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Hello World: National Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil

Hi, I am Dr. DAAN VREUGDENHIL, aka the “PARKSMAN DAAN”, a lifetime conservationist with a PhD in conservation ecology and CEO of the World Institute for Conservation of Nature and Environment, (WICE). For 40 years I served organizations like the World Bank, the United Nations, the WWF and other international organizations as an advisor on establishing and improving national parks systems in many developing countries. A tireless traveler and explorer, over time, my passports accumulated entry stamps of more than 80 countries and usually my boots hit the trails of at least one, and often several national parks in almost every country I visited. Two decades ago, WICE initiated an ecolodge in the Amazon in Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Ecuador and a few years later I became part of the polar Plancius cruises, now Oceanwide Polar Expeditions.

What often struck me on my travels, was the fact that national parks in developing countries are so often ignored by tour-operators. Many have a tendency to take you to the more convenient places in secondary forests, where everything is conveniently organized for you, while denying you the spectacle of the most beautiful nature, the most spectacular wildlife and the best birding the country has to offer: its national parks. So when those outfitters pretend they help preserve nature with their ecotour, in reality, they don’t, because their tours compete with visits to national parks, where the really important nature is. They don’t let you visit those parks, because they prefer you to spend time on their property or in other areas with which they have an economic relationship, while those areas have little conservation importance for conservation.

That is why I decided to start organizing exiting new ecotravel destinations to national parks worldwide as well as to ecocruises to insular paradises. Whenever possible, these “National Parks Tours” as I call them are combined with the cultural highlights of the country. These National Parks Tours help you explore the world’s best wild places and cultural highlights in a sustainable way. Guides are the backbone of ecotours, and wherever our tours take you, the guide has been selected to be knowledgeable about birds. Why birds? It is my experience, that a guide who knows about birds, knows about nature, while not knowing the birds usually indicates that the guide knows little or nothing about nature.

I intend to post regularly about themes of my professional interest; not just about travel.

Our other websites:

https://www.cuyabenolodge.com (which is our lodge)

https://www.cofanlodge.com (also our lodge)

https://www.parks-and-tribes.com (our travel agency in Ecuador)


Follow me on social media:






https:// twitter.com/CUYABENOLODGE

https:// twitter.com/WorldParkTours

About Parksman Daan

Hi, I am lifetime conservationist, "Parksman Daan" Vreugdenhil, and spent 45 years dedicated to conservation of nature and the environment. Currently I am promoting NATIONAL PARKS TOURISM. I worked both tropical and temperate regions where I accumulated experience in a variety of fields: multi-disciplinary management and planning of natural resources, seas and marine coasts (incl. scuba reconnaissance), multiple-use fresh-water systems, forest ecosystems, environmental impact assessments, GIS forest cover and ecosystem mapping, environmental monitoring systems and databases, ecotourism development and sales. As a student, I became Project Officer of the International Youth Federation for the Conservation of Nature, IYF, in 1969. After graduating as and ecologist, I joined the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO, in 1974, for whih I worked on projects in Ecuador and Benin. From 1979, I worked myself up to the level of senior administrator with the Netherlands' Ministry of Works and Water (Rijkswaterstaat, Dutch equivalent of the USA Corps of Engineers), where I was responsible for three different water management programs over a period of 10 years: The Wadden Sea, Water monitoring and management of the River Rhine. In 1992, I joined the Inter-American Development Bank, IADB. In 1989, I founded the forebear of the World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE, at first to provide ecotourism services in support of conservation, which in 1995, expended to integral conservation support, when I became its full time director. My assignments spanned Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. For the Vth World Parks Congress I led the IUCN task force on: “Comprehensive Protected Areas System Planning And Monitoring”. I designed the first computer based protected areas analysis tool, “MICOSYS”, in 1992 for the World Bank, which includes a protected areas costing module for both investment needs and recurrent costs. With 10 years of high level government financing in the Netherlands, and 20 years of data collecting and financing analysis of protected areas systems of the world, I became a leading authority on protected areas planning, management and financing. Currently, I have taken it upon me to promote visitation to national parks, particularly in developing countries, but gradually also in developed countries as well.

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