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Naturetrek & SustainableTourismAt Naturetrek we have achieved AITO's 5-star SustainableTourism accreditation and have always tried to operate ourholidays in an environmentally responsible manner,striving to contribute to wildlife conservation and habitatpreservation at all times. Our detailed, 12-pageSustainable Tourism Policy may be found on our website.Alternatively, we will gladly post you a copy on receipt of acheque for £2 - or more! - made payable to the charity'BirdLife International'. The document catalogues ourcontribution (both financial and operational) to sustainabletourism and conservation; it states our own 'ST' policy,and it suggests guidelines for you - the tourist - tofollow whilst on holiday. Please take the time to read itcarefully! Just visit is a tour company run by naturalists for naturalists.Unsurprisingly, all of us have an acute interest in conservation;wildlife and wildlife tourism, and the need to ensure the long-term protection of species and habitats, being such animportant part of our lives. In the national parks and wildliferegions that we visit, we support small, locally owned hotelsand lodges and the local guides and other staff in theseareas. Other aspects of our holidays that allow us, hopefully, tominimise environmental impact include: our operation of small groups (4-16, average 10, clients); our preference forexploration on foot, rather than by vehicle, wherever possible;our use of local naturalists (where possible, rather thanimported guides); our preference for small, locally owned,specialist agents/ground operators with a wildlife/conservation bias and sympathy; and our ensuring benefit,and employment opportunities, to local communities - soimportant when developing wildlife tourism in remote areas.To fly, or not to fly? Make travel count ... There is no doubt that Wildlife Travel is responsible for its shareof damaging carbon emissions. It does, however, providesubstantial benefits which, we would argue as conservationists,make a strong case for wildlife enthusiasts to continuetravelling. After all, if we are not bringing our custom to thenational parks, wildlife reserves and the wilderness regions ofthe world, many of these areas, especially in developingcountries, will simply disappear . and with them their wildlife.Not only does wildlife tourism support rural communities inimpoverished nations, but it supports them in the ability topreserve their natural and wildlife heritage for their futuregenerations who, hopefully, may have the wealth and leisureopportunities that we have today to enjoy their natural heritage.Staying at home may slow the rise in the world's temperaturesand sea levels, but it will have little value if we lose the best ofthe world's national parks and their wildlife in the process! Further, it is the climatologists, conservationists and otherscientists on whom we are reliant in putting pressure ongovernments to act. Yet from where do these experts draw theirfacts and inspiration? From travelling! It is through travellingthat we learn about, and learn to love our environment. Stoptravelling, and just who is going to care? Whilst global warmingdoes threaten us and the world's wildlife, there may also bebonuses. Global warming gives the world an incentive and anurgency to plant trees and, above all, to save our rainforestsfrom the logging and the fires that ravage and, especially in thecase of the latter, add hugely to carbon emissions - movesthat can only benefit our wildlife and their habitats. So, wewould argue, if you are choosing to travel, 'make travel count',and make sure that you, and your travel company, are off-setting all emissions that relate to your journey. Better still, ifyou off-set over and above your current journey's emissions,you'll be contributing to the off-setting of emissions resultingfrom previous journeys you have made! Financial assistance for conservation causes?Naturetrek's financial contribution to conservation causes hasincreased over the years with the growth of our business, andstands at a total of around £398,681 to date. This has includedlong-term partnerships with Butterfly Conservation since 2002(raising £78,600), with the Environmental Investigation Agency(raising £53,503 between 2000 and 2011) and with theZoological Society of London (raising around £14,000 between2005 and 2008). On behalf of some of these conservationorganisations Naturetrek operates a range of fund-raising tours(brochured herein). Other partners in such fund-raising ventureshave included BirdLife International, Friends of Kew and theBiscay Dolphin Research Programme (now MARINElife).Naturetrek's 9-year sponsorship of the annual BritishBirdwatching Fair has also raised over £55,095 for the worldwideconservation causes supported by the Fair. Further, Naturetrek isa pioneering Corporate Sponsor/Partner of a wide range ofconservation organisations, including BirdLife International,Butterfly Conservation, the Oriental Bird Club and African BirdClub, and has made numerous donations and gifts to assist theconservation work of these, and such other charities as BirdConservation Nepal, Sociedad Española de Ornitología(SEO)and the former Ethiopian Wildlife ConservationOrganisation.Another beneficial by-product of Naturetrek's operation of wildlifetours arises on account of the company's need to advertise inwildlife and conservation magazines worldwide to generatebusiness. Of a spend of approximately £175,000 per annum, alarge part is spent with such notable conservation organisationsand charities as the RSPB, RSPCA, the RHS, Plantlife, theWildlife Trusts, and numerous other smaller publicationsdistributed by wildlife charities.We strive to Carbon Balance each Naturetrek holiday Please make it Carbon Negative!Since 2007 Naturetrek has been making contributions towards neutralising the carbon emissions of our holidays atour expense, and this policy continues for all of our 2013 holidays. To do this we currently donate to the World LandTrust, £15 for every person booking a long-haul holiday with us, and £5 on behalf of each of our short-haul travellers.The World Land Trust (, a highly respected charity with a growing profile, then invests thismoney in the purchase and protection of threatened tropical rainforest, in so doing not only helping to lock up carbonthat would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, but also protecting valuable habitat and its endangered wildlifein perpetuity.While our donation goes towards off-setting the carbon emissions from your flights, we invite you to match ourpayment to the World Land Trust and therefore contribute towards off-setting some of the emissions resulting fromother aspects of your holiday (airport transfers, coach travel, lighting, heating, etc.), perhaps even ensuring that yourholiday is carbon negative by means of a more generous donation.Since 2008 Naturetrek has raised £125,333 in this way. Of this, £70,000 has already enabled the World Land Trust (incollaboration with its Ecuadorian partner, Fundación Ecominga) to purchase and protect an additional 235 acres ofcritically endangered forest for the Candelaria Reserve in central Ecuador, and the remaining funds have beenearmarked by the World Land Trust for further forest purchase in this area as soon as current negotiations have beencompleted. This new land will help to link together the Llanganates and Sangay National Parks on the eastern slopesof the Ecuadorian Andes.Naturetrek was one of the very first British tour operators to encourage its clients to contribute towards off-setting theircarbon emissions, having been doing so since 2000. However, we also believe that we are one of the few touroperators contributing ourselves towards the cost of off-setting every customer's flight emissions, in addition to off-setting all emissions from both our office operation (electricity, heating, staff journeys, etc.) and the flights of our staff.Spectacled BearAmanda's BlueNaturetrek&SustainableTourism

Since 2007, Naturetrek has donated almost£70,000 to the World Land Trust (WLT), aconservation charity facilitating thepurchase of some of the world's mostbiologically important and threatened forestsboth for the benefit of endangered wildlife andthe environment as well as to prevent climatechange. The funds raised by Naturetrek, bymaking a donation on behalf of every clientbooking a Naturetrek holiday, are specificallybeing used to purchase and protect one ofEcuador's most threatened habitats, the Andeancloudforest. By helping to protect this rich habitatthat otherwise would have been cut down andburnt, Naturetrek is preventing the release of itsstored carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,therefore helping to mitigate the negative effectsassociated with the air travel used on our tours.With the money we have raised so far, FundaciónEcoMinga* (working with WLT) has purchasedtwo 100-acre Naturetrek Reserves to protect thethreatened cloudforest adjacent to the CerroCandelaria Reserve in central Ecuador, the threereserves all being located within the Llanganates-Sangay corridor and the aim being, through thepurchase of contiguous reserves with financefrom Naturetrek and other investors, to create asubstantial corridor of protected cloudforest tolink two important national parks, the LosLlanganates and Sangay.Ecuador is a biodiversity hotspot due to theextraordinary number of species found within itsmany different habitats, including mammals suchas Spectacled Bear, Highland Woolly Monkey,Mountain Tapir and Andean Coati, and such rarebirds as Emerald-bellied Puffleg, PeruvianAntpitta, Greater Scythebill and Chestnut-bellied Cotinga. All are under pressure from forestclearance and only 20% of the country's originaltropical forest cover remains. The easternAndean region, where Naturetrek has purchasedland, is one of the most threatened due to therelatively high human population density. Its highbiodiversity, together with threats from humandisturbance are key reasons why WLT andFundación EcoMinga have identified this regionas one in need of special protection. The area isvery rich botanically and, in recent years, a newtree species and 16 new species of orchids havebeen discovered in the area by a team ofbotanists led by Naturetrek tour leader Lou Jost.Indeed, in recognition of Naturetrek's contributionto the preservation of this unique area, one of thenew orchid species is to be named afterNaturetrek!The Naturetrek ReservesThe first Naturetrek Reserve was purchased withNaturetrek funds in 2010. Now a second reserve- the 103-acre Naturetrek Reserve Extension -has been purchased using Naturetrek funds withthe aim of creating a cloudforest corridor betweenthe Cerro Candelaria Reserve and the PastazaRiver. This corridor will facilitate the movement ofwildlife, especially larger mammals such as theMountain Tapir, Spectacled Bear and Puma.The Naturetrek Reserve Extension supports amixture of primary and secondary cloudforest.The area is a rich centre for plant endemism and,excitingly, contains over 190 plants foundnowhere else on Earth. New species continue tobe discovered and on the new Naturetrekproperty it is thought that locally endemicLepanthes(a large genus of orchids which derivetheir name from the Greek for 'scaled-flower'),and the recently discovered Blakea attenboroughiitree, which was named after WLT's patron, SirDavid Attenborough, are likely to be present.The most important mammals for conservation inthe area are Mountain Tapir and Spectacled Bear.Mountain Tapir footprints and Spectacled Bearclaw marks were both found by an EcoMingaranger who recently visited the new NaturetrekReserve Extension. This is an excellent sign thatoccurrences of the two mammals on the site arenot rare. In addition, two locally rare species ofmonkey, the Red Howler and White-frontedCapuchin, are also present. Charismatic birdsrecorded in the region include the Cock-of-the-rock, the Black-and-chestnut Eagle and the GiantAntpitta.Further Land Purchase & TourismPotentialNaturetrek has already set aside an additional£80,000 in readiness to purchase a furtheradjacent plot of cloudforest in the region, forwhich EcoMinga is in negotiation, to movetowards the goal of completing this cloudforestcorridor. We also hope to develop wildlifetourism, and awareness of its value, in the localtown of Baños - a 30-minute drive followed by a2-hour walk from the Naturetrek Reserves. Weplan to offer an extension to this fabulous area,led by Lou Jost (of EcoMinga) and David Mills (ofNaturetrek), following our Wildlife Festival inEcuador (see page 11) in September/October2013 (please call Andy Tucker on 01962 733051or email for details).For more information on the Candelaria Reserve,how you can help fight climate change and aboutthe rest of World Land Trust's importantconservation work, please visit their website*Fundación EcoMinga was founded in 2005 and is based in Baños, Ecuador. The organisation's aim is to efficientlypreserve biodiversity in Ecuador. WLT and Naturetrek have been working with Fundación EcoMinga since 2007.Sobralia luerorumBlack-and-Chestnut EagleMountain TapirNaturetrek purchases two 100-acre reservesto protect Andean cloudforest in Ecuador13