Posts by jennywilliams

Sunscreen: Good for Your Skin, Bad for Reefs?

As if coral didn’t have enough to worry about – global warming, pollution and excess UV radiation now threaten 60 percent of the world’s reef systems – there’s a new menace on the block, and it fits in your pocket: sunscreen. According to recent studies, some of the UV filtering ingredients in sunscreen have been […]

New Report Says Thai Temple Misleads Visitors, Abuses Tigers

Despite its isolated location along the Thai-Burmese border, Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno Forest Monastery (the “Tiger Temple”) attracts up to 800 visitors daily. For 300 baht apiece (approximately nine U.S. dollars), tourists can pose for pictures with tigers and Buddhist monks. The temple – which has been featured on Animal Planet and Slate – […]

Ethical Travelers in Action: Getting Aid to Burma

Nora Dunn and Kelly Bedford, two Canadian travelers with a penchant for service, were in Chiang Mai, Thailand, when Cyclone Nargis struck Burma in early May. While the rest of the world watched in shock and horror as the death toll climbed and Burma’s junta blocked critical aid, Dunn (31) and Bedford (32) took action. […]

Great Ape Eco-Tourism Could Be Accidental Conduit for Deadly Viruses

The endangered mountain gorillas of Central Africa already face poaching, agricultural encroachment, and deforestation. Now there’s another threat to add to the list: two potentially fatal viruses that could be passed from humans to gorillas and other primates (including chimpanzees and orangutans) as easily as the common cold. HRSV (human respiratory syncytial virus) and HMPV […]

Pro-Tibet Protesters Face Violence, Detention in Lhasa and Kathmandu

In mid-March, just as the United States dropped China from its list of the world’s worst human rights abusers, police in Lhasa enacted a brutal crackdown against pro-Tibet demonstrators and monks. The protests, which started as a series of peaceful marches by Buddhist monks, called for Tibetan independence from decades of tyrannical Chinese rule. Once […]

Whale Sharks at Risk; Are Conservation Efforts Too Late?

The world’s largest fish—the whale shark—is among several species of migratory sharks recently singled out for protection by the UN due to severely declining populations and threatened status. At a December 2007 conference hosted by the Government of Seychelles, NGOs, fisheries and governments agreed “in principle” to promote conservation efforts for whale, basking, and great […]

Burma Lures Tourists with Reopening of Ancient Palace

In an attempt to entice tourists to the military-ruled country, Burma’s Ministry of Culture has reopened the Thiri Zeya Bumi Bagan Golden Palace. The palace—whose reconstruction began several years ago—is one of the most impressive remnants of the ancient city of Bagan, which flourished as a Buddhist center from the 11th to the 13th centuries. […]

China Bans Lonely Planet Guidebooks Over Maps of Taiwan

Travelers in China have long reported difficulties finding and holding onto Lonely Planet guidebooks for the communist country. Now, China’s ministry of foreign affairs has confirmed the banning of the LP guide over what it deems controversial content. The content in question is the treatment of Taiwan on maps: LP marks Taiwan as separate from […]

Plastic Ahoy! Texas-sized Mass of Garbage Sullies Seas, Endangers Marine Life

In the vast waters between Hawaii and San Francisco drifts a massive heap of debris dubbed, rather fittingly, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It covers an area larger than Texas, according to marine biologists, and is filled with—yes, garbage. Astounding quantities of trash—an estimated six kilos of plastic for every kilo of naturally occurring plankton—have […]