Ethics and Philosophy of Eco-travel
Culture and nature are the greatest treasures of our civilizations – they are our heritage. But both are in danger of disappearing, washed away by a flood of homogenizing development – nature has to give way to business and exploitation of resources that have sustained local populations for eons. Previously rich biodiversity hotspots are fading under the increasing pressure of climate change and industrialization that threaten the vibrant and verdant life in these endangered places. As we watch nature disappearing in front of our eyes we begin to realize its beauty and fragility – and the need for protection.
Sacred Earth Travel believes that ‘all the earth is sacred’ – and that we must protect its fragile balance.
I believe in treading softly on the earth – whether at home or while travelling – conscious living is a way of life.
I believe that close contact with nature can heal the battle wounds of civilization that are inflicted on us by the stress of our busy lives.
And I believe in the transformative power of travel – always a journey that takes place in both the outer and the inner world – as a way of reconnecting with the spirit.
I believe that eco-travel not only provides a superb way to become immersed in nature, but also offers great opportunities to help protect it for future generations. At its best, it can facilitate real, close-up encounters with the natural world, and connect us with each other.
Eco-travel also offers a direct means of supporting conservation efforts at a local level. Ecotravel ventures often involve collaborative efforts between local communities and eco-travel companies, thus providing a sustainable source of income, which actively supports the conservation of nature and helps local communities that otherwise might be forced to move to the cities or earn their living from destructive practices (e.g. cutting down the forests, cash crop agriculture, gold mining, etc.).
Numerous ecolodges originally started off as scientific research stations and many continue to work on scientific research and conservation projects alongside their eco-tourism ventures. The future of their important work is secured by the visitors, who come to learn about their research and in some cases, there are even opportunities for visitors to get involved.
Thus, instead of being entirely dependent on funding from official sources (which, as we all know, is continuously cut back), they can generate some of their funding while also giving insights into the fragile ecology of their particular corner of the world. Eco-travel, when done right, benefits all involved.