Responsible Travel Policy and Guidelines
CERES global is committed to making trips as environmentally and culturally friendly as well as sustainable as possible. Every country we visit is very different, from Arnhem Land and Victoria in Australia to China, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Samoa and Timor Leste internationally. Therefore different languages, cultures, customs and political situations make planning and managing trips a diverse experience. There is no one approach.
Our cultural and sustainability policy aims to go beyond eco-tourism to use a ‘Learning for Sustainability’ method that is made up of two key branches. The content and narrative of the trips (programs); 2, the daily experiences and practices of the trips (practices).
Programs – Content and Narrative
All CERES Global visits and engagements are designed to educate and engage participants on global cultural and environmental issues by learning about the challenges that our host countries face and visiting local projects that empower local people to create culturally relevant and sustainable change in their communities. We aim to support genuine friendship building between participants and the host communities including ongoing contact, support and sharing that results in capacity building for the local community and a mutual exchange of world changing ideas that are sensitive to local issues.
Practices – Daily Experiences
Everyone has a role to play in fostering good tourism. Governments, business and communities are all important, but as a guest you can make choices for change in the right direction. We can influence things such as the products and services we select, making decisions based on knowledge gained from local information and multiple visits and the way we choose to interact as a group with the environment and people around us. But there are some things we cannot influence, as sustainable products and services may not be available and participants that come on trips are also responsible for their own behaviours and consumption habits.
Sustainability Code of Conduct
Travel and tourism is best planned and experienced as a means of collective fulfillment. When undertaken with an open mind, it is a fundamental component of self-education, mutual exchange, understanding and learning about the diversity between people and cultures.
Travelling with an open mind to other cultures and traditions will transform your experience.
CERES Global Responsibilities
- Economic empowerment: Empowerment of local communities through tourism to help improve education, health services, water supplies and sanitation whilst also reducing dependence on non-sustainable livelihoods such as deforestation.
- Ecological impact: Providing opportunities for participants, where possible, to reduce their ecological impact.
- Carbon offsetting participant flights: CERES Global trips are Carbon Offset, through Pitchandikulam Forest and WithOneSeed
- Transport: Booking, where possible, more sustainable forms of transport
- Local transport: Using local public transport wherever we can to reduce fuel usage per passenger.
- Local services: Engage locally-owned and operated services thereby supporting local people and avoiding long and carbon-intensive supply chains.
- Purchasing: Where possible consider the life cycle of the product and their impact in the local context. Endeavour to reduce the ’embodied energy’ (energy consumed through production and transport) of the food and goods purchased by our passengers.
- Food: Where possible eat at locally owned eateries where the food has been locally sourced, therefore reducing food mile emissions and supporting local economies. Providing only vegetarian meals in most locations.
- Water Conservation: Support initiatives that encourage conservative use of water. Educate participants on local water uses and issues (many of the places we visit have limited access to and supply of water)
- Water bottles: Access to safe and sustainable sources of drinking water is our first priority. Where possible we provide bulk water to refill water bottles or filtering options. We encourage our participants to avoid unnecessary purchasing of bottled water and the subsequent waste disposal. The production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. Therefore for every 1 litre of water sold, 3 litres of water is used.
- Local employment: We use local leaders and guides so that we learn about the culture and way of life directly from those who live it and put money into local hands and economies. In particular, we learn from indigenous rural communities about their relationship to the land and their sustainable practices.
- Recycling: Provide travellers with awareness on how they can practice principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and appropriate waste disposal at their destination. Many of the countries we visit don’t have waste disposal infrastructure set in place that deals with waist in a healthy or environmentally sound way.
- Learning: Foster a culture of learning within the group from locals, traditional elders and ancient knowledge.
- Try to minimise purchasing bottled drinks
- Be aware of the products you take with you including soaps, shampoo and conditioners, insect repellents, clothes washing products etc and choose natural biodegradable products wherever possible.
- Be wary about toilet paper use and girls think about disposal of sanitary products
- Be water wise!
- Think about the type and amount of transport you use each day – when are you responsible for these things. Much can be seen from walking!
- Think about the products you dispose of and where they go in the country you are in. Many countries we visit don’t have waste disposal infrastructure set in place that deals with waist in a healthy or environmentally sound way.
- Try to learn as much as you can about the community you will be visiting so that you are aware of cultural norms and different ways of behaving.
- Learn some language. Even a very small amount of local language can go a long way and demonstrates respect and an active interest in the country you visit.
CERES Global News
Reflections from an Explorative Journey in India: Nalika’s Story on Rethinking Community Development
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This post was written by John Burne, originally posted on our Jamnya Housing project blog after visiting in March 2016 A bumpy road through beautiful teak forests. Arrived to a warm welcome and immediately saw [...]