The world has an unfortunate problem. In many parts of the world we are successfully reducing our carbon footprint dramatically, through cleaning our electricity generation among other improvements.
Unfortunately, in our current setup, often the only way to pay for conserving the wild places on our planet is by visiting them, and for most people, this requires long-distance flights.
Something we must avoid in more wealthy countries is to simply halt all tourism to wild places. If in order to cut a few tons of carbon from our personal emissions, we remove the reason to conserve a large rainforest in Africa or Asia, can we really blame the locals when it gets cut down? In theory, money does indeed get sent to some of these countries to pay for offsetting our emissions. Unfortunately this rarely reaches people on the ground.
For the majority of wild places on earth, government’s around the world have turned to tourism to fund it. If in the West, we simply cut all wildlife tourism we could merely accelerate the biodiversity loss. If this happens particularly in forests it could vastly outweigh the savings we make. How can see deal with this contradiction? Certainly any long distance travel should be offset, as well as making sure to drop in on as many wild areas, so as to benefit and support as much conservation as possible.
We hope to simplify this process, and increase the money coming to wild places allowing them to continue to thrive as wild place – but benefiting the people who live around them so that the wilds are valued.