Mission – Long Version
The summary on the homepage is the short and sweet version of what this site is a part of. Namely, the idea is to give you an exceptional personal experience with an exceptional tour operator who has an active understanding and appreciation of conservation. Here’s the long version with a bit of my history and personal opinions. Tourism will be used to mean tourism that benefits the environment and the local community.
About Me – Ash
Hi, I’m Ash and I founded Thinkjungle.com. I was born and raised in England where I spent most of my time as a child chasing insects and spiders around, being fortunate to travel, and watching nature documentaries. I have a B.Sc in Biology, an M.Sc in Zoology, extensive adventure and travel experience, experience in the tourism industry, and a love of tropical environments and their wildlife. I enjoy finding out about latest research in life sciences and reading books. To date, my favorite authors are Jared Diamond, Edward Wilson, Matt Ridley and Christopher Hitchens.
That’s me, now these are some aims of TourTheTropics and Thinkjungle.com. And if you can offer any help e.g. tour operator suggestions, voluntary article writing or anything else, please leave comments below or send me a message.
- Aim: Associate with the world’s best tour operators for the Amazon Rainforest to give you a fantastic experience raising appreciation for tropical environments.
Motive: Tourism, if properly orchestrated, limits destructive activity like logging and other non sustainable-extractive industry i.e. charging tourists to see the forest rather than cutting it down to source income. To be optimal, tour operators need to employ and involve local communities in the operation. However, even environmentally aware tour operators that for some reason don’t optimize the eco potential by maximizing involvement of the local community still serve to promote the area and its threats to an international level. The benefits of tourism include providing communities with a non extractive way to source income, promoting the area to international level, providing tourists with an enjoyable and life changing experience, and demonstrating to governments that sustainable tourism generates more income in the long term than harmful and extractive processes, hopefully leading to tougher enforced legislation against harmful extraction.
Status: In Progress.
- Aim: Protect threatened habitat with notable and efficient land protection charities for every tour booked using Thinkjungle.com.
Motive: When all environmentally aware tour operations are associated with, there will still be habitat out of reach of most tourists. This habitat if unprotected is up for grabs for logging, mining, hunting and over harvesting. The benefits are that tourism can still be used to protect threatened habitat even when tourism isn’t directly taking place in that particular region or habitat.
Status: In Progress.
- Aim: Write accurate web-based articles on rainforests, tropical environments, and tropical wildlife including photos with help from volunteers with backgrounds in life sciences.
Motive: To advertise above tour operations combined with current lack of accurate and informative web articles accessible to everyone that provide information on tropical environments. To raise understanding, fascination and passion of tropical environments. The benefits of writing articles are that they help educate new generations about the importance of tropical conservation. Accurate information from peer reviewed journals is best. The benefits are that the gap between the release of scientific discoveries and their circulation within public knowledge can be reduced. More people thinking means more solutions to different problems. For example, is de-horning rhinos a good idea? Yes it will stop poachers, but aren’t rhino horns useful for mate attraction and defense of offspring? Time will tell.
Status: In Progress.
- Aim: Orchestrate family planning education and funding for Amazon Rainforest regions by expanding tour operators’ community outreach programs.
Motive: In tropical regions, over harvesting of resources and habitat loss are threatening a wide range of species. Local extinctions in places like the Tahuayo region near Iquitos, Peru, will be caused by non sustainable hunting. Not just a global problem, over population is already stressing local communities e.g. the ribereño community of northern Peru. Increased population means all threats to wildlife are multiplied. If men and women had the education and means to decide on the size of their families, it would lower population increase, meaning a higher quality of life and reduced stress on local wildlife populations. The benefits are that it will give people, and more importantly give women, the means to control how many children they have.
Population Reference Bureau currently display no consistent family planning initiative in the Amazon region. Map above.
Status: Initial Stages.
- Aim: Establish new site from Thinkjungle.com to apply lessons and begin initiatives for tropical regions as a whole. Separate into independent departments with a specific focus.
Motive: Tropical regions contain the majority of life on Earth and are also home to developing nations. These areas would benefit from environmentally aware tourism operations to inject foreign revenue into local regions and education initiatives to increase quality of life for local communities. The benefits are that the focus won’t simply be on the Amazon Rainforest but all tropical environments.
Status: Initial stages.
- Aim: Establish education programs on environmental awareness and family planning in local schools, colleges and universities using orchestrated volunteer groups.
Motive: Educate generations that will assume future roles about the importance of conservation and population growth and how to control and limit threats to quality of life and species extinction. The benefits are that new generations can correct the mistakes of their parents and know of long term cause and effect learning from past mistakes and current knowledge.
Status: Not started.
- Aim: Organize volunteers to pick up non biodegradable material in certain Amazon area.
Motive: This is more personal observation and untested theory. With the above programs in place for environmental education, volunteers will pick up discarded items around the community etc. and establish waste collecting facilities aboard all public transport. Locals in Amazon regions will have been familiar with biodegradable material that can be discarded into the forest with little harm to the environment. With the injection of plastics as the containers for food etc. these items are also simply discarded into the forest or off of the boat as if they are no different. This results in thousands of discarded bottles and waste floating in dock areas, rivers and forests that not only harms wildlife but creates an eye sore. The benefits are that certain areas become more attractive to tourists (more foreign revenue injected into local community), wildlife is not injured, and increases in health and hygiene.
Status: Not started.
- Aim: Establish new attractive environmentally aware tour operations in currently out of reach places in tropical environments, which are owned and managed by experienced local communities.
Motive: To summarize, local communities destroying the forest by over harvesting, logging, mining or oil extraction neglecting the long term environmental and monetary benefits of tourism has been called ‘destroying the goose that lays the golden egg.’ The benefits are that tourism is spread out across threatened areas and new areas are recognized for tourist interest promoting establishment of protected areas.
Status: Not started.
We are not a non-profit, however, many of our projects require a lot of funding. If you would like to make a donation to increase success of all mentioned projects, you may use the Paypal link above.
Please leave any comments, thoughts, or ideas below.