Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.

THE USE OF SILENCE TO HELP PRESERVE A CULTURE

When we think about learning a language, it would go a little something like; memorising, playing with the words and phrases in your mouth and then attempting to reproduce the sounds and noises in a similar fashion. The crew at 1770 LARC! Tours, however, have a different approach when it comes to educating their guests about the local Indigenous culture and languages. The team believe an important way for guests to grasp the area’s heritage and cultural significance lies in silence.

Operating in the Gladstone region of 1770, 1770 LARC! Tours’ owner Neil Mergard found engaging the local Indigenous people more than important:

1770 LARC Tours reflection

“We are based in the town of 1770 [which is] mostly well known for Lieutenant James Cook landing. Our surrounds and monuments all mark this day. Persevering to keep the traditional language alive is the least we can do, and if we do not do it, this pure and special language will get lost in history,” says team member Jessica Cooke.

A product formulated with local Indigenous community input and permission from Traditional Owners is the 1770 LARC! Goolimbil Walkabout Tour – a tour dedicated entirely to the local Indigenous culture. With a tour guide from the Gooreng Gooreng people, guests receive a theatrical experience and learn about the wonderful culture that lived in the area sustainably for tens of thousands of years. It is important to 1770 LARC! Tours that local tales, Aboriginal beliefs, translations and traditional hunting and gathering techniques are shared in an effort to preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and cultures.

 Ecotourism Australia_Kids Fishing 1770LARC! Tours

The whole team at 1770LARC! Tours agree that they feel incredibly privileged to assist in sharing local Indigenous language and culture with visitors. They believe a special aspect of the tour is learning about the power of silence. What does this mean? During a section of the guided bushwalk, guests are encouraged to remain quiet, to listen and to observe.

“Everything you need to know about your surroundings will become obvious,” explains Jessica.

“A bee will direct you to a hive, birds will tell you about rain, a bubble in the water will show you a crab. Taking the time to observe all the smaller things like this increases the awareness and appreciation of the very roots of nature. For people to start caring and looking after the earth, they first need to appreciate it.”

 1770 LARC Tours Banksia

We couldn’t agree more!

With the rapid loss of many of our traditional languages, people are often unaware of the creativity, beliefs and depth of intelligence of Australia’s oldest culture. It is so important to understand the ways of a culture that has lived at one with nature for so many thousands of years, and by educating guests and encouraging them to utilise the power of silence, the 1770 LARC! Tours’ team has highlighted how environmental conservation and cultural preservation go hand in hand. 

 

[Photos: 1770 LARC! Tours]

THE USE OF SILENCE TO PRESERVE A CULTURE

When we think about learning a language, it would go a little something like; memorising, playing with the words and phrases in your mouth and then attempting to reproduce the sounds and noises in a similar fashion. The crew at 1770 LARC! Tours, however, have a different approach when it comes to educating their guests about the local Indigenous culture and languages. The team believe the best way for guests to grasp the area’s heritage and cultural significance lies in silence.

Operating in the Gladstone region of 1770, 1770 LARC! Tours’ owner Neil Mergard found engaging the local Indigenous people more than important:

1770 LARC Tours reflection

“We are based in the town of 1770 [which is] mostly well known for Lieutenant James Cook landing. Our surrounds and monuments all mark this day. Persevering to keep the traditional language alive is the least we can do, and if we do not do it, this pure and special language will get lost in history,” says team member Jessica Cooke.

A product formulated with local Indigenous community input and permission from Traditional Owners is the 1770 LARC! Goolimbil Walkabout Tour – a tour dedicated entirely to the local Indigenous culture. With a tour guide from the Gooreng Gooreng people, guests receive a theatrical experience and learn about the wonderful culture that lived in the area sustainably for tens of thousands of years. It is important to 1770 LARC! Tours that local tales, Aboriginal beliefs, translations and traditional hunting and gathering techniques are shared in an effort to preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and cultures.

 Ecotourism Australia_Kids Fishing 1770LARC! Tours

The whole team at 1770LARC! Tours agree that they feel incredibly privileged to assist in sharing local Indigenous language and culture with visitors. They believe a special aspect of the tour is learning about the power of silence. What does this mean? During a section of the guided bushwalk, guests are encouraged to remain quiet, to listen and to observe.

“Everything you need to know about your surroundings will become obvious,” explains Jessica.

“A bee will direct you to a hive, birds will tell you about rain, a bubble in the water will show you a crab. Taking the time to observe all the smaller things like this increases the awareness and appreciation of the very roots of nature. For people to start caring and looking after the earth, they first need to appreciate it.”

 1770 LARC Tours Banksia

We couldn’t agree more!

With the rapid loss of many of our traditional languages, people are often unaware of the creativity, beliefs and depth of intelligence of Australia’s oldest culture. It is so important to understand the ways of a culture that has lived at one with nature for so many thousands of years, and by educating guests and encouraging them to utilise the power of silence, the 1770 LARC! Tours’ team has highlighted how environmental conservation and cultural preservation go hand in hand. 

 

[Photos: 1770 LARC! Tours]

GSTC Destination Criteria Revision: 2nd round of public consultation

We are currently revising the GSTC Destination Criteria (GSTC-D). Earlier this year we held a public consultation asking for comments on the existing criteria and inviting recommendations for improvements and additions. We are most grateful to everyone for their contribution. Based on the consultation we have proposed revised GSTC-D criteria, accessible here. From mid-June, […]

The post GSTC Destination Criteria Revision: 2nd round of public consultation appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

THE HUMBLE JOURNEY

You don’t just book The Frames for somewhere to lay your head, you book for the experience. Upon the peaceful banks of the Murray River in South Australia, you will find The Frames; a completely unique luxury accommodation experience. Often described as the perfect escape, The Frames offers beautiful architecture accompanied by an array of experiences; from flavour safaris to distillery visits, gondola cruises, massages and walking tours. The Frames has recently been recognised for their exceptional service within the industry and entered the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame for Self-Contained Accommodation. This is an incredible achievement for a business with such humble roots.

Cathy and Rick 

Going back to where it all began, The Frames is the vision and cultivation of Cathy and Rick Edmonds. The pair simply set out to create a luxury lodge style of accommodation that would highlight and embrace the beauty of the Murray River. Being descendants of three generations of families in the Riverland, the Murray River is a place they love so deeply. When asked what the early day of The Frames was like, we got one answer…tough! Bringing such a grand vision to fruition proved difficult. However, setbacks, hidden issues and all the usual roadblocks made their resolve even stronger and still powers the exceptional product they deliver.

The pair’s passion project soon became the established world class luxury lodge it is recognised as today, and it is Cathy and Rick’s commitment to providing guests with a second to none experience and always asking questions about how to make The Frames more efficient and adaptive to market trends that sees success for this business. The couple often seeks advice from experts about how to do things better, proving their trust in others’ expertise. They are never afraid to ask the big questions, particularly about caring for the environment and how they impact on it. With roots so deep in the region, the humble duo give all the credit to their team and those who have assisted them along their journey.

Capture pool Frames

When asked about the Hall of Fame achievement, owners Cathy and Rick say:

‘Winning this award means we are doing something right. It is a reward for all of the hard work the team at The Frames has put in and continues to put in to create an experience for our guests that is second-to-none’

When you visit a place that is so tranquil and beautiful, it is often easy to forget the efforts and struggles it would have taken to get the product to where it is today. Cathy and Rick say the three biggest lessons learnt over the years include the need to continue the fight, never losing sight of the goal and where possible, taking a step back and looking at what you’ve achieved with pride.

The Frames Accomodation

The Frames have held ECO Certification for close to a decade, proving their commitment to the environment and the local area. They are able to present the Riverland in such a unique way that they highlight its important natural and economic value to their guests. We are so proud of this team and thrilled to have had them as a part of our family for so long. Congratulations, The Frames, on such a highly acclaimed award and keep up the amazing commitment!

For more information about The Frames, visit their website.

INDIGENOUS TOURISM: BEST PRACTICE EXAMPLES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, and to celebrate, we’re delving into the world of Indigenous tourism and how this can support the preservation of cultures and languages. Whether or not you’ve already read our introductory piece on this topic, we thought we’d set the scene by sharing some best practice examples of successful Indigenous tourism projects from around the world. We’ll then be sharing some of our favourite Indigenous ecotourism stories from our own backyard through the Ecotourism: Celebrating Language and Culture series. For more information on any of the below projects, check out their websites.

Ecotomarapi website.Bolivia

TOMARAPI Eco Tourist Lodge, Oruro Bolivia

The Suni Uta Choquemarka, an Aymara indigenous group, is located in the heart of the Sajama National Park (Bolivia’s first protected area). The construction of the Tomarapi Eco Tourist Lodge was done in harmony with the landscape, using materials that did not harm the environment, including unique details in the facilities so that travellers can enjoy necessary creature comforts in their adventure in the altiplano. Tomarapi has local guides that will introduce you to the community and their customs. This community is helping with the conservation of Sajama National Park while at the same time the lodge provides the community with economic alternatives to reduce the migration of families and continue conserving biodiversity.

Find out more: TOMARAPI Eco Tourist Lodge, Oruro Bolivia

kapawi ecolodge Ecuador 1

KAPAWI Ecolodge, Ecuador

Kapawi Ecolodge was built following ecotourism principles, inspired by the “natural history of the area, including its Indigenous cultures, whose areas have been adapted for this activity in a spirit of appreciation, participation, and responsibility”. When it opened in 1996, Kapawi Ecolodge set the standards for community ecotourism in Ecuador, promoting practices that protected wildlife, generated local employment and empowered local communities. Kapawi Ecolodge was built respecting Achuar construction styles and using building materials from the forest. Energy is generated 100% from solar photovoltaic panels, while local building materials are still used to preserve the Achuar style. Many lessons have been learned over the years, including the need to develop community enterprises to ensure that local materials, like leaves for the roofs, are farmed in local communities to reduce the pressure on natural resources from the forest.

Find out more: KAPAWI Ecolodge, Ecuador

Ximena Alvis.Comida Raramuri Mexico

EXPERIENCIAS RARAMURI, Chihuahua, Mexico

The Centre for Responsible Travel (CREST) has been working for the last four years on a project funded by the Christensen Foundation and with two local organizations (CONTEC and Mano del Mono). The project includes two Indigenous communities, Huetosachi and Bacajipare, located near the rim of the spectacular Copper Canyon. The experiences offered to tourists here include participating in cooking and handicraft demonstrations with the women in Huetosachi and a variety of hikes and storytelling experiences in the canyon led by licensed guides from Bacajipare. One of the key lessons from this project has been the business model generation for tourism, focusing on the communities involved and taking the time to create with them their tourism experiences, negotiating with tour operators and respecting the culture and environment of the communities. The project has also attracted media, won several awards, and been chosen by the Chihuahua State Tourism Department as an outstanding example of responsible cultural tourism.

Find out more: EXPERIENCIAS RARAMURI, Chihuahua, Mexico

The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille.kenya1

THE SANCTUARY AT OL LENTILLE, Kenya

Opened in 2007 as Laikipia’s first lodge, The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille in Kenya features private villas and is a pioneering example of sustainable tourism, community partnership and world class architecture. The team, together with the local communities, has proudly created, conserved and protected over 40,000 acres of pristine wilderness.

Ol Lentille is a pioneering example of how private partnerships with the community can successfully work in Kenya. Tourism has greatly impacted and improved the lives of the local community with over 5 USD million being raised and invested in the community: building schools, hospitals and water sanitation projects. In partnership with the Maasai community, this project balances luxury travel and economic development with ambitious conservation and community development programmes.

Find out more: THE SANCTUARY AT OL LENTILLE, Kenya

Uganda community tourism

UGANDA COMMUNITY TOURISM ASSOCIATION (UCOTA), Uganda

UCOTA is the official umbrella body that brings together and advocates for the interests of community tourism groups in Uganda to ensure that the local tourist host communities benefit from tourism. To date, the association comprises over 70 member groups country-wide, representing 2,121 individuals of whom 63% are women. The groups operate small tourism enterprises ranging from traditional/ basic accommodation, interpretive guiding services and restaurants to craft shops, music dance and drama performances.

The impact of the community tourism group enterprises to the livelihoods of the locals is already manifesting through several community projects supported by the groups by way of responsible tourism, such as construction of clinics, schools, provision of safe water and literacy programs.

Find out more: UGANDA COMMUNITY TOURISM ASSOCIATION (UCOTA), Uganda

mulala.Tanzania

MULALA, Tanzania

The women of Mulala have united in the form of the Agape Women’s Group. Through this group, they try to support economic activities of the members and start new income generating projects, like the Mulala Cultural Tourism Programme.

The Mulala women offer different tours:

  • A tour of Mama Anna’s quaint cheese making unit.
  • A nice garden where you can relax and enjoy a beverage or a simple, traditional meal
  • Guided tours criss-crossing coffee and banana farms, walking through the forest reserve or by the Marisha riverbank and enjoying spectacular views of Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Also, you can visit the farms of the Agape Women’s Group. The women will explain their farming methods and show you the various economic activities they have started, like cheese making, bread-making, flower seeds, chill growing and sewing. 

Find out more: MULALA, Tanzania

3sister Adventure Trekking.Nepal

3 SISTERS ADVENTURE TREKKING, Nepal

Lucky, Dicky and Nicky Chhetri are three Nepalese sisters and pioneers in the field of female trekking guides. Since 1994, they have worked towards empowering women in Nepal through their trekking agency 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking and their NGO Empowering Women of Nepal. Entering an uncharted territory in the early ‘90s, no one would have dreamed of a Nepalese woman guiding a trek.

Breaking down social barriers, they created a training program through their NGO, Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN). This training program teaches local women the necessary skills for trekking and guiding. The success of these women has inspired others. Since 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking was established, close to 2,000 women from all over Nepal have completed the training. Many have become guides and/or gained self-confidence to find employment elsewhere. Their goal is to encourage women to become self-supported, independent, decision-making women.

Find out more: 3 SISTERS ADVENTURE TREKKING, Nepal

Sapa

SAPA O’CHAU, Vietnam

In 2010, Shu Tan, Founder, Sapa O’Chau started the Sapa O’Chau cooperative. This is the first boarding facility where youth could board and study at the government high school only located in town. Youth also learn English from international volunteers and get their tour guide licence after a course with an NGO.

Today, Sapa O’Chau runs on the same social enterprise principles on which it was founded: working hard and giving back to Sapa and all ethnic minorities. It is made up of five inter-connected pieces: the boarding facility, the hotel, café, the Hmong handicraft store and the tour operation. In 2016, Sapa O’Chau Travel won silver for World Responsible Tourism Award – Poverty Reduction and inclusion and a finalist for the Tourism for Tomorrow Award. The founder, Shu Tan, spoke at Ecotourism Australia’s 2017 Global Eco Conference in Adelaide.

Find out more: SAPA O’CHAU, Vietnam

 

Did you know?

If you want to get involved with Indigenous tourism in Australia, Ecotourism Australia offers a ROC Certification program. This program encourages the tourism industry to operate in ways that respect and reinforce Indigenous cultural heritage and the living cultures of Indigenous communities.

ROC certified tourism operators are committed to protecting cultural authenticity and integrity, developing sound business practices, environmental protection and acknowledging Indigenous people’s spiritual connection to the land and water.

 

A-Z OF EASY-TO-IMPLEMENT HOUSEHOLD SWAPS

Have you ever wanted to make a difference but not known where to start? You’re not alone. Thankfully, making a change through your everyday consumption, to reduce your impact and help the environment, is easier than you think. To give you some inspiration, we’ve created this quick A-Z reference guide on simple swaps that you can easily make in your everyday life. We’d love to hear if you’ve tried any!

Swap…

A – Aluminium foil for silicone baking mats

B – Body wash for a bar of soap. Often, these come package free!

Photo by Good Soul Shop on Unsplash

Photo by Good Soul Shop on Unsplash

C – (Takeaway) coffee cups for bringing your own mug or keep cup. Mason jars or insulated water bottles work well, too!

D – Diapers for cloth nappies

E – Electronics being on at the wall for 24 hours for electronics being switched off at the wall when you’re not using them

F – Food packaging for bulk foods. If you don’t live near a bulk foods store, purchasing (unpackaged) fresh fruit and veggies at your local market can also help you cut down on packaging.

G – Buying new gifts for considering regifting items that don’t suit you, and instead of buying gift wrap, try wrapping gifts using things you already have, like tote bags, scarves or newspapers.

H – Plastic hairbrushes or combs for wooden hairbrushes or combes

I – Paying too much for energy for insulating your home better

J – Buying jars to store food and other items for recycling jars you already have.

K – Your K-Cup coffee maker for a French press.

L – Your old lightbulbs for energy efficient bulbs and turn them off when you’re not using them

M – Conventional makeup for zero waste makeup. Here some recommendations.   

N – Chemical cleaning products for natural ones: make them or buy them, your choice.

O – Buying more for organising more – take inventory of what you already have and use it up before buying more.

Photo by Tracey Hocking on Unsplash

Photo by Tracey Hocking on Unsplash

P – Swap paper plates and plastic cutlery for real plates and real flatware next time you have a picnic

Q – Wondering about your carbon footprint for quantifying your carbon footprint. Here is an easy way to do it.

R – Plastic bottles for reusable ones

S – Single-use tea bags for tea strainers

T – Plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones

U – Using everything once for reusing things that have served their original purpose. Here are some great ideas!

V – Meat for more veggies! Here are some ideas.

W – Throwaway plastic dish clothes for washable fabric ones

eat me first box from inhabitat.com

eat me first box from inhabitat.com

X – Food waste for checking eXpiry dates. Pay attention to them and put perishable fridge items in a triage box in your fridge.

Y – Plastic yoga mats for bamboo, hemp, jute, or natural rubber mats

Z – to a Zero Waste Lifestyle, make the change!