Being responsible travelers!

Times change, even more so these days, and even the old adage "take only pictures, leave only footprints", doesn't ring true any more!

Many of the worlds natural areas, are becoming increasingly spoilt by their popularity, a catch 22 situation it seems, thousands of visitors, even with the very best intentions, and keeping to the marked trails, are eroding the ground with the continuous foot traffic, and taking flash photography can also be damaging in some cases, especially in caves.

National Parks and other areas of conservation are doing their best to conserve the landscape, sometimes limiting the numbers of visitors to a delicate area, and maintaining the thousands of miles of trails and tracks, which all has to be funded somehow, so never begrudge paying for the privilege to visit these areas, and if it is free, leave a donation, so future generations can continue to enjoy them too!

Here is one attempt to reduce the impact at Cradle Mountain NP, a floating boardwalk built by the Parks & Wildlife Services in Tasmania, 7 km of easy walking through a very delicate and beautiful landscape.

Carbon offsetting is another way to do your bit for the environment, I'm not sure how much it helps, but it does have some feel good factor to it! Most offsetting involves the planting of new trees, I love trees, so I'm feeling pretty good about my carbon footprint, as I have planted many thousands of them during my time working in the British countryside, and if you would prefer to plant one too, I'm sure there is a conservation organisation near you, that can help you do just that!

I am a huge fan of BBC nature programs, especially those narrated by David Attenborough, the latest of which is the Planet Earth series, which in my opinion is the very best ever filmed! I have purchased the complete series on DVD, and would highly recommend it to everyone, it would be hard not to be amazed by the sheer scale and fantastic filming of some of the most remote places and rarest of creatures, some you will never have seen before!

The last of the 5 CD set, contains 3 programs looking back on the enormity of the project, and the profound effects it had on the many BBC film crews it took to make it. Personal accounts of the difficult conditions they had to endure to bring us unforeseen footage of rare animal behaviour, plus the sobering thought that they may never be filmed again, as extinction looms ever closer!

They also talk in depth about the very touchy subject of people verses nature, where do we draw the line between the needs of the growing population and conservation?

Michael Palin Buy Now

Saving the worlds rainforest's is another very touchy subject, it is easy for us in the modern world to sit in our comfy homes surrounded by technology, to say that they must be saved at all costs, and they should, but I have talked to some of the people living in the Amazon jungle, and if the choice is between feeding their family or cutting down a tree, well, you know what the answer is going to be?

This type of deforestation is sustainable, I saw this lone Brazil Nut tree in the Amazon, looking a little lost stood by itself, but I'm sure it produces enough food for it to be valuable enough to not be cut down, it is the mass destruction and clear felling that is the problem, the profit going to a select few and not even back into the community. The excuse used is always the same, "we need the pasture for cattle!", and having flown over a huge area between Sao Paulo and Manaus, it almost brought me to tears to see how much was lost!, miles and miles of featureless fields, with maybe the odd tree here and there, one word describes it better than most.....................rape!

We need to act now to save what is left, not just for ourselves, but for everyone, now and in the future, all rainforest's everywhere are the lungs of the world, it would be pretty difficult to live here without air, wouldn't it?

Please show your support by watching the video and signing the Prince's Rainforest Project widget with the green frog, below this post or on my homepage, it's the least we can do!!

Carbon Advice Group

Teach English Abroad

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