Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birding in Peru for free!

Birding in Peru sounds great (I can tell after three different visits to that beautiful country)... but for free? Wow man, that sounds amazing! Gunnar has made it possible by giving away four trips to Manu and ten trips to Carpish/Satipo road in Central Peru in 2010. More than a bold advertising estrategy for his own tour company, the idea has a more conservationist real aim: to give local communities true and immediate benefits with the ecotourism. It is known that the best way to preserve a natural resource is involving the persons who use it, qualifying them for its sustainable use. I know by personal experience in Panama, Costa Rica and other places that ecotourism make more of tourist than logging and ranching, reason for which some land owners are converting theirs pastures to early growth forests... but, in the words of the former PAS Fieldnessship Dodge Engleman, wouldn't it be better to not convert the forest to cattle pasture in the first place rather than try to reestablish the forest? You need to show them the actual benefits of preserving their lands with tangible profits and, for that, you need a constant influx of tourists to support fixed scheduled trips to those areas where the local communities are involved and what better way of advertising these trips that offering some for free through the huge social media network available now? By following and sharing this link you will be running for the great prizes (remember to sign-up to the opt-in newsletter first). Well, good luck to all and start sharing and to spread the word. If you still are not convinced about this "social media experiment", these pics of my last trip to Central Peru should be enough to encourage you (notice my extremely happy expression in those in which I appear).

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