Posts tagged with "rainforest"

Wildlife Rescue

Wildlife conservationist/veterinarian on the front lines says it is possible for orangutans, elephants and monkeys to coexist with palm oil plantations 

The island of Borneo, divided among Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, is home to one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Borneo also produces about 80 percent of the world’s palm oil, a vegetable oil considered vital for global food security. Here in the U.S., palm oil is widely used in everything from snack foods and chocolate to cosmetics. 

But palm oil production is also blamed for Borneo’s disappearing rainforest, destroying wildlife habitats including those of the orangutan, which has become the face of a global anti-palm oil movement. 

“In the past 50 years, things have gone from bad to worse. Efforts to preserve the area’s wildlife need to be ramped up,” stresses wildlife conservationist and veterinarian Nathan Sen, DVM, whose first job out of vet school involved rescuing orangutans. 

Now as manager of Malaysia’s Wildlife Rescue Unit and leader of the Sabah Wildlife Department’s new endangered species conservation unit, Sen is boots-on-the-ground in Borneo. He sees the sad realities. 

Forest destruction is a rallying cry for the anti-palm movement. “Palm oil is called a golden crop. Its production is a valuable source of income, which has contributed to this worldwide ecological concern. In some areas of the world, local farmers dreaming of a better livelihood have burned down forests and converted the land to oil palm plantations,” Sen explains. 

But more recently, he sees glimmers of hope that may cause people to have a different perspective on the palm oil controversy. 

The situation is shifting toward peaceful coexistence

“The forest is one of Mother Earth’s greatest gifts to humans,” says Sen. “Palm oil can be produced more efficiently than other vegetable oils such as soy or rapeseed (canola).” It can also be produced responsibly. “By national law here in Malaysia, for example, all palm oil must be produced sustainably. There is also a strict ban on forest burning, as well as other initiatives to change palm oil production’s impact on our planet. 

“One of the government’s initiatives is to stop the development of any new palm oil plantations and improve production of our existing plantations. This is being done by introducing better trees that can produce more oil, and by improving the oil extraction process to increase the output, so the industry does not require more land,” Sen elaborates. 

Another program involves creating wildlife reserve areas along riverbanks. “By not planting against the rivers, orangutans, elephants and proboscis monkeys can now use the river’s edge for their habitat,” says Sen. 

In the Malaysian parts of Borneo, the states of Sabah and Sarawak, there is a stable population of orangutans numbering between 11,000 and 13,000. The Malaysian wildlife and forestry authorities have taken necessary measures so now this wild population lives mostly inside a protected natural habitat area, where they can thrive.  

This strong governmental support of national wildlife conservation programs is having a positive influence on the country’s palm oil farmers. 

“Ten years ago, farmers wanted to keep wildlife out of their plantations. I see a big change in that mentality,” Sen confirms. “More farmers now feel comfortable about coexisting with wildlife. They realize they share the forests with elephants and orangutans. They are allowing them to roam freely across their land. They are coming to understand that if we treat our wildlife with respect, the damage they may cause to the crop is quite negligible.”

He adds that he is very encouraged to see that orangutans are beginning to use Malaysia’s palm oil plantations as their habitat. It’s yet another sign that the country is managing the delicate balance between caring for its wildlife and its economy. 

Is the war on palm oil still justified? 

If palm oil were to be banned, it would need to be replaced by less land-efficient crops. And as Malaysia has proven, palm oil production can be accomplished while protecting wildlife and forests. 

But there is still much work to be done. “Many people still don’t realize that palm oil is the most sustainable choice. For sustainable palm oil production to expand globally, there must be demand by the public. Be vocal about asking companies to source their palm oil from producers who are protecting the rainforests. And buy from companies that have already made that important commitment, such as Coca-Cola, Nestle and Unilever,” recommends Sen.

“While you may never see an orangutan in the wild, your food and personal care product purchases can help ensure these wonderful creatures have safe homes for generations to come.”

 

Cannúa Resort x Travel Promo

Enjoy Two Nights Free at New Boutique Hotel with True Colombia Travel Promo

Be among the first travelers to experience luxury eco resort Cannúa, sister company to True Colombia Travel, which just opened Dec. 1, 2019

Travelers can enjoy a two-night complimentary stay in a deluxe room at the newly-opened Cannúa, Colombia’s first luxury eco resort (a value of $500 USD), when they book a custom tour of Antioquia with True Colombia Travel by March 31, 2020.

True Colombia Travel, a locally-owned and led tour operator, specializes in customized experiences in under-explored regions throughout Colombia, and is celebrating the launch of its sister-company, Cannúa, with its spring promo.

Opened in December 2019, Cannúa is an 18-room boutique hotel set within a protected forest in Antioquia. Taking a holistic approach to sustainability, the 27-acre mountain-side retreat is rooted in permaculture design principles, built from sustainably-sourced bamboo and compressed-earth blocks and utilizing rainwater through its own on-site water treatment system. It also features two acres of organic gardens and food forests to supply its restaurant, and works with local organic farmers for ingredients that can’t otherwise be produced on-site.

The opening of an eco resort of this nature is part of a new era of experiential travel being forged within the region.

“Antioquia offers so much, and now, travelers have the opportunity to mix the rustic, off-the-beaten-path rural exploration of the region with a luxurious stay, complete with some pampering, ” says Brian Schon, co-founder and director of True Colombia Travel. “Guests can spend five days doing all kinds of adventurous activities, from paragliding to exploring local caves and searching for wild hippos, and then spend a couple nights relaxing at Cannúa, enjoying delicious food, gentle hikes, spa treatments, and gorgeous sunsets set against the most incredible views.”

True Colombia Travel’s Antioquia trips start and end in Medellín. To take advantage of this offer, write promo code Antioquia2020 in the subject line of your inquiry and book by Mar. 31, 2020, for travel until April 1, 2021.

For more information about True Colombia Travel’s fully-customized cultural, culinary and environmental tours in all corners of the country, visit www.truecolombiatravel.com.

About True Colombia Travel
True Colombia Travel specializes in offering fully customized cultural, culinary and environmental tours throughout the rural and urban regions of Colombia. Owned and operated by locals who are passionate about their community, the TCT team is made up of bilingual artists, nature-lovers and world travelers committed to sharing Colombia’s secrets with visitors as respectfully and responsibly as possible. Welcoming families, groups, solo travelers and adventurers of all ages, True Colombia Travel creates personalized itineraries designed to showcase the people, heritage, culture and natural treasures that makes Colombia one of the most promising destinations in the world.

Cannúa, True Colombia Travel, Vacation, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Photo courtesy of Cannúa

Lexus, Costa Rica, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery, RXL

Lexus Milestones

By Flore Chaumont × Vaughn Lowery

Lexus celebrated their 30-year anniversary this past July; and we couldn’t escape it. We were invited on a 3-day lifestyle activation in Costa Rica, testing both their latest vehicles along side of their precursors. Since Lexus is the leading producer of luxury hybrids, their choice of hosting this event in Costa Rica was not arbitrary. Aside from lush landscapes, the island is a place where environmentally driven initiatives and technologies thrive. The country is a leading producer of hydroelectric energy, and conserving their beautiful flora and fauna is one of their top priorities.

1. Accommodation

Our hopes were high and they were remarkably met with our arrival at the magnificent Four Seasons Hotel, located in Liberia, a jewel in the countryside of Costa Rica. The luxurious property, nicely integrated into the surrounding region was mesmerizing. Modern yet rustic decorated rooms spilt out onto the beachfront as we assembled at a welcoming reception. We were treated like loyalty with excellent service, savory bites and of course, great fellowship. With a 181 rooms, fitness center (which rivaled Equinox), day spa (complete with plunge pool, steam room and hot tub) and private beach, many of us were tempted to stay longer within the 1,400 acres of utter bliss. There was so much to explore via a biking excursion or a simple hike into neighboring jungles.

2. History of Lexus

During the conference, we learned about the history of Lexus; and their product line from 1989 to present. With the use of VR, we were teleported in time to when Toyota arrived in the US. In 1984, they launched the Circle F Project with the aim of releasing a luxury car. The challenge was to change America’s perception of the marque. For this project, Chief Engineer Ichiro Suzuki sets aggressive goals which will define the brand’s strategy and excellence down the route. With over 1400 engineers involved and 400 prototypes later, the Lexus LS was born. A sedan unlike any other. The name, originally Alexis, became Lexus, and the logo came to become this symbol of beauty and perfection with a succession of exceptional cars to accompany.

3. Meeting with Executives

We also got the privilege to sit down and shoot the breeze with some of the senior level executives of Lexus. Koichi Suga, General Manager of Lexus Design, explained to us his inspiration for adding the concierge and driver refresh, he maintains, “Our vision is human centered: what the customer wants, while focusing on our distinctive culture and heritage.” Indeed, the driver refreshes function is an imitation of shiatsu massage, and it was also our favorite feature in this newly reintroduced full-size flagship. In a discussion with Koji Sato, Vice President of Lexus International Products & Engineering, we were informed that the brand expects to issue its first EV by 2025. And he gave tongue to what gives the sedan a long-term advantage over SUV models. He states, “I think the sedan is more formal, more stylish, with a low center of gravity that provides a more emotional feel.”

4. Vehicle Drives

After being fascinated with the history of Lexus, we got to take a glimpse of and even test drive a few. The incredible LFA was on display and the RC F Sport (f/ in Men in Black: International) were definitely crowd favorites. We test drove three of their models: the LS 500h; RXL (new RX w/ third row seating) and LC 500h. The LS literally made us feel like a royal family. The sleek design, alongside a more pronounced spindle grill and a ton of driver/passenger amenities made the interior feel like nirvana. The RXL possesses a 4.4 inch longer wheel base than RX, now seats 7 and has been refined to exaggerate masculinity. Lastly, the LC 500h, spotlighted in the critically acclaimed Black Panther, was simply sublime, from its paw-like exterior to the silky ride it offers. The peaceful drive along windy roads near the rain forests was almost mysterious.

5. Adventure

On our final day, we drove to the Diamante Eco Adventure Park which is home to one of the highest zip lines in the world – approximately 80 stories high and 1 mile long from one side to the other. We strapped into the renowned Superman, headfirst while facing forward on our bellies. Within, 45 seconds or less we were tailed and ready to retrieve our rides.

In short, Lexus created an atmosphere which showcased creativity, confidence and courage. Everything was exemplified through their leaders, bold design and humanity. Here’s to another 30 years!!!

A Perfect Valentine’s Getaway with San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Belize

With a temperate year round climate, farm fresh cuisine and unique adventure experiences, Belize is a perfect three day weekend getaway to escape the winter months. Daily, affordable nonstop flights are offered countrywide from Minneapolis, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and other major travel hubs making a visit to Belize easier than ever.

The San Ignacio Resort Hotel, a premier full-service Belize resort, located in the Cayo district, is within a scenic 90-minute drive or 30-minute flight from Belize City. The hotel boasts first-class amenities and accommodations for those seeking to relax and enjoy a beautiful tropical resort, yet offers nearby adventures for those wanting to explore inland Belize. In addition to stunning jungle views, San Ignacio Resort Hotel offers impeccable service, extraordinary dining options at its Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant, a tennis court and is in close proximity to San Ignacio Town.

Plan your Three Perfect Days in Belize Package starting at $1,446 per person, excluding airfare.

  • Roundtrip transfers from and to Belize international airport
  • Accommodation in the luxurious Honeymoon Suite – boasting exquisite views of untouched rainforest
  • Assigned Personal Butler upon check in
  • Daily Breakfast
  • 2 dinners at the Running W Steakhouse at a reserved Balcony table
  • 1 Private dinner in balcony of your room
  • One 60-minute Luxury in-room wellness treatment per person
  • 1 Full day tour at Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Maya sites
  • 1 full day tour at Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve with an exclusive picnic day trip with hiking trails and optional swimming in private cascades and natural pools.

To book your trip visit www.sanignaciobelize.com.

Exploring Western Belize in 2019

Belize has been featured as the only Central American country on National Geographic’s Best Trips 2019 List. Quickly growing in popularity as one of the best tropical vacation destinations in the world, Belize is a blend of cultures and natural attractions and is a place that fully embraces its Central American and Caribbean roots, celebrates its diversity and takes great pride in its spectacular natural beauty. The San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Western Belize provides a perfect springboard for a vacation filled with adrenaline adventures, fine dining and opportunities to experience the infamous Maya Temples.

Adrenaline Adventures

Black Hole Drop: Begin with a 2 hour hike up the Maya Mountains over the rainforest canopy at Actun Loch Tunich, “The Monster of All Caves.” Become mesmerized by incredible aerial views of jungle rainforests, then step off the ledge of the cliff for a 300-foot high rappelling adventure ride where you will have amazing visuals of the Black Hole and luscious greens. This experience is not for the faint of heart.

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave: This site has been featured on National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and History Channel because of its mesmerizing giant shimmering flowstone formations, stalactites, and stalagmites widely present throughout this 3-mile long cave. ATM features burial chambers, Maya artifacts, intact calcified human remains, and slate stelaes that were used for burials. The cave itself is several miles long with multiple chambers. Once inside the cave you will spend several hours swimming, climbing, and exploring.

Fine Dining

Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant: Located at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant has a new Executive Chef, Enrique Awe whose culinary journey has brought him back to his hometown of San Ignacio after working for 16 years in the USA. The Restaurant showcases an international menu with the best of Belizean cuisine and features grass fed meats from the family’s own ranch where the restaurant got its name.

Trey’s Barn & Grill: Trey Roberson grills up the freshest cuisine in Western Belize and creates cocktails that pair well with his unique dishes. You can also find him at San Ignacio Resort Hotel for special cookouts on property with live music and libations.

Maya Temples

Caracol: Located on the western edge of the Maya Mountains within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Caracol lies on a high plateau that drops into a deep valley to the northwest and rises into hilly terrain to the southwest. The site was discovered in 1938 by Rosa Mai, a logger looking for mahogany. Although one of the most challenging Belize ruins to reach, the trip to Caracol is also one of the most scenic drives. It is the largest known Maya center within the country and holds “Canaa” (Sky Place), the largest pyramid or man-made structure in Belize at 140 feet tall.

Cahal Pech: Located on a hill that overlooks the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, excavations show that Cahal Pech was inhabited from 1000 B.C. to around 800 A.D. The central part of the ruins provides a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area. Thirty-four structures, including temple pyramids, two ball courts, and an altar fill the 2 acre area.

Five of America’s largest airlines have nonstop flights to Belize from major cities across the country, making it easily accessible for US travelers.

Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa partner

THE NIGHT LEAGUE, USHUAÏA AND HÏ IBIZA PARTNER WITH DANCE FOR 1 METER FOR RAINFOREST CONSERVATION

Leading Ibiza clubs Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa partner with Dance For 1 Meter, the largest conservation initiative in electronic music history, to help combat rainforest deforestation

Today, Ibiza events giants The Night League announce their 2018 partnership with conservation initiative Dance For One Meter (D41M) which will unite the creative spirit of Ibiza with the latest blockchain technology to tackle the global issue of deforestation and proof of conservation. The partnership will allow clubbers attending both Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa to help the cause by simply joining the party and dancing at either club.

When guests attend events at Hï Ibiza and Ushuaïa, they will have the opportunity to pay an optional 1€ to reserve and save 1sqm of Rainforest when purchasing tickets online at hiibiza.com. By using Satellite and Google Earth technology, each guest can redeem and zoom into their coordinates on the Cuipo Foundations Rainforest Preserve in Brazil.

The Night League CEO & artistic director Yann Pissenem said: “We’re so proud to be a part of such an important initiative. We launched the partnership last year with Hï Ibiza and we are really excited to be able to expand it to Ushuaïa this year so that more people can get involved. Deforestation is one of the biggest environmental issues affecting the planet and we hope everyone continues the good work this year and donates to this really worthwhile cause.”

Ricardo Porteus from D41M said: “Have fun, save rainforest is the message! By uniting and dancing together we will save and protect an area of rainforest the same size as Ibiza!”

Every second of every minute of every day one football field of Rainforest is lost due to deforestation. 70% of all cancer eliminating medicine properties originate in the Rainforest. Deforestation creates more carbon emissions than any other industry on the planet. The impact on our lives at a global level is serious if action isn’t taken right now. No more talking, it’s time to Dance For One meter and help make a difference.

The Dance For One Meter (D41M) project is founded by Ricardo Porteus and Tom Murray, who had a chance meeting at the Burning Man festival in Nevada where they conceived the potential of how uniting every person attending global festivals and events could make a positive impact on Rainforest protection. By simply having fun whilst saving the Rainforest, one person, one ticket, one meter on mass will generate the biggest environmental initiative in dance music history.

#d41m #cuipo #saverainforest #blockchainforimpact

About The Night League

Founded in 2001 by events entrepreneur Yann Pissenem, The Night League is 360 music and entertainment company dedicated to every facet of event and venue management and responsible for hugely successful brands including Ushuaïa Ibiza, Hï Ibiza, ANTS, BIG, Children of the 80´s, GangStar and DYSTOPIA.

About Hï Ibiza

Since opening its doors in 2017, Hï Ibiza has played host to many of the biggest names on the electronic music scene, including world-class residents Black Coffee, Cream Ibiza, Cathy Guetta presents GangStar, Eric Prydz, Armin van Buuren and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Afterlife and Glitterbox. With state-of-the-art design and sound and a commitment to putting the clubber at the centre of the experience, Hï Ibiza has proved itself a force to be reckoned with.

About Ushuaïa

Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel is the ideal choice for the tasteful traveller who comes to the island for the trendiest pool parties, most extravagant evening productions and a truly luxurious hotel stay. With live performances every night from the world’s best DJs and phenomenal pool parties by day, Ushuaïa Ibiza made a name for itself by providing state-of-the-art productions.

Discover More

http://www.hiibiza.com

http://dancefor1m.com

Natural Habitat Adventures

Get Wild This Green Season with Natural Habitat Adventures

 

From taking in lush, tropical landscapes to viewing new animal births during the Great Migration, discover where the grass grows greener around the globe.

 

Rainy season brings out a special bounty of nature encounters from flourishing flora to new fauna. Ecotourism leader Natural Habitat Adventures proves it’s easy to be green with trips to see some of the most incredible wildlife spring into action around the world. From experiencing sea turtles nesting and spotting whales along Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast to taking in breathtaking views of huge herds making a great circuit across the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania, see where the grass grows greener this season with Natural Habitat Adventures:

 

Natural Jewels of Costa Rica
10 Days | From USD$5,495
NEW! Green Season Departure: Aug 4 – 13, 2018

In July and August, “green season” is a time of new birth and plentiful transitions among Costa Rica’s lush rainforests, mist-veiled mountains, wild beaches and active volcanoes, containing some of the greatest biodiversity on Earth. Enjoy peak turtle season in Tortuguero, when Pacific green sea turtles settle into their annual nesting pattern. On the new green season departure, Nat Hab makes an extended boat expedition in search of whales, particularly humpbacks, and dolphins during time exploring around Isla del Caño. In Monteverde’s cloud forest, resplendent quetzals and three-wattled bellbirds feed on abundant ripe avocados at this time of year, creating some of the best opportunities to encounter these threatened species in the wild. Nature is especially lively during the green season—the extra moisture tends to animate more birds and mammals in the canopy, as well as frogs, interesting insects and nocturnal wildlife.

 

Botswana’s Green Season Photo Safari
10 Days | From USD$11,795
Green Season Departures: November 2018 to March 2019

Botswana’s prolific wildlife is legendary, so it’s no wonder that it is a top destination for photography-focused African safaris. There’s nothing like seeing it during the “green season,” when intermittent rains bring dramatic skies, new grass and new animal life. Join accomplished photographers and naturalist guides on an adventure designed to reveal Botswana’s abundant wildlife and staggeringly diverse ecosystems, from the fossilized salt pans of the Kalahari Desert to the emerald marshes and sprawling channels of the Okavango Delta. Photograph wildlife in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve as it bursts to life during brief summer rains: where lush grasses lure throngs of wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok and other prey, while the region’s legendary black-maned lion, cheetah and other predators follow in close pursuit.

 

The Great Tanzania Migration Safari
8 Days | From USD$9,995
Green Season Departures: Dec 2018 to March 2019

On Africa’s Great Plains, each year, boundless herds of wildebeest and zebra traverse the Serengeti in search of new grass that sprouts with seasonal rains, and to birth their young. Lion and cheetah lie in wait, finely tuned hunting machines ready to stalk and take down the weakest members of the herds. In the center of the world’s greatest ancient migration route, wildlife lovers will join a small-group safari led by expert expedition leaders to witness a primal spectacle as the drama of predator and prey unfolds before them. Enjoy unparalleled seclusion, comfort and vintage safari atmosphere at Natural Habitat’s remote private camp, immersed in the wonder of one of the world’s truly epic wildlife events.

 

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About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations. As the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company—and the conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund—we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between. For more information, visit nathab.com.