Welcome to the distinguished Regenerative Travel Impact Awards, where we unite to recognize those remarkable initiatives that have harnessed the power of conservation to restore, regenerate, and rekindle the beauty of our ecosystems. ” Their dedication has resulted in the revival of habitats that once teetered on the precipice of oblivion, the resurgence of species that were fading into memory, and the reaffirmation that the path to regeneration begins with the preservation of what is precious.
The “Conservation” award pays homage to the champions of our natural world, those whose actions reverberate through the intricate web of life and whose efforts bring forth the promise of renewal. This award honors projects that transcend boundaries, that weave humanity’s story with the narrative of nature’s resurgence. It celebrates the tireless work of those who have taken on the monumental task of restoring biodiversity, rehabilitating ecosystems, and safeguarding critical species on the brink of extinction.
The very fabric of our planet faces unprecedented challenges, the Regenerative Travel Impact Awards stand as a testament to our unyielding commitment to honoring endeavors that breathe life back into our ailing ecosystems. We celebrate projects and the unwavering dedication of visionaries who have embraced the spirit of regeneration with open hearts and resolute determination.
View the winner & finalists:
Building a Resilient Future with Song Saa Foundation‘s Holistic Approach to Conservation – Cambodia
The Song Saa Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2013 to protect the habitats of the Koh Rong Archipelago and improve the welfare of its communities. Song Saa’s accolades include Cambodia’s inaugural marine protected area, a significant marine park in Southeast Asia. The Boat of Hope initiative delivers crucial resources to remote communities, and their Waste Management Initiative combats ocean waste while empowering locals. Coral Restoration and Community Development initiatives nurture biodiversity and local stewardship. Melita’s approach respects each environment’s uniqueness, generating a co-creative model that harmonizes with existing systems for ongoing regeneration and conservation.
In the past year, the Song Saa Foundation expanded its impact, launching the Rainforest Protection project amidst the pandemic, safeguarding Cambodia’s threatened rainforests. Their marine conservation efforts led to the discovery of new coral species and the planting of over 2,000 coral fragments. The Foundation’s education program has integrated environmental education, fostering local conservation understanding and stewardship. A recent food sourcing project enhances sustainability, aligning with Song Saa’s commitment to environmental and social regeneration in Cambodia.
Within the Wild Commits to Protecting Nature with ‘Be the Wild Stewardship Project in Alaska – USA
Award-winning Alaskan adventure travel company, Within the Wild, marks 40 years in operation with the launch of the ‘Be the Wild Stewardship Project’. Recognizing the urgency to conserve Alaska’s wild landscapes, the Dixon family, who own and operate the company, focus on safeguarding natural environments and marine ecosystems. Amidst the threat of resource depletion due to development, the initiative seeks to ensure the preservation of wild spaces and species.
Since 1983, Within the Wild has offered transformative experiences in Alaska, operating Tutka Bay Lodge and establishments in Homer. Its ‘Be The Wild’ project emphasizes their commitment to protect Southcentral Alaska’s nature for generations. Recently purchasing land on Hesketh Island and Yukon Island for conservation, the project aims to prevent overdevelopment. Additionally, Be the Wild has secured a lease on 24 acres of old-growth Sitka Spruce Forest to ensure its integrity, while contributing funds to Alaska’s mental health projects. Guided hikes offer Tutka Bay Lodge guests a firsthand connection to this preserved land. Beyond land preservation, Be the Wild concentrates on ocean and marine wildlife conservation, supporting nonprofit initiatives and advocating for solutions to environmental issues. The company has procured land near the Gulf of Alaska for future donation to state parks.
The Marine Innovation Center is Pioneering Conservation and Restoration Efforts – Dominican Republic
The Marine Innovation Center, based at the Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic, is a pioneering force in conservation efforts. As an integral part of the Grupo Puntacana Foundation, the center is dedicated to safeguarding vulnerable marine environments and species from the impact of human activities. Diverse conservation initiatives collectively form a robust portfolio aimed at protection, restoration, conservation, and education. These programs encompass coral restoration and conservation, ornamental fish breeding, and sea turtle conservation. Staffed by skilled marine science professionals and local community technicians, the center continues its two-decade-long journey, poised to achieve even greater milestones in the years ahead. Recent advancements include a cutting-edge terrestrial coral nursery, expanded capacity for large-scale coral production, and the cultivation of critically endangered reef fish species. The center collaborated with international aquarists to enhance life support systems for a land-based coral nursery and marine laboratory. This technology ensures optimal conditions for cultivating reef-building coral species.
In alignment with its commitment to restoration, the center received a donation of 500 red mangroves from the Brugal Foundation. These mangroves were acclimatized and planted off the coast to restore priority areas. The center’s scope also extends to coastal engineering studies to counter beach erosion and citizen science events involving local divers, contributing to coral restoration efforts and educational initiatives. Through multifaceted programs, the Marine Innovation Center underscores its dedication to preserving marine ecosystems in the Dominican Republic.
Pioneering Pangolin Restoration: &Beyond Phinda’s Inspiring Conservation Efforts – South Africa
In the midst of the Earth’s sixth great extinction, marked by the Anthropocene epoch, efforts in regeneration, rewilding, and conservation are vital but gradual processes. Rewilding encompasses holistic ecosystem restoration, spanning from plants and animals to entire watersheds. Pangolins, often associated with Asia, face dire circumstances due to illegal trafficking driven by demand for their scales. Almost unseen, the world’s most trafficked mammals are being lost at an alarming rate
&Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, established in 1991, has committed to rewilding former farmland, exemplifying a strong conservation legacy. Through a pioneering partnership with the African Pangolin Working Group, the reserve has achieved a significant milestone: the return of the locally extinct Temminck’s Ground Pangolin. Over four years, the project focuses on rehabilitating and reintroducing pangolins rescued from illegal wildlife trade, closely monitoring their adaptation to the wild. These pangolins are equipped with tracking devices, facilitating detailed insights into their behavior and movements. The reintroduction initiative has seen the birth of wild-born offspring, marking a crucial step towards success. Continually expanding and evolving, the project represents a beacon of hope amidst pangolin conservation efforts. While the exact numbers introduced are withheld for security reasons, the project’s dedication to saving these remarkable creatures remains unwavering.
Explora’s Conservation Reserves is Where Exploration and Preservation Unite for a Sustainable Future – Chile
Explora, a distinguished exploration and hospitality company renowned for its exceptional travel experiences, celebrated its 30th anniversary as the World’s Leading Expedition Company in 2022. Operating across diverse South American destinations, including Atacama, Rapa Nui, Patagonia, El Chalten, Valle Sagrado, and Uyuni, Explora has pioneered remote area exploration. Recognizing the importance of preserving these pristine landscapes for its long-term sustainability, the company embarked on a strategic plan five years ago, giving rise to the innovative Explora Conservation Reserves project.
This visionary initiative addresses the chronic underfunding of fragile ecosystems’ conservation by acquiring lands for protection and allocating less than 2% for exploration and lodging. Through shares in the project, conservation-minded investors become Reserve owners, generating an endowment that ensures perpetual funding for both conservation and operational needs. Collaborating with The Nature Conservancy, a global conservation leader, and supported by Microsoft as a technology partner, Explora has successfully launched its first Conservation Reserve adjacent to Torres del Paine National Park. This 14,800-acre parcel, rich in Patagonian biodiversity and breathtaking landscapes, exemplifies the symbiosis of optimal operation, exploration, and conservation. With aspirations to impact over a million hectares worldwide, Explora’s pioneering model sets an inspiring precedent for sustainable conservation and exploration.