There is rightly much focus on the carbon footprint of our travels, in particular that of flying. Conversely, there is not enough emphasis and talk on the positive experience of travel, both to the traveller and the communities and environments in which we travel.

Travel gives us a greater understanding. It creates awareness but importantly engages us:

Tell me and I forget,

Teach me and I remember,

Involve me and I learn.

Moreover with a focus on local communities, travel assists those communities to help protect the biodiversity in which they live. The biggest challenge facing our planet is the loss of biodiversity.

Later this year, I will travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo in search of bonobos in the lush, dense canopies of the world’s second largest rainforest. My travels will support the work of organisations such as the Africa Wildlife Foundation and the Bonobo Conservation Initiative that are working with local communities to connect a network of nature reserves to be managed by the people who live there. This model creates sustainable sources of income for local communities and a safe habitat for bonobos and other endangered animals – all while protecting the Congo Basin from rampant deforestation.

Make your handprint bigger than your footprint.

Thanks for reading

Justin Wateridge

Author: Justin Wateridge