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Juan Carlos Ibarra and Antonio Suárez Win 2001 Colibri Ecotourism Award

COLIBRI WIKI

Publication date: June 2001

Febo

FLICKR ALBUM: Colibri Award


MEXICO CITY -- To celebrate World Environment Day, Planeta.com proudly presents its first-ever award for excellence in ecotourism -- the Colibri Ecotourism Award -- to Juan Carlos Ibarra and Antonio Suárez. The friends have worked for the past decade in promoting responsible tourism in rural Mexico.

Ibarra and Suárez first developed bicycle tours and more recently have conducted community tourism workshops under the umbrella of Consultoria Balam. This work, performed at the grassroots level, aims to protect the environment and empower local communities.

The Colibri Ecotourism Award is accompanied by a $1,000 cash award from Columbus Copper Canyon Travel. Approving of the award winners were Mexico Ecotourism Network (Red Mexicana de Ecoturismo) founding members Marlene Ehrenberg and Jorge Chávez de la Peña.

The United Nations celebrates World Environment Day each year on June 5 as a way to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and action.

ABOUT THE COLIBRI AWARD

First presented in 2001, the Colibri Ecotourism Award is presented to a leading authority at the vanguard of ecotourism.

CRITERIA

Planeta.com presents the Colibri Ecotourism Award to those whose work in Mexico is exemplary and who share what they learn. Good ideas require good work to come to completion and good work needs to be documented so that lessons can be shared.

Nominees participate by helpful edits, connecting using Web 2.0, Planeta Wiki or contribute editorial suggestions for at least a year. Bonus points are given to those who participate on other websites and forums. This is part of Planeta.com's desire to create incentives for communication, collaboration and continuity, all vital elements in the development of responsible travel and ecotourism.

2001 WINNERS

Juan Carlos Ibarra and Antonio Suárez were selected by Planeta.com Webhost Ron Mader because of their practical field work, conceptual framework and commitment to communication.

Based their experiences in the field, these pioneers have delivered presentations across Mexico, and many of their useful resource documents are featured online the Web -- on Planeta.com, the Mountain Forum and the Mexico Ecotourism Network Forum.

"This award gives us great hope and no doubt, it will help us improve our work," said award-winner Antonio Suárez. "Our goals have always been three-fold: 1) generate employment in rural areas; 2) promote an appreciation of the beauty of Mexico's landscapes and the people and 3) convert tourism into a tool that provides for conservation."

"We are honored to sponsor this award with Planeta.com and we are also honored to have Consultoria Balam as the first recipient of the award," said Emilio Kifuri, director of Canyon Travel.

"Their rural community ecotourism development focusing on nurturing the inner strengths is a testament to our enterprising human spirit which transcends cultures and unites us all. This insightful and sensitive training may well become the model for all future rural community development programs worldwide. Also to be commended is their innovative development of other community endeavors like fish farms and greenhouses simultaneously generating alternate benefits as well as support to ecotourism."


MEXICO'S ECOTOURISM

"Mexico is one of the world's mega diverse countries with one of the most successful tourism industries," said Emilio Kifuri. "If ecotourism is ever to overtake the senseless destruction of the world's natural areas, it certainly has to develop at a much faster pace. Nowhere is it more important and necessary to develop ecotourism than in Mexico. We feel fortunate to be in a position to demonstrate to the tourism industry that ecotourism can be more profitable than mainstream tourism. It is this potential for profit that has the greatest ability to cause the most profound changes."

MORE ABOUT THE COLIBRI

The Colibri Ecotourism Award is the first time Planeta.com has been able to channel funding for innovative ecotourism work.

Said Planeta.com's Ron Mader: "Planeta.com has created a special online niche for discussion and review of practical ecotourism. In choosing a recipient for the Colibri Ecotourism Award, we chose to recognize work that stands at the vanguard of meaningful change. In this regard, Juan Carlos Ibarra and Antonio Suárez's work is exemplary. They are teaching the entire globe what it means to build the bridges that connect communities and travelers."

Planeta.com is no stranger to awards. Webhost Ron Mader received the prestigious 'Ecotourism Excellence' recognition from Conservation International in 2000 and numerous other accolades.

MORE ABOUT BALAM

>> Flickr
>> Trail Building
>> Mexico City Bike Tour
>> Mexico City Bike Stations


BIKING

We recommend the Mexico Bike Tours organized by Colibri-winner Antonio Suárez. Check out the Frida Bike Tour in Coyoacan.

Mexico Bike Tour Map

FEATURES

Planeta.com
Colibri Ecotourism Award
Short history of the Colibri Ecotourism Award
Reflections on Awards
World Environment Day
Colibri Slideshow b

Colibri

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