purchasing.  When purchasing, buy sustainably. Buy local. Purchase from local vendors and buy products manufactured within the province or region.

Waste management.Practice the new mantra of RETHINK, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE AND REPORT.

 Re-think giveaways – Ensure they are useful, use recycled materials, and have minimal packaging. Reduce or limit paper communications.

Energy. Use sustainable energy. Use ecological alternatives to diesel- and gasoline/petrol-powered generators. Reduce power consumption. Adopt procedures to reduce the total energy consumed by the event.

 

Whatta Water Use. Discourage or exclude the sale of bottled water due to its environmental impact.

Sustainable Transport. Reduce the carbon emissions in transport. Provide participants, audience, staff, and volunteers with public transport and ride sharing options, and encourage cycling and walking to the event.

 

Form a green team.

To share about your environmental commitment and encourage participants to green their own events, meetings, conferences and other business practices.  

 

 

 

Lean and green. Even in an economic crisis, green practices and long-term sustainability goals should not take a backseat to the bottom line.  Incorporating green and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) practices into events and meetings can be beneficial —not only to establish their companies as good corporate citizens, but to actually save money!

These are just some of the many ways to green your events – the tip of the iceberg so to speak. Do you know if your event is helping or hurting the environment? Include a Sustainable Events Management with CSR Workshop in your next big happening! For more info visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

-Source: Live Earth Green Event Guidelines and Calgary City Green Event Essentials.

The Boracay Initiative Beckons-a serious call for conservation

Posted in Boracay, Clean Blue Asia, Good Governance, Green Hotels, Responsible Travel, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Events, Sustainable Tourism with tags , , , , , , , on July 23, 2010 by Sustainability Guru

 

My first Boracay trip, circa 1989. This area is now Discovery Shores Hotel

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.  I first went to Boracay Island, Philippines (voted as one of the best beaches in the world) in the late 80’s and we had a most fantastic experience in paradise. We travelled in the typhoon season; the trip was from Kalibo on a Fokker 50 aircraft, a one-hour flight from Manila and another 70 kilometer road trip from Kalibo to Caticlan, jump off point to Boracay. There were no air-conditioned buses for the long, dusty and grueling overland ride with the locals and chickens alike; no jetty port – we had to wade in shallow waters to board a motorized small banca, across the strait in rough waters. Boracay was not affected by typhoons then, however during this period they have what they call the “habagat”, southwest monsoon winds. Due to monsoon season we had to land on the other side of the island (Bulabog) and hike all the way to our resort located on White Beach, our luggage, transported by a water buffalo-pulled cart.  There was no electricity, no air-conditioning and no hot water showers in those days, but the whole stay was pure and simple pleasure. We had the time of our life!

1991 – Boracay Beach Club Hotel, one of White Beach’s “premier” resorts

WORK AT WHITE BEACH. Little did I imagine that just after two years, I would return to the island and work for one of the pioneer resorts, and stayed further on for 10 years to manage two small properties, tour operations and transport company.  Within this period, I also handled three small airline companies that serviced Caticlan, two were defunct and the ultimate one was Seair, which I had to persuade convincingly to fly there. The rest is history.

From rustic BBCH to glass and concrete Astoria Boracay now

PARADISE LOST- WELL, ALMOST. When I left in 2001 after 10 years of working for Boracay, I felt that it was excessively crowded, over-developed in a destructive sense and regrettably deteriorating due to lack of eco balance. I ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Now, returning exactly 21 years since I first came, with over 500 hundred resorts of all shapes, sizes and prices, there is hardly a trace of the pristine, peaceful and perfect paradise that I first saw. It is just chaotic congestion of lodgings, restaurants, bars, stores crowding with vans and tricycles, with no regard for proper zoning, maximum carrying capacity, value for natural environment, nor conservation and ecological protection not to mention the global climate change risks, most especially on White Beach’s spectacular shoreline.

Stakeholders must be aware of their responsibility to the environment and community to protect and conserve

FULL CIRCLE. It is perhaps the hands of fate that made me return to Boracay last April as a Guest Speaker at Events Asia 2010 and as luck would have it, talk about Sustainable Events ManagementWith my experience at Inkaterra, Peru’s Eco pioneer and Conservation leader, I shared my knowledge and experience in Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Protection. In 1975, Inkaterra opened a lodge for scientists to study Peru’s rainforest long before eco tourism was trendy. With 33 years of experience in sustainable tourism initiatives, it is the first to be carbon neutral in the country, doing reforestation projects in a total of 17,000 hectares in the Amazon.

PLEDGE. At a Social Media workshop at Events Asia, I met Roselle Tenefrancia, Environmental lawyer, activist, travel writer and consultant of Boracay Sun, the island’s monthly paper and Maria Tajanlangit, Editor in Chief of 7107 Islands Magazine, whose family were pioneers in Boracay. After the event, I thought of a  framework for a new Boracay Conservation, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, ready for stakeholders to embrace and implement.

Conservation Mission: rescue, restore and recover Boracay Island

 THE BORACAY INITIATIVE®.   International environmental design activist PJ Aranador  with his flagship green lifestyle boutique on the island, Nautilus and  Ms. Jane Chua, founder of www.gogreenphilippines and “A Piece of Green” Boracay boutique owner pledged their support to the Initiative. I also met with Boracay Young Professionals whose advocacy is about preserving the island.

A CALL FOR UNITY AND SUPPORT.  A challenging task of organizing, implementing and monitoring of the The Boracay Initiative© is being worked on, with hopefully, voluntary efforts from the private stakeholders  and support of the new local government officials.

LESS CONVERSATION, IT’S TIME FOR ACTION. Indeed, fate brought me back to the island, which we had come to love and cherish, but it is high time for us, to take action, less conversation! We must put all our efforts and resources to restore, conserve and protect Boracay Island, its beauty and natural resources for the future generations to come.

The Boracay Initiative is designed to work with both private and public sector of Boracay Island: the  Sustainable Tourism, Conservation and Social Responsibility frameworks  Boracay Island with institutional partners Zero Carbon Resorts, Green Hotels & Clean Blue.

Sustainability Capacity Building and Training programs for communities and destinations  include Good Governance, Rio 21 Agenda, Waste Management/3Rs/MRF, Resilience, Disaster Prevention and Management. Educational programs will be customized for public and private stakeholders, local government units, private businesses and the local community in general.

Zero Carbon Resorts helping SMEs in the tourism industry reduce carbon footprints

Zero Carbon Resorts helping SMEs in the tourism industry reduce carbon footprints

ZERO CARBON RESORTS  is our joint project with GrAt for the SMEs in the Tourism Industry to reduce carbon footprint by switching from use of fossil fuel to renewable energy sources especially solar energy and green technologies.

 

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

Green Hotels Asia Pacific our network of reliable eco-responsible hotels

GREEN HOTELS ASIA PACIFIC is our network of the most reliable eco responsible hotels around the world. It works to help the hotel industry embrace sustainability by integrating innovation and added value with environmental actions in a vibrant global exchange of green hoteliers, operators and responsible clients.

Clean Blue Asia-Sustainable Beach management for public & private beach operators

Clean Blue Asia-Sustainable Beach management for public & private beach operators

 

CLEAN BLUE ASIA is thenew industry standard for beach management and safety – ISO 13009

 – the “Clean Blue Industry Standard” CBIS – to help provide beach operators with the information and guidance to effectively manage the beaches of Asia – Pacific.

 For more information visit: visit our Society for Sustainable Tourism & Development Inc. website or contact SSTDI on how we can help.

Two Art Museum visits in a row – Atami and Sakura, Japan

Posted in Cultural Scenes, Environment, Fashion, Art & Design, Sustainable Events, Travel with tags on June 15, 2010 by Sustainability Guru
View of Atami City from the Museum of Art

For two consecutive weekends, we visited two Museums of Art (MOA) – the first one was the MOA in Atami. Atami is a coastal hot spring resort in Shizuoka prefecture, on the east coast of the Izu Peninsula southwest of Tokyo, Japan. We did our first road trip to Atami for a relaxing marine spa experience, which was simply soothing and downright de-stressing. The second time was on an official invitation to visit the Atami Museum of Art, graciously hosted by their volunteer, Mrs. Majima. As a MOA volunteer from Tokyo, 75 year old Mrs. Majima (who looks not a day older than 50), comes to the Embassy to bring flowers once a week. The Atami MOA’s philosophy is to spread cheer and happiness to all, by offering fresh flowers, be it a single stem or in a small pot. In return, they request you to likewise keep the goodwill going.

The visit to the impressive Museum begins with an exhilarating trip in extensive escalators up to four levels, as the Museum is built along a mountain side.  Among the museum’s 3,500 exhibits are three national treasures, significant cultural properties, including paintings, works of calligraphy, sculptures and other crafts. Don’t miss Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” and Hideyoshi’s “Golden Tea Room”.  

We were welcomed by MOA Executive Director, Mr. Norihiko Sakamoto who kindly offered the volunteering effort by Mrs. Majima to bring flowers, but this time, to our home. It was a touching and sincere gesture, as he explained in an elegant after-lunch tea, the philosophy of MOA and the purpose of its volunteers. After this heartwarming MOA visit, the sprightly Mrs. Majima, who also plays 18-hole golf regularly along MOA’s rolling grounds, not only acted as sponsor to the MOA visit but also generously hosted us to another relaxing Onsen (hot spring) experience. She brought us to the Resorpia Club’s Onsen baths. We couldn’t ask for a more appropriate day cap to the impressive MOA visit!

The Atami Museum of Art not only inspires with its world class art collection, but its philosophy of sharing the joy of Art and the spirit of volunteerism to the rest of world.

Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, Sakura City, Chiba

Another recent invitation was from the Mayor of Sakura, to visit the Kawamura Memorial Museum, in Chiba prefecture. Sakura City is located in Chiba prefecture, Japan, 40 kilometers northeast of Tokyo and a mere 15 kilometers from Narita International Airport. This was our third visit to the city; the first was when we attended the Sakura Fireworks Festival last August and the second, the Sakura Jidai Matsuri (historical festival) in April. The affable Mayor Kazuo Warabi accompanied us to a privileged visit to the Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art, with a unique design theme “Artwork, Architecture and Nature”, and diverse collection focusing on 20th century art. The Museum building is designed for exhibitions in accordance with the natural environment, within the 30- hectare lush greenery with over 200 trees, 500 plants species and inhabited by many wild birds and insects.

The Museum appeals to visitors with its verdant Nature Trail, free to the public, allowing people from neighboring towns and cities to use it as a place for relaxation, where they can appreciate hundreds of varieties of flowers bloom for each season. While organizing the collection to include Picasso, Braque, Kandinsky, Malevich and Cornell and various special exhibitions, the Kawamura Memorial MOA is focused on providing activities for further understanding of artworks by guests. They offer a School Program for teachers who bring elementary or middle school students for an educational visit. The thrust is more on cultivating the youth about Art and Nature appreciation.

One cannot leave the Kawamura Memorial Museum without being awed by the experience of recognizing the value of Art and Nature at the same time!

 

Two remarkable Museums of Art – two excellent philosophies for humankind and future generations – the joy of volunteerism, art and nature.