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Reflections on the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award
by Ron Mader

ITBW WIKI

To learn about the world through first-hand, one-on-one meetings with people from around the world is a valuable human experience.
- Native Notebook

2010 ITBW Award

FLICKR ALBUM: ITBW Award


Winners have been announced for the 2010 Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award!

The competition highlights the contribution of indigenous operators to biological and cultural diversity, and comprised applicants from 10 countries around the world (Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mexico, Micronesia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sweden). More than 400 people cast their vote, carefully examining all 14 websites that fit the ambitious criteria set on Planeta.com's wiki.

The winner of the judged 2010 ITBW Award is Nutti Sami Siida, which features reindeer sled trips in Sweden. Owners Nils Torbjörn Nutti and Carina Pingi are both Sami from Gabna Sameby. The winner of the popular count 2010 ITBW Award is TIME Unlimited Tours from New Zealand, operated by the Maori-European couple Ceillhe Tewhare Teneti Hema Sperath and Néill Sperath, and providing personalised and interactive Auckland and Maori Indigenous Cultural Tours.



BACKGROUND

As a collaborative endeavor, the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award is the high point of a decade-plus conservation with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Oliver Hillel and numerous friends - indigenous and non-indigenous peoples - about the best ways to develop indigenous tourism. As a non-indigenous person myself, I ask what are the best ways that other non-indigenous peoples connect with individuals and communities who take pride in their indigenous heritage.

We started the work in early 2008 as I posted a query on the Planeta Forum to see how such an award could be developed. Discussion led to the first award in 2009 and continued in 2010 with the generous support of the Heidehof Foundation.

The award is presented to an indigenous tourism operation which has a website that promotes sustainable practices and educates visitors on cultural protocols and biodiversity conservation The objective is to showcase best practices in web-based technologies helping indigenous people manage tourism in a biodiversity-friendly way. The award also creates incentives for indigenous peoples to partner with other indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

A jury composed of six internationally recognized experts in indigenous and sustainable tourism picked their favorites and also invested quite a bit of time in spreading the word. Kudos to everyone involved!

To see examples of the Web 2.0 in action set in motion by the award, check out the ITBW Twitter List of nominees, jury and organizers. The list is updated automatically everytime one of the participants tweets! Another example is the Flickr album featuring the award's artwork and nominee screenshots. The album documents the variety of options employed by the nominees and the steady development of Web 2.0 skills. More than one nominee confessed that they were on the learning curve when it came to development a presence on Facebook and Twitter. To be honest, we're all on this learning curve and meetings such as the Reisepavillon and the Oregon Ecotourism Conference help us articulate a shared vision of how we wish to use this wired space.

CRITERIA

The Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award creates an opportunity for indigenous people and communities to improve their websites. Among the criteria for selection, the website should ...
* be regularly updated
* link to other relevant sites
* reflect indigenous ownership, authenticity and heritage
* encourage sustainable livelihoods, respect of life on earth
* be user-friendly
* be trustworthy
* provide clear contextual information
* have text in English
* add the award logo

Bonus points to applicants making the most of Web 2.0 channels, including Blogs, Facebook, Flickr, Google Earth, Slideshare, Twitter and YouTube.

HISTORY

Winners of the 2009 Award were Guurrbi Tours and Indigenous Trails. Details ...


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g Wish List for Responsible, Sustainable Ecotourism
g Native Notebook

 

ITBW Award @ Portland, Oregon


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