At Amazonas Explorer we take sustainability seriously and in 2007 we were proud to become the first and to this date, only Peruvian company to become members of www.onepercentfortheplanet.org
One Percent For The Planet is a global group of companies who realize that business and the environment are intrinsically connected. As such, we all have a responsibility to ensure the environmental impact of our actions and business operations are in some way paid back to this planet. As Yves Chouinard, founder of One percent and owner of clothing and outdoor equipment manufacturer Patagonia says - “There is no business on a dead planet”
All members commit to pay 1% of their turnover to sustainable projects to help combat global warming and encourage sustainable practices. Note: that is 1 % of your TURNOVER not 1% of your PROFIT and in tourism, trust me, that’s quite a chunk of cash!
So every time you purchase a trip with Amazonas Explorer, you will be directly donating 1% of the cost of that trip to a sustainable project here in southern Peru and here is more information on where it goes:
At Amazonas Explorer, for the past 3 years, we have decided to donate our 1% to a local Non Government Organisation called Ecoan. We have also been directly involved in the project to which our money goes to and Amazonas Explorer staff, porters, guides, cooks, children, friends and anyone else who is around on the day have participated in all the projects to date, an additional cost of which Amazonas Explorer is happy to bear, resulting in your 1% donation going even further.
Here is some more information about Ecoan.
Ecoan was started by Constantino Aucco, a naturalist guide and keen bird watcher who was worried that the deforestation of the high slope of the Andes was meaning various indigenous bird species were all but wiped out.
So by working with different communities in the Lares watershed in Southern Peru, not far from the tourist city of Cusco and the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, Ecoan plants native indigenous forests in the high Andes, identifying either reforestation projects or new areas to plant trees.
The way it works is Ecoan contact the communities and set a date for the reforestation, the seedlings are then purchased direct from Quishuarani, a small village in the Lares watershed or donated from Ecoan's nursery on the Anta plains near Cusco. By using Quishuarani, the plants are perfectly acclimated to the area they will be planted in and as a bonus the community earns hard earned currency for their ongoing projects.
On the day of plantation, the plants are all assembled and the whole community appears which can be up to 250 locals, all colourfully dressed in their traditional clothes. The deal is everyone gets paid a symbolic payment of 10 soles for a day's work so as long as you can walk and carry a tree you can bring the whole family - this way kids, parents, grandparents etc all get involved and a family of say 5 or 6 can earn a good amount for what to them is a relatively easy, fun and educational day out.
After an introduction speech in the local Quechua dialect (as very few understand Spanish) and basic instructions into how to plant these trees, the trees are divided, loaded on our backs and we head to the designated planting areas where the men dig the holes with their traditional shovels, the ladies plant the trees and the kids run backwards and forwards with the seedlings. That way, with a well organised community, it is possible to plant around 10,000 trees in a day. At the end of the day, there is a hot meal and refreshments provided for all the community workers who also receive a number of trees to plant in their homes, their pay for the day and then the trees are officially handed over to the community chiefs in a signed document.
In 2007 Amazonas Explorer planted 14,000 trees in the communities of Pampacorral and Tambohuaylla and in 2008 together with LATA (the Latin America Travel Association) and Grupo Inca (a business consortium from Arequipa, Southern Peru), a total of 40,000 trees were planted in the communities, of Huaca Huasi, Tambohuaylla, Patacancha and Pampacorral. The trees planted are Quenua trees, a slow growing native polyepolis, a type of cedar which in the future can be used for firewood and artisan work. We have also planted Aliseo, a native Alder tree where there is plenty of water as these provide the communities with quick growing straight trees for use for construction. Ecoan also provides medical kits and training for several communities, installs chimneys and ecological stoves and even provides firewood from sustainable eucalyptus forests in places where deforestation is seriously advanced.
In 2009, on December the 5th, we planted an additional 8,000 polyepolis trees together with the community of Pampacorral on the road to Lares and for 2010 we are planning to continue with both planting projects and other projects to help communities and local schools in both the Cusco and Lares valleys.
For more information on Onepercentfortheplanet, please click on the logo to go to www.onepercentfortheplanet.org
For more information on Ecoan, please visit their website www.ecoanperu.org