Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, which in turn makes it one of the largest polluters. Globally, our increasing appetite for travel contributes around 5% of greenhouse gas emissions and the majority of this is due to the actual getting around, be it planes, trains or cars. To offset this, perhaps your next adventure could involve conservation of some kind?
Coastal areas are home to some of the richest and most fragile ecosystems on earth, but they are also the most visited by tourists. To commemorate World Oceans Day, here are 5 trips that will have a positive impact on you and the local environment which you visit. Whether you’re an ecologically-minded traveller or not, these are unforgettable, eye-opening experiences which you’ll no doubt enjoy and learn from.
What: Protected Hawksbill Turtles
Where: Jamaica Inn, Jamaica
When: August to October
There’s no doubt that the threats posed to our oceans span the entire globe. In Jamaica, the Caribbean reefs are in decline and surrounding marine species are in need of protection. Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios has its very own resident turtle expert, Mel Tennant, who has spent many years working on The Oracabessa Turtle Bay Project and Sanctuary and is always on hand to answer any questions and share his vast knowledge of this endangered species. He works tirelessly to ensure there is a protected fish sanctuary off the waters of Jamaica Inn and that the rich ecosystem here have the best chance of survival. From August to October turtle season is in full swing and guests can participate in turtle hatching sessions, helping a nest of baby turtles make their way safely out to sea.
More than 15 nests and approximately 6,000 recorded hatchlings per year can now be seen along the shores where Jamaica Inn is located. The hotel has also partnered with the White River Fish Sanctuary, a grassroots effort which transplants a fast-growing coral called staghorn along a fringe reef near the hotel. Guests can embark on glass-bottomed boat tours to observe the fresh growth as well as all of the colourful fish which reside here in their newly restored homes.
Written by Eva Ramirez. See full length article on other conservative travel locations to visit while on holiday here: