Keynotes, Workshops and Field Sessions Announced as Bonito Brazil Prepares to Host Ecotourism Influencers from Around the World Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism Conference April 27-30, 2014

25 February 2014

Washington, DC –  Passionate advocate and world renown thought leader on issues facing sustainable development, Lelei  LeLaulu  wil be a keynote speaker at the Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism Conference ( ESTC 14) in Bonito, Brazil, April 27-30, 2014.

Also confirmed as a keynote speaker is earthrounder, traveller, birdwatcher, environmentalist and author Margi Moss, announced  Kelly Bricker,  chair of The International Ecotourism Society`s ( TIES) today.

`While Bonito, as an award winning  ecotourism destination, is inspiring to the rest of the world,  our goal is to bring many inspirational thought leaders and presenters to ESTC 14, and continue the legacy of profound dialogue and learning we always strive for at our conferences,’ says Bricker.

The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC 14), now in its eighth year, is TIES’ annual conference. A leading platform for industry stakeholders engaged in ecotourism and sustainable tourism, the ESTC 14 aims to strengthen commitment to the recent UN resolution, "Promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection", which recognizes tourism's role in sustainable community development efforts, and features ideas, opportunities and solutions for the tourism industry to assist in conserving natural areas, alleviating poverty, empowering women, enhancing education, and improving the health and well-being of local communities.”

Kicking off Sunday, April 27, 2014, registration for ESTC 14 is US$495.00 for members and US$595.00 for non members. The full conference program takes place in Bonito (or 'beautiful' in Portuguese) also known as the capital of ecotourism in Brazil. Located in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Bonito is part of the Serra da Bodoquena, a carbonate plateau on the southeastern border of the Pantanal. The wildlife is abundant and diverse due to the location of Bonito on a tri-junction of three major biomes of Brazil: the Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna),Pantanal (wetlands wilderness) and the Atlantic Rainforest.  In 2013 Bonito was honoured with a World Responsible Tourism Award at the World Travel Mart in London.

Delegates will enjoy hearing from Lelaulu, who  convened the World Bank symposium on sustainable tourism and oceans in Washington DC in 2012, the Pacific and Climate Change Adaption Roundtable in Samoa in 2009 and spoke at the Davos conference on tourism and climate change.  He is a special advisor to the World Bank for Agriculture and Environment, a member of the Advisory Panel for Business and Sustainability for the International Finance Corporation, and chairman of the Earth Council Alliance.

Margi Moss, who has roots on 3 continents, is one of the most well traveled people in the world. With husband Gerard  she has flown around the world in a single-engine aircraft and visited the four cardinal points of the American continent. Since 2003, the Moss team has focused on a key natural resource: water. Their innovative projects “Waters of Brazil”, “Seven Rivers” and “Flying Rivers” aim to promote a better understanding – amongst adults and children – of the importance of water to society whilst highlighting the connections between forests and rain, communities and rivers, clean water and healthy living. Margi is just back from completing two legs of an overland journey by Land Rover, from Europe to Mongolia and latterly Vancouver to Panama.

Outside the four walls of the conference, delegates will be given the opportunity to explore the area and choose between a number of curated field sessions:

  • Snorkeling the Rio da Prata, a natural “aquarium”
  • Seeing the Macaws fly at Buraco das Araras- once a illegal garbage dump now home to 100 beautiful red and green macaw and many other birds
  • Dive and snorkel the Lagoa Misteriosa
  • Snorkeling the Sucuri river
  • Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at Estancia Mimosa
  • Anhumas Abyss Radical Adventure
  • Exploring the Blue Lagoon Cave – a Brazilian Natural Monument
  • Ybirape Tree Canopy Tour
  • Behind the scenes tour – Bonito as a responsible tourism destination
  • Fazenda Sao Franciso –farming and conservation
  • Pantanal Park Road
  • Serra do Bodoquena National Park
  • Boca da Onca Waterfall Adventures
Full details of these sessions are also available at

Also announced are the pre-conference workshops which include the Global Sustainable Tourism Councils annual meeting and destination partnerships workshop ( April 25 & 26) , Authentic Ecolodge Planning & Design Workshop ,  Travelife Training Seminar: Sustainability for Tour Operators,   and Crisis Management Workshop, all to be held the day prior to the official launch of ESTC 14,  on April 26.   More information and registration for the pre-conference workshops may be found at  and range in price from $50 USD - $150 USD for full day sessions.