At World Discovery we strive to operate our holidays in an environmentally responsible manner at all times. Whilst tourism can bring great benefits to countries in the form of employment and education, we must also be aware of the possible negative impact - erosion of cultures and landscapes, exploitation of local people - and do our best to ensure that our own contribution is both positive and beneficial.
In the United Kingdom, World Discovery supports Friends of Conservation (FOC), a charity founded in 1982 to tackle the threats facing wildlife and habitat throughout the world. For further details, visit their website at www.foc-uk.com.
Friends of Conservation have a portfolio of projects which aim to reduce carbon, including their own planting and alternative programmes in Africa. They also support other NGOs with similar aims and objectives, including the World Land Trust, who acquire and protect rainforest, for example. When flying abroad, why not compensate for your flight emissions by donating towards the FOC carbon reduction programmes. 100% of your donation goes to the project specified. Please go to http://www.foc-uk.com/calculate.asp for more details.
BANA BA LETSATSI
When you book a World Discovery Botswana safari that includes stays at the Ker & Downey camps, a small donation is made on your behalf to Bana Ba Letsatsi, established in 2004 with the mission of supporting vulnerable, orphaned and at risk children living in Maun. There are over 200 children on the register; these children are registered as they have either never been to school or dropped out, suffer sexual or physical abuse, are orphaned or lack parental care, beg, work underage, abuse drugs.
As part of World Discovery's commitment to responsible tourism practices, we are International Tour Operator members of the Travel Operators for Tigers campaign (TOFT). This is a global travel industry initiative which aims, in cooperation with the charity Global Tiger Patrol, to advocate, catalyse and support a more responsible and sustainable approach to tourism in India’s wildlife reserves, together with supporting specific conservation and local community programmes which benefit the local villagers and the wildlife within the parks you visit as part of your itinerary with us.
For further details please view this website : www.toftigers.org
The four Porini Camps, all situated inside conservancies, are exclusive small eco-friendly tented camps that accommodate a maximum of 20 guests. The camps consists of 6 to 10 spacious tents situated under acacia trees, comfortably furnished, lighted with solar power, with water-saving safari showers and flush toilets. Porini Camps pay a monthly rental that increases annually, and which is also responsible for paying entry fees to the community for all visitors entering the conservancy. The income from the camps is used to manage and improve the conservancies, pay the lease and tourist entry fees and pay salaries of the camp staff and the conservancy rangers and workers. The camps and conservancies currently employ over 100 members from the communities with take-home wages significantly higher than the country average. There are over 1,000 Maasai families who are directly benefiting as a result of the conservancies. As a result of the community receiving direct benefits from wildlife there has been a change in attitude towards the concept of wildlife conservation. The community members have given their positive support to conservation and there is no snaring or harassing of wildlife within the three conservancies. The members see the wildlife as a resource which belongs to them and are enthusiastic about encouraging wildlife to move into their conservancies. They also recognize the vast improvement in vegetation and grass cover within each conservancy which is now a valuable source of controlled grazing for livestock during severe drought periods. www.porinisafaricamps.com.
JETWING ETERNAL EARTH PROGRAMME
World Discovery's Sri Lankan agents Jetwing Travels are a family-owned company who have been in the industry for nearly 40 years and who are one of the pioneers of eco-tourism in Sri Lanka. Jetwing believe that tourism cannot exist in isolation and only works well when a complex and intimate relationship with the local community strikes a harmonious balance. The Jetwing Eternal Earth Programme (JEEP) is the umbrella term used for all community and nature-based projects as well as sustainability initiatives undertaken as a responsible tourism initiative by Jetwing. JEEP is split into the following four sections – Community Outreach Initiatives, Sustainability, Eco Projects and Humanitarian Programmes.
LANJIA LODGE, CHIANG KHONG
Our first choice hotel in the town of Chiang Khong, close to the Laos border, is the Lanjia Lodge, an eco-friendly, community-based lodge nestled on a hill above the Mekong River. One of the lodge's principal aims is to improve the quality of life of hilltribes in the area and the staff at the lodge are mainly local Hmong and Lahu villagers. Contributions from your stay will be used on community projects that improve the local living conditions, education and healthcare programmes.