Earth Day 2021: Restore our Earth
Each year, Earth Day grows more pertinent and urgent. This year, having witnessed the pause and rising activism of Covid-19, hope and change linger in the air. There are enormous challenges to be overcome, but opportunity to meet those challenges has never felt greater.
We believe that everyone has a role to play in restoring our earth; this year’s Earth Day theme. That includes travellers and every single aspect of the travel industry’s value chain. Whether you’re curating, selling, creating, touring, leading, or inspiring people to explore our treasured earth, there’s space to have a positive impact and put people and place first.
For Long Runners, having a positive impact means protecting the world’s most precious ecosystems. Without nature’s careful balance — from pollination to carbon stores — there is no life. This is our first C: Conservation. Protecting nature will never be sustainable unless the people who live within and near to those landscapes and marinescapes are part of the long-term economic and social benefits. Empowering, improving, sustaining and enhancing livelihoods, cultures and communities is central to how each Long Runner operates. These fall under our second and third Cs — Culture and Community.
Last but not least, the protection of nature, and our ability to restore earth, requires income; income for those on the ground doing the hard graft, and income to keep extractive industries at bay. And so, Commerce, is our final but equally vital C. For most of our members, tourism is one element of Commerce — 2020 has proven that no conservation effort should depend on travel alone. Financial resilience is more important than ever.
Together these 4Cs are how our members ensure positive impact is central to their operations, long-term vision and travel experiences. We will only protect what we know and understand, and so, when done carefully and mindfully, reducing negative impact at every turn, travel has a huge role to play in our collective will to restore the earth.
As Stephan Bruckner, founder of our GER member Wolwedans recently said, “We need to shift from passive consumption to active participation and re-engineer travel experiences to feed the head, hand and heart.”
With this top of mind for all of our members, as we look forward to travel restarting across the globe, we find ourselves lingering more and more on themes of restoration, spirituality, connection and happiness. For some, that means disconnecting to connect and slowing down. For others, it means discovering pockets of activism and impact while travelling — being part of the change. Whatever way our members choose to cut it, we’re on a mission to ensure earth’s restoration is a more central component to a more mindful, equitable, and respectful travel industry.