Found: Island Paradise, Wanted: Tribe to Fill It

Still looking for that summer vacation? Dreaming of tropical paradises with beautiful beaches and that feeling of being in harmony with nature? Ben Keene and Mark James of Tribewanted think they've found it near Fiji, and they want to share it with 5,000 other people. By filling the island with a small tribe of time-sharing residents, they hope to create a vacation spot that protects, rather than competes with, the island's ecosystem and local tribal culture. Climate-neutrality, through both design and offset, is one of the major goals, and it starts even before arriving on the island - all members are expected to offset the projected carbon emissions of their flight through Climate Care, a habit the Tribewanted team hopes will be spread by example to other vacationers. All building projects planned for the island are low-impact and easily disassembled, so that in three years' time, when the agreement between the native tribal landowners and Tribewanted is reviewed, the village can either remain or be taken down, leaving the island as it was.Perhaps the greatest impact of the project is its efforts to mainstream eco-tourism. Tribewanted is reaching out not just to the traditional environmental activist or cooperative community member, but to the average adventure-seeking member of the public, to show that supporting local communities and the environment is well within their reach already. And it seems that the press – and the public – are listening. [Written by: Eva Jacobus]