40 Ways To Sustainability
Big Five Tours & Expeditions celebrates the beginning of its 40th year. Since its inception in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1973, the company has been committed to what is today known as sustainable tourism practices; travel that fosters the preservation of our wildlife and cultural heritage and, equally important, the well-being of local communities.
To mark this year, we want to continue that tradition of caring for the planet by crafting an extensive blueprint for the future – a roadmap to a future based on the implementation of the three principle legs of sustainability - environmentally-friendly practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, and support for the well-being of local people.
And we want your help! Help us craft our 40 Ways roadmap, which will serve as the basis for a sustainable future.
We challenge you to share with us your best ideas, projects and examples using sustainable principles. Tell us about what you do as well as what you see other people and companies doing. Or, if you have an idea that you think is worth trying, let us know. Be creative and think beyond today. We will use the best ideas to help us create journeys of exploration that provide win-win solutions for both the traveler and the destination.
Four winners will be selected, one for each of these deadlines: May 1, Aug 1 and Nov 1, 2013 and Feb. 1, 2014. Each winner will receive a Google Nexus Tablet.
To win, you must have a minimum total of five ideas accepted in any one quarter by the judges: Mahen Sanghrajka, CEO of Big Five and chairman of the Spirit of Big Five Foundation; and Costas Christ, well-known sustainability expert and Ambassador-at-Large for the Spirit of Big Five Foundation.
Winning ideas will be posted here and on our social media. Enter as many ideas as you like.
Facebook – Use 40 Ways at the beginning of your post.
Twitter at #40Ways
You can also email your ideas to 40Ways@bigfive.com. Join us as we make way for the future!
Have a look at what Big Five is doing now.
The company is a sustaining member of Tourism Cares for Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization formed to preserve, conserve and promote the responsible use of the world’s natural, cultural and historic treasures, as well as to support education initiatives and research. Big Five is also a member of The Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC Partnership) which works to foster increased understanding of sustainable tourism principles and practices.
Big Five elects to work with companies, accommodations and suppliers who share our corporate philosophy of responsible tourism. In East Africa, for example, Kenya has for generations been ‘the’ safari destination. We have all heard about or witnessed scenes of a dozen vehicles surrounding one lion trying to catch a nap. How do we balance the needs of animals, local communities and visitors? Each segment is vital to the future survival of the animals, cultures and ecosystems of Africa.
We believe that part of the answer can be found in private conservancies such as the Selenkay Conservancy, adjacent to Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. This 15,000-acre private game reserve in the heart of Maasailand admits only 18 visitors per day. It is one of a growing number of conservancies leading the way in habitat conservation as one of the best solutions to help save Africa’s wild places and the animals that inhabit them for the future generations.
We are also looking at promoting and supporting destinations such as Namibia, which has sustainability written into its constitution and Costa Rica, which aims to be the first carbon neutral nation, among others.
Big Five Tours & Expeditions nonprofit Spirit of Big Five Foundation, is dedicated to
Supporting Sustainable Tourism for a Better Tomorrow. www.spiritofbigfive.org.
Formally launched in 2007 as a 501 3c nonprofit organization, the Spirit of Big Five Foundation seeks to broaden the scope and depth of support to conservation, poverty alleviation, education and healthcare in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.
The foundation grew out of the guiding philosophy of Big Five Tours & Expeditions, a leading luxury tour operator. It is a continuation and evolution of our commitment to responsible travel that harks back to its origin of Big Five in Nairobi, Kenya. The founder and CEO, Mahen Sanghrajka, became part of a group of tour operators who established some a code of ethics for safaris such as prohibiting smoking while on safaris, and forbidding guides and drivers to harass the wildlife. Today those ideas seems obvious, however, in early 1970s in East Africa, they were not.
The operation of the Spirit of Big Five Foundation is entirely funded by the Sanghrajka family, the founders of Big Five Tours & Expeditions. But many of our guests returning home from their journeys are also inspired to be part of the solution. We welcome guest donations, and the foundation guarantees that 100% of any donation made goes directly to project(s) selected.
We support select projects and programs around the world, demonstrating how tourism can play a positive role in protecting nature and sustaining the well-being of local communities.
Foundation funding for projects operates in two ways. First, it makes direct donations to charitable organizations, including humanitarian assistance during natural disaster, such as the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Secondly, it also disperses small project grants to grassroots non-profit organizations that meet its funding criteria.
Primary goals of the Spirit of Big Five Foundation are:
- Conservation and protection of biodiversity, wildlife and natural habitat consistent with sustainable tourism practices.
- Support for poverty alleviation and community development, including capacity building, education, and healthcare in tourism destinations.
- Support for cultural heritage, archaeological and historical preservation in and around tourism destinations.
- Promotion of sustainable tourism principles and best practice
Join us as we seek out solutions that positively impact the world today and our children’s world tomorrow.