Responsible Travel - Conservation through responsible sustainable tourism
Think Birding Ecuador passionately believe that sustainable and responsible travel to some of Ecuador’s richest birding areas has a key role to play in helping conserve these areas and their species. Responsible tourism is our most important commitment. All of the holidays that we organise are guided by its central principles – that our visit can and should benefit the local community and wildlife, that we should leave places as we discovered them and that our visit is so much more than a holiday; it is a chance to learn more about the cultures, landscapes and ecosystems you visit and their conservation value.
How we support conservation initiatives in Ecuador
- We choose to visit nature reserves thereby positively contributing to the conservation of these vulnerable areas and the important species dependant on it. The presence of tourists reinforces the importance of these protected areas to the local people.
- We endeavour to use lodges which are either run or managed by a community or when privately owned having sufficient community members actively participating in their lodge and reserve. Tourism when done responsibly can create a viable alternative to logging and cattle ranching.
- Throughout the holidays our guides encourage a greater environmental awareness, whether of the landscape itself, the wildlife or the people and cultures that you will experience.
- We aim to use local guides when possible to increase local income generation.
- Our trips are designed with small groups to lessen the impact.
- We encourage visitors to offset their carbon emissions and reduce their carbon footprint for their travel.
In the UK
- In the UK, we minimise our pollution by working close to home, reducing our use of paper and actively recycling.
- Both William and Fiona Perez help organise and implement ‘Rainforest’ days at local schools to stimulate interest and raise awareness of conservation issues affecting these regions as well as raising funds for conservation organisations.
Supporting local organisations/communities
For each guest that travels with us we will make a contribution on your behalf to our chosen conservation project. We are currently supporting the conservation of the Santa Lucia Cloud forest Reserve, made up of 780 hectares of high montane forest. This community have struggled to find economic alternatives in order to take the pressure off these forests being deforested. It has been a long process and one in which we have been personally involved over the years. Education is a key factor and through having their ecotourism lodge people have realised the importance of keeping their forests intact. They still have much work to do and we absolutely believe in their long-term goals and would like to help towards this by donating £10 for every guest that chooses to travel with us.
Carbon offsetting with Rainforest Concern
In a bid to reduce the impact of our travel on the environment, we recommend that all of our guests offset their estimated carbon emissions through Rainforest Concern, a UK based charity, which protects endangered habitats and species. Rainforest Concern has set up a programme called Forest Credits to run and manage their carbon offset projects. These projects use funds from carbon offsetting to protect threatened tracts of forest from destruction, helping protect the biodiversity of the area and creating a lasting environmental legacy.
The first of these dedicated carbon forestry projects is in the Neblina Reserve in North West Ecuador. This area of cloud forest is located in an area under threat of deforestation from cattle ranching and road building. The cloud forest project is part of a larger project run by Rainforest Concern called the Choco-Andean Corridor Project, which aims to connect protected forest in one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world.
For a long haul flight Rainforest Concern recommends a donation of £20, and £5 for a short haul flight. We can simply add this amount to your invoice and set this up for you directly.
Tailor-made Birdwatching & Conservation Trips
If you are interested in visiting areas of special conservation interest, we would be delighted to put together a specialised itinerary for you to visit shade-grown coffee, sustainable development, education and forest protection projects. This trip could be designed for a combination of bird watching and conservation.
More Information: Click here to find out more about our tailor-made birding watching holidays in Ecuador.
Telephone 01964 552292 for more information or email us today.