In a new series, Tomorrow’s Air teamed up with travel writer and supporter Chloe Berge to help showcase unique approaches and success stories in the realm of conservation - based tourism. In an era when discerning travelers are thinking carefully about which trips are really worth it given the emissions associated with many forms of travel, Chloe’s features in AFAR, National Geographic and many other mainstream publications helps remind travelers and itinerary designers about the benefits of developing experiences that drive tangible community and environmental benefits.
Scan Chloe’s list of conservation tourism standouts from the list below when planning your next trip.
Quiet Parks: The unique silence of parks recognized by Quiet Parks International. Quiet Parks International is establishing a network of quiet wilderness and urban parks around the world, as well as quiet hotels. With its set of testing methods and standards, QPI designates certain places around the world as quiet reserves. As Chloe observes, the absence of human-made sounds supports biodiversity conservation goals in many remarkable ecosystems around the world such as Hoh Rain Forest in Washington’s Olympic National Park, where the staccato of rain falls onto the arms of giant spruce trees, the yawning moonscape of Haleakala National Park in Hawaii, or Grasslands National Park in Saskatchewan, Canada, where sound is limited to the whisper of the wind as it carves through golden prairies. Learn more when you read the full article.
Rivers with Legal Standing: Consider seeking out some of these remarkable natural assets, highlighted in Chloe’s ‘rights of nature’ feature. In this article we learn about rivers and wilderness areas that have earned legal standing, with rights that are bolstered by the awareness generated by travel. “The right to flow, maintain biodiversity, be free from pollution, and to sue.” These are the legal rights of the Magpie River in Quebec’s Côte-Nord region thanks to the Innu First Nation people who successfully campaigned for it. Other rivers and places gaining legal standing and rights around the world in many cases thanks to indigenous leaders include:
As Chloe observes in her article, “Personhood raises the profile of natural landmarks by drawing attention to their beauty and cultural significance. In doing so, it builds a strong case for fostering a local economy aligned with conservationist values.” Tourism supports the economies in rural areas and generates awareness for their priceless natural assets. Danny Peled, owner of Boreal River Adventures summed it up for the Magpie River in Canada: “I don’t think they’ll have much success building another dam on the Magpie once [the river’s] better known.” Learn more when you read the full article.
Rewilded Landscapes: Rewilding means comprehensive, often large-scale, conservation effort focused on restoring sustainable biodiversity and ecosystem health by protecting core wild/wilderness areas, providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and highly interactive species (keystone species).
As the subjects of Chloe’s article on the topic note, “integral to rewilding’s success is tourism’s role in the development of a non-extractive economy that engages the local community. “Tourism here provides a means for livelihoods that are directly linked to the health of the landscape.” Do some good when you visit
British Colombia: Biosphere Destination. Welcome to the Thompson Okanagan region of British Colombia. In this newly recognized “Biosphere Destination”, you’ll find tall mountains, rolling hills, raging rivers, peaceful lakes, a dry desert, and a temperate rainforest. Biosphere Tourism is an international certification granted by the Responsible Tourism Institute and supported by UNESCO, and when travelers invest in experiences at these Biosphere. Chloe highlights a number of notable businesses supporting the certification in the region in her article:
Aysen, Patagonia. Here you can experience a restored ancient migration route. In the newly created Patagonia National Park, Chloe write that “condors wheel through the clean, blue sky, pumas prowl along tawny hills, and guanacos saunter through honeyed pampas.” Rewilding efforts here involved a combination of removing invasive species—in this case, 25,000 sheep and cattle that overgrazed the landscape—and reintroducing endemic fauna including condors and rheas (South American ostrich), and natural reforestation. As a result visitors can now hike or bike along the park’s trails, following in the footsteps of the nomadic Indigenous peoples who traveled through the region for centuries. Before colonization, Patagonia’s Aonikenk peoples and their ancestors traveled from Argentina into what is now Chile, hunting guanacos and rheas along their migration route.
Tourism can generate many benefits for our ecosystems. To counter its negative impacts on our air we can reduce our emissions and clean up the carbon dioxide already in the air. Join us @tomorrowsair.com
Links to full articles:
Why Quiet is So Important In Travel
These Rivers are Now Considered People
Rewilding Experiences Are On the Rise But Are They Making A Difference?
In B.C. A Regenerative Tourism Model