THE WHIS­PERS OF A FEW

ECOTRAINING PART­NERS WITH CHINA TO CEL­E­BRATE NA­TURE

In Flight Magazine - - FEATURES - { TEXT: BEN CO­LEY | IM­AGES © ECOTRAINING & TI­GRIS ZHANG }

“WHAT I EX­PE­RI­ENCED AND LEARNT IN THOSE DAYS IS PRICE­LESS AND IN­SPIR­ING. I WISH MORE PEO­PLE FROM EV­ERY COR­NER OF THE WORLD COULD COME TO KNOW ECOTRAINING AND THE CON­CEPTS AND BE­LIEFS IT HOLDS.” – MIRAR JAN, CHINA

The dis­ci­pline of “con­ser­va­tion man­age­ment” is fast grow­ing with new meth­ods and ideas be­ing con­tin­u­ally em­ployed, but not al­ways on a large enough scale to make a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact. To save our wilder­ness ar­eas and their species, we need proac­tive mea­sures that en­gage large vol­umes of peo­ple.

The sim­plest of th­ese mea­sures is the ed­u­ca­tion of broad groups of peo­ple at one time. The whis­pers of a few can in­flu­ence many, and the whis­pers of many can in­flu­ence the masses. This is EcoTraining’s phi­los­o­phy, and with the cur­rent frag­ile state of some species, time is of the essence!

With an in­creas­ing flow of Asian tourists to Africa, an op­por­tu­nity has arisen for ed­u­ca­tional travel of nu­mer­ous vis­i­tors, to play a role in con­serv­ing the land they so en­joy while vis­it­ing. EcoTraining is pi­o­neer­ing a new ven­ture with part­ners in China to ed­u­cate cu­ri­ous trav­ellers in the de­lights of the nat­u­ral world. By en­light­en­ing about eight to ten groups of trav­ellers per year, some be­ing po­ten­tially in­flu­en­tial peo­ple, hope­fully there will be a knock-on ef­fect of cre­at­ing a gen­er­a­tion of more en­vi­ron­men­tally-- con­scious trav­ellers.

The seven-day EcoTraining EcoQuest course is de­signed to im­merse its par­tic­i­pants in the wilder­ness, con­cen­trat­ing specif­i­cally on re­con­nect­ing to na­ture, ecol­ogy, and con­ser­va­tion ini­tia­tives. Ac­tiv­i­ties are tai­lored around such top­ics such as sym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ships, the ecosys­tem, poach­ing is­sues, and the in­ter-re­la­tion­ships be­tween all as­pects of the ecosys­tem, in­clud­ing man’s own role.The high­lights are an­i­mal tracks and track­ing, bird iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, bush skills, learn­ing big game be­hav­iour, astron­omy, tree iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and more.

Wak­ing up to the beat­ing heart of Africa as the cerise sun ap­pears above the hori­zon is a pri­mal ex­pe­ri­ence, and for many it ig­nites their en­vi­ron­men­tal con­science. By the end of this short ex­po­sure to the nat­u­ral world, the eyes of th­ese vis­i­tors will be opened to the ex­tra­or­di­nary environment that they of­ten did not know ex­isted.

When the tourists re­turn to their coun­tries, the ex­pe­ri­ences and knowl­edge they gained will hope­fully per­co­late through their so­cial and busi­ness cir­cles, and will aid the longevity of the nat­u­ral environment they vis­ited.

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