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City Environments

Directory of Participants


The online event had more than 30 active participants representing more than a dozen countries: Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, England, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain and the United States.


Many thanks to Rosalyn Salters for compiling this directory of the participants who took part in the 2004 Urban Ecotourism Conference.

REQUEST -- We invite your support for the conference declaration, translated into Spanish and Greek. The declaration is a collective response to a common challenge -- making urban spaces more liveable while protecting biodiversity.


Edna Aguiñaga
Occupation: Mexican Nature Conservation Fund
Location: Xalapa (Veracruz), Mexico
Place of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico
Background: Not much experience but more expectations of how things should be managed to allow for spaces in cities that allow people to interact with nature and interact with each other.

Ileana Alcocer
Occupation: Radio broadcaster, Radio Guadalupe
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Place of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico
Background: I'm interested in the environmental education applied to urban places. I think urban ecotourism is an alterative to promote the conservation and improvement of natural areas inside the cities. I host a web radio program about the environment.

Melissa Biggs
Occupation: University doctoral candidate
Location: Austin, United States
Place of Birth: North Carolina
Background: PhD student in anthropology at the University of Texas in Austin. I'm writing my dissertation about the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

Yaotzin Botello
Occupation: Reporter
Location: Berlin, Germany
Place of Birth: Mexico City
Background: Want to learn the concept then probably share my comments on the city I'm living in, which has develop great green spaces within the city.

Gerhard Buttner
Occupation: Geographer
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
Place of Birth: Cape Town, South Africa
Background: Having lived in different CITIES most my life (Cape Town, London and now in Oaxaca) yet as a keen visitor to remote nature regions (including 1 year assisting a rural NGO/community ecotourism project in Yucatan) the initially contradictory-sounding idea of Urban Ecotourism is very interesting. Most of my life I spent in Cape Town (including as tourist guide), which has a unique Mountain National Park right in the city and various other nature attractions nearby, and I realized it is in fact a prime example for potential and existing urban ecotourism.

Carlos Cappelini
Occupation: Tourism planning and management lecturer
Location: Florianópolis, Brazil
Place of Birth: Santo André, Brazil
Background: Planning tourism and recreation in urban parks. Maybe the right way to address my thesis would be Natural Parks in urban centers, rather than Urban Parks, because the study object is a park situated 20km far from Florianópolis city centre - the capital city of Santa Catarina state, which has a 2 thousand hectare park used for leisure and tourism.

Vernon Chow
Occupation: Village Acres Farm
Location: Rabinal, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala
Place of Birth: Ann Arbor, United States
Background: I lived in Boston for about 6 years, working as a transportation planner. At the end of that time I also volunteered for an organic farm about 6 miles outside town. I also worked with a group called Earthworks which maintained fruit trees and native plants in urban parks mostly in lower income neighborhoods.

Hilary Dailey
Occupation: Graduate Student studying Destination Management at The George Washington University.
Location: Penn Yan, United States
Place of Birth: Rochester, United States
Background: I am interested in sustainable tourism development.

Rachel Dodds
Occupation: Sustainable Tourism.Net
Location: London, UK
Place of Birth: Canada
Background: I used to work for an urban ecotourism organization where I helped to develop and expand its reach internationally through product development, marketing and partnership development.

Rodrigo Esponda
Occupation: Mexico Tourism Board
Location: New York, United States
Place of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico
Background: Empirical lessons (I worked in FONATUR) and some work at college (architecture).

Mary Finn
Occupation: Teacher, Conservationist, Consultant
Location: Naperville, Ill
Place of Birth: Richland, Washington, USA
Background: Worked for a few years in Ecuador, in environmental education & conservation, including helping a community-run ecotourism operation get started up (Santa Lucía). Prior background includes working/studying engineering/project management, business, environmental policy, and green building/indoor air quality issues. Other interests include use of renewable energy & low-tech alternate technologies.

Carolina Garcia
Occupation: Gijón Visitors and Convention Bureau
Location: Gijón, Spain
Place of Birth: La Coruna, Spain
Background: Gijón Convention Bureau Coordinator

Elliot Helman
Occupation: SF Hotel - Nonprofit Collaborative
Location: San Francisco, CA (United States) & Lake Malawi (Africa)
Place of Birth: Washington, DC, United States
Background: I have been working for almost 6 years with local organization, SF Hotel - Nonprofit Collaborative, an organization for networking of large urban hotels with local community non profit organizations to facilitate waste diversion through donation of discards and support via services in kind. Also former Environmental Specialist at SF Fairmont Hotel.

Susanna Horn
Occupation: Sustainable Ireland Co-Operative
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Place of Birth: Espoo, Finland
Background: My interest is the holistic approach into it, but if I had to pick special areas of interest, it would be waste, communal involvement and making the concept known to a wider public.

Peter Hutchison
Occupation: Journalist
Location: London, UK
Place of Birth: Near London, UK
Background: Occasionally write about sustainable tourism which is sneaking up on the urban areas.

Fernando Garcia Aguinaco
Occupation: Journalist and photographer specialized in travel.
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Place of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico
Background: Usually I relate the term ecotourism to travel away from Mexico City. But nowadays I found that most of travelers in big cities are a couple of days travelers. What better than offer to these citizens near options of real ecotourism?

Ron Mader
Occupation: Communication catalyst
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
Place of Birth: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Background: Journalist, host of

Antonis Petropoulos
Occupation: Director, ECOCLUB, International Ecotourism Club
Location: Athens, Greece
Place of Birth: Athens, Greece
Background: I believe in and wish to encourage Urban Ecotourism

Ana Pimentel
Occupation: Bed and Breakfast
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Place of Birth: London, England
Background: We work with sustainable project at Rio!

Angus Pratt
Occupation: Web designer and management consultant
Location: White Rock, Canada
Place of Birth: Keith, Scotland
Background: I spent 10 years promoting and developing ecotourism in Northern Saskatchewan. As I currently live on the edges of a large city, I realize that many of the ideas and principles that I promoted there have application here as well.

Zachary Rabinor
Occupation: Tour Operator
Location: San Diego, United States
Place of Birth: New York, United States
Background: Always interested in issues of sustainability and tourism. Do you have any lessons to share? Don't forget the tourists!

Allan Rhodes Espinoza
Occupation: Ecoturismolatino
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Place of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico
Background: I live in Christchurch in New Zealand and also study a Masters on Parks, Tourism and Recreation Management, for both reasons maybe I could share my personal experience in the Garden City.

Mike Robbins
Occupation: The Tourism Company
Location: Toronto and Collingwood, Canada
Place of Birth: Toronto, Canada
Background: I have a special interest and expertise in ecotourism or more sustainable forms of tourism. I have been fighting for the past 2 years an urban sprawl development in a World Biosphere Reserve (the Niagara Escarpment) and in an area now being considered by the government as part of a protected greenbelt around Toronto and would like to share this experience.

Rosalyn Salters
Occupation: Independent research contractor and dancer
Location: San Francisco, United States
Place of Birth: Albuquerque, United States
Background: My interest lies in the practical and efficient applications of all aspects of ecotourism, including that of urban ecotourism. I want to understand how to harness the full potential of this industry to meet the demands of modern society.

John Shores
Occupation: Consultant
Location: Palo Alto, California, United States
Place of Birth: Washington, DC, United States
Background: My academic background is in natural resource planning and conservation, and for the past four decades I have been working on environmental projects worldwide with a special interest in biodiversity, conservation finance, and ecotourism.

Antonio Suárez
Occupation: N/A
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Place of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico
Background: I work on urban ecotourism issues our consulting groups has promoted some urban and suburban parks

Vasilis Tsipidis
Occupation: Tourism planning and management lecturer
Location: Athens, Greece
Place of Birth: Athens, Greece
Background: My thesis revolved around urban ecotourism and nature appreciation on a Greenspace in Edinburg, Scotland. A summary of the thesis is uploaded on ECOCLUB.


g Evaluating the International Year of Ecotourism + 10 2012
g Tourism and Biodiversity 2010-2012
g Food, Health and Cultivating Communities 2008-2011
g Tourism and Climate Change 2008-2009
g Ecotourism Challenges Dialogue 2007
g City Environments 2004-2011
g Environmental Impact of Transportation 2003
g Sustainable Development of Ecotourism 2002

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