COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM AND ECOTOURISM IN CAMBODIA, TRAVELLING WITH IMPACT
When you make the decision to travel sustainably, you’ll naturally want to make sure that the projects you choose are sustainable and do make a positive contribution to the local communities here in Cambodia along with the delicate ecosystem and natural resources.
We’re constantly striving to lower our impact and increase our contribution to sustainability and we want to make sure that we are transparent in our efforts. It’s also important to us that we help all of our guests to travel sustainably – and to us that means helping you to ask the right questions and know what to look for, and what to avoid.
Just because a project has the word eco in its name, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s sustainable or enviromentaly friendly. As part of our commitment to helping communities develop sustainably, create jobs and employment, we only partner with organisations that work toward fully sustainable service delivery.
We hope that the questions below will help you to choose where to go and where to stay, while giving you a complete peace of mind that you made the right choice for you and your holiday.
THINGS TO CONSIDER AT COMMUNITY LEVEL
What is the impact on the community? We use a series of benchmarks which we recommend you consider as you plan your trip and decide where to stay and what to do.
Ask the following as part of your decision making process:
- Is the project community lead?
- Have employment opportunities been created for local people and does it address their economic needs such as livelihood improvement?
- Is some of the revenue used to build capacity so the project remains sustainable and can grow with the community?
- Does it provide training, mentoring and ensure gender equality?
- Does it support wider goals such as facilitating community access to education?
- Are measures taken to preserve social and cultural community values?
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND IN REGARDS TO WILDLIFE AND BIODIVERSITY PROTECTION
As you are choosing projects with a wildlife aspect – which is an important and popular part of tourism projects – take care to ensure that you are safeguarding those habitats you are privileged to visit. In order to assess with an option is truly sustainable, consider the following:
- Is the project in any way responsible for destruction or damage to natural habitats, through actions such as deforestation or logging?
- Is it likely the wildlife and its ecosystem may be damaged by your direct or indirect contact?
- Does the option you choose promote education and research and support protection programs?
WHAT IS THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM PROJECT OR ECOTOURISM IN CAMBODIA?
Many people associate the word sustainable with the environment, so we know you’ll want to be as confident as possible that you’re making a decision which safeguards the delicate, varied and under threat environment of Cambodia.
To help you make your choice, we recommend you look out for the following processes, impacts and benefits.
- Does your chosen project or resort take steps to minimize energy usage? Look out for initiatives such as methods of limiting electricity and water use and adoption of alternative and renewable energy sources such as solar power.
- Are there clear waste reduction and management efforts? Waste can have a devastating effect on the delicate ecosystem so consider whether measures are in place to minimise use of materials like plastic, including plastic bottles. What else is offered in its place? How much of the waste material generated is actively recycled? Look out for initiatives such as composting and use of organic waste for animal food.
- What measures are in place to ensure minimal carbon footprints? Look for things such as bicycles and walking in place of cars for short journeys. Are foods locally grown?