Responsible tourism: Conservation volunteering in the Amazon, Peru
We have one clear vision, to help create and sustain a more prosperous, fair and healthy Amazon for present and future generations. Harmonising conservation initiatives, social welfare and economic stability in a consistent manner is the ethos behind our organisation.
Wildlife: Our contribution to wildlife is huge. We currently protect over 643 hectares of forest in the most biodiverse place in the world. We finance a variety of conservation research programmes that involve both local and international students and we have created comprehensive registers of biodiversity. This year alone research undertaken with Glasgow University has led to the potential discovery of 5 new species of amphibians as well as 7 individual types of Jaguar - unheard of anywhere else in the Amazon. We also currently protect 13 species of endangered animals on our reserve. During the last year our bio-camera trapping recorded 655 different species within the reserve.
Buildings: Our lodge in the Manu Biosphere Reserve has been verified by the Rainforest Alliance for our commitment to sustainable practices. It was designed using sustainable principals and all the materials used are from sustainable sources. We also initially offset all carbon emissions for the buildings. The designs are based on local Machigenga tribe’s building style and we have unofficially been recognised by the Ministry of Tourism as one of the best lodges in the Madre de Dios region.
Carbon Footprint: As a charitable foundation we offset all our carbon footprint, up to the point where we calculate the carbon emissions produced from our office in London. Locally we share transport with other local operators to reduce carbon footprint. In all areas of operation, we are continually striving to improve our environmental sustainability, reduce our footprint on the planet, and support the flourishing of plant and animal life.
Travelling with respect: Due to the fact that we have been in the area for over 10 years, we have built up strong bonds and relationships with the local people and their communities. Many people from the local communities work with us, both in our office in Cuzco and at our lodge. Due to this visitors are able to engage with these communities and gain a deeper understanding of their culture and how they use the rainforest in their daily lives. The opportunity to share and improve understanding of the complexities of rainforest life is invaluable, to us and to our visitors.
Friends and Neighbours: Through our community development projects we have been able to build a strong relationship with our neighbours, and have helped to build around 70 biogardens for local mothers, who use them to grow fruit and vegetables for their children. We also plant agroforestry plots for local farmers to grow sustainable crops. We maintain priority and preference for purchasing locally which supports the region and the people who live there. We have built a strong relationship over the years with local people who are now associated with us.
A Fair Deal: We currently operate at 90% local staff and they are all paid above the industry average. We feel strongly about helping them develop a good solid career for them and ensure fantastic working conditions to aid this as well as career support to further them for the future.