Natural World Safaris were proud to support TOFTigers 10th Anniversary event, held yesterday evening at the Royal Geographical Society. The theme of the evening was a discussion on the future for tigers, elephants and rhinos in the wild with four speakers talking about how we can win the battle to keep these iconic species in the wild.
TOFTigers is a collective action campaign to protect tigers, wildlife and wilderness in the Indian subcontinent through sustainable conservation tourism. Among other work they support a network of Village Wilflife Guardians and facilitate good practice among operators, parks, nature educationalists, communities and visitors.
Along with myself Sales Manager Arabella Lakin and Destination Specialist Carina Hibbitt all attended the event and deemed it to be both thought provoking and a huge success.
The four speakers included explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell, founder of Operation Raleigh and Chairman of The Scientific Exploration Company; Colin Bell, founder of Africa’s leading eco-safari company Wilderness Safaris; and Julian Matthews, Founder of the TOFTigers campaign; plus Jeffrey Parrish, live from WWF USA, highlighting their ‘Conservation Travel’ mission.
Talking about the event Carina said, "You can help save the worlds wildlife by going on holiday! Inspiring speakers share some sobering stats at TOFTigers event at RGS highlighting the drastic action needed to halt poaching and species decimation in our lifetime. A key solution: Conservation Travel. Travel to the wild places, protect them with our presence, make wildlife more valuable alive than dead."
"It was great to hear of organisations such as WildAid making headway in educating Asia with influential celebrities like Jackie Chan speaking out against poaching in this powerful clip."
Arabella agreed, "It was reiterated how crucial it is to support the survival of these magnificent species, and the best way of doing so is through developing tourism in a responsible way. There needs to be a movement away from ecotourism towards Conservation Travel which is sustainable tourism that connects travellers with nature and directly supports its protection"
I certainly believe we can learn from Africa’s success stories and mistakes to build a responsible tourism model for India’s tiger reserves.