I’m reading this report on the 10 best ethical destinations from Ethical Traveler.org Ethical Traveler is a project of the Earth Island Institute, based in San Francisco.
Being curious about why they picked the following Countries having just come back from Ecuador, which has recycling bins, tons of Eco- Lodges, Protected Environs and more. I can understand Costa Rica, but Bolivia?
Here’s their list:
- Costa Rica
- South Africa
Going to the website- this is what they base the list on:
Environmental Protection: In evaluating each country’s level of responsible environmental protection, we looked at clear indicators of environmental health, preservation of resources, and cultivation of beneficial, sustainable practices. Our two main resources are the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) Environmental Performance Index and the SEDAC Environmental Sustainability Index. Both are joint initiatives between the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network. The former uses indicators focused on (i) reducing environmental stresses on human health and (ii) promoting ecosystem vitality and sound natural resource management.1 Costa Rica scored particularly well, with a very high level of overall environmental health, excellent water resources, biodiversity, air quality, and sustainable energy. The latter index studies indicators of sustainability, resilience, and vulnerability on a national scale.2 The combination of the two indices allowed us to measure these countries against 427 separate indicators of environmental responsibility. Croatia, with its large percentage of protected eco-regions, was a top performer on this index. Also noteworthy was Argentina, with outstanding water quality and sustainable forestry practices.
Social Welfare: Another critical point we consider is the social welfare of each country’s citizens and visitors. Quantifying this is not a straightforward task. In order to gain the clearest picture of the situation, we combine well-respected resources with our own country-by-country research.
One telling indicator of social welfare is the mortality rate of young children. To understand mortality rates past and present, we researched statistics provided by UNICEF. Bolivia and South Africa had the lowest rates of infant mortality of our Top 10 countries. To measure the civil liberties enjoyed by citizens of each country, we used the Freedom in the World 2007 Report from Freedom House. Estonia and Bulgaria stood out in this ranking, with Chile and Costa Rica also receiving the highest possible score.
To gauge other important issues such as access to safe drinking water, sustainable water management, responsible sanitation practices, and agricultural management, we referred to the 2006 Human Development Report, compiled by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Perhaps surprisingly, Namibia was top-ranked in this category.
Human Rights: A number of sources were used to evaluate each country’s human rights record. Respected sources like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, and Freedom House were consulted to understand the challenges each nation has to address. Freedom House gave Estonia, Chile, and Costa Rica the highest rating in civil liberties. Reporters Without Borders found Argentina to have a very high level of Freedom of the Press, with Nicaragua close behind. Every country has human rights issues-but it was important for us to see efforts being made towards improving known situations and the preservation of basic human rights for all.
It’s interesting reading- and a great website for those who are into traveling sustainability, supporting Eco- tourism and countries that have a commitment to Sustainable Practices. Definitely Bookmark their page.