By Maria Jose Peralta – 1 week volunteer
First, what is sustainability?
Sustainability has a wide variety of meaning around the world but here I am going to talk about tourism. It does not matter which type of tourism (cultural, heritage, health, eco, business, etc…) you are in, you have to be responsible: this is what sustainably means.There is a triangle that encompasses sustainability: Environment, Society and Economy. To care, protect and preserve our traditions, our heritage, our environment, our resources like water, our local people, our economy in order to help the world to keep places alive and sites that me and you and everybody can enjoy, but the most important is to preserve them for the next generations.
Tourism can have a positive or negative impact in each place you are visiting, it is your decision and your choice which way you will choose. I invite you to choose the sustainable way and choose responsible tourism. If you care and want to still live on this beautiful planet you need to start choosing correctly.
Why I choose KSES and how they are working on sustainable tourism.
I did a lot of research about KSES and found they are working with elephants, putting them back into the forest in their natural habitat but also they work with the community and school. I wanted to know more about the project so I decided to spend some of my vacation here and definitely one of the best decisions I have made, here is why:
1. Now they have four elephants, the owners are from the village. The elephants were working near the city with mostly rides. Kerri with her team worked to bring them back to the forest.
2. The interns, the staff and Kerri do data and research about these elephants, so each day they go for a hike into the forest to find them and observe their behaviour about everything like food, relations between them, etc… With this information they can prove the importance of bringing the elephants back to the forest and the relationship between them and the forest.
3. Reforestation, they also do projects with the community on planting trees which means less CO2 to the world and more food for elephants and other animals.
1. KSES are living together with Karen Hill Tribe so that has a positive impact with the local people.
2. They are giving them English classes at school and in the village with their home stays so this will have a big impact on their communication between the locals and foreigners. Although you can learn their own language called “pakinyaw” and the staff and interns have been learning this to have better communications.
3. Staff members and interns are teaching them by their actions on clean the environment but it has been a little bit difficult with the oldest people though they are working on that.
1. The money that the project has received is beneficial not only the project and the elephants it also benefits the community.
2. The village can improve their income through the project and the money that the received for the hospitality, food, selling their beautiful handmade bags or skirts, etc…
3. Everybody wins with the donations and the money KSES is receiving: KSES, the elephants and the village.
Thanks to all of these, the elephants are here enjoying their freedom and natural way of life. Thanks to KSES, people like me or you can learn about elephants, why is it so important to take care of them and bring them back to their own home: nature. You can also learn about the village, their language, their way of life, the kids in the school, how happy they are, their food (DELICIOUS FOOD!) and about their traditions.
So what are you waiting to come? If you cannot come there are others ways to help like donation or you can ask how can you help, everything here is useful.
This is sustainability; everybody wins and works for the same: a better world.