EcoBurma is a non-profit project run by the Czech non-governmental organization Burma Center Prague that seeks to promote responsible travel to Burma through innovate awareness-raising and capacity-building. Encouraged by the NLD’s recent declaration in support of responsible tourism to Burma, we have developed the project based on our experience with awareness-raising about traveling to Burma.
- Empower People: We want locals in Burma to have the capacity to identify issues related to tourism and the strength to defend their rights.
- Contribute Stories: We want to change the way people travel to Burma by raising their awareness. We won’t achieve this through classroom lessons, but through stories from travelers and locals.
- Own Your Choices: We want you to make an informed decision about your trip to Burma, in every detail. The choice is yours.
Why we started the project
The discussion as to whether foreigners should travel to Burma or not dates back to at least the 1990s. What triggered our latest activities related to the issue of traveling is not so much the 2010 elections that consolidated previous power structures under a democratic guise, but the growing understanding that tourism is a tool that, if properly deployed, can bring about change.
Most approaches to responsible travel focus on the “First World” side only, trying to change the behavior of tourists and the products offered by tour operators. We are following a different path by capitalizing on the fact that storytelling is a universal skill, as old as humankind, that forms the core of all cultures. To this we add a good portion of capacity building because we believe that the empowerment of the people in developing countries is crucial for them to be able to engage with us on the same level.
Our project is driven by the following objectives:
- Facilitate contact between locals and foreigners in a climate of mutual respect and willingness to learn about the other culture.
- Promote human rights, labor rights and environmental protection in the tourist industry, during both the establishment of the industry and its subsequent operation.
- Promote non-discrimination in regards to ethnicity, gender, religion, and social class.
- Promote transparent business and an equitable distribution of wealth.
- Promote the welfare, safety, and legal security of those Burmese who live in areas that are not accessible by tourists or who have had to emigrate.
- Promote a free press and a strong, independent and skilled civil society that is able to monitor and evaluate tourism to Burma and to defend the rights of the people.
- Promote awareness, both in Burma and abroad, about the situation in all parts of the country, the living conditions of Burmese refugees, and the impact of tourism.
Unless noted otherwise and unless another author is mentioned, content on this website is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs, allowing others to download works and share them with others as long as they credit us (and, if applicable, the respective story’s author) together with a link to www.ecoburma.com, but they can’t change the content (text or images) in any way or use them commercially. Photos and texts from external authors may have their own license, so please double check at their sources.
This project was devised and established from own sources by Christoph Amthor, a co-founder of Burma Center Prague. Many thanks go to my volunteering colleagues for translating and editing the pages and stories and for supporting the idea.
I am obliged to the Fair Travel Association in Finland for the impulse and to the StoryTravelers for opening my eyes to innovative methods. I would also like to thank the authors who have contributed free stories and images.
Advertising and Flattr buttons
Revenues generated by advertising and Flattr buttons below the stories will be solely used for charitable activities of Burma Center Prague, including EcoBurma. Flattr is a way of paying tiny amounts to any content provider on the web. People have the possibility to use their own Flattr button in their comments. Funds received through Flattr are considered a remuneration for the content of an amount at the payer’s discretion.
Please note that the stories published on this website do not necessarily represent the opinion of its operators and editors at EcoBurma and Burma Center Prague, but the positions of their authors. The same applies to comments.
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This project is supported from resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within its Transition Promotion Program.