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Question: When Can Flying Help To Prevent Huge Carbon Emissions?

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know I'm trying to minimise the carbon footprint, and maximise the positive impacts, of my safaris. While I’ve managed to mitigate most carbon emissions, the aspect I struggle with most is having to fly in order to work.

While setting up my new Brazil - Jaguars Of The Pantanal Photography Safari I had an illuminating conversation with eminent conservation biologist Dr Charles Munn, credited with creation and increased protection of millions of acres of reserves and national parks across Brazil, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, and founder of SouthWild with whom we will travel.

When I raised the subject of minimising flights, due to the carbon emissions escalating climate change, Charles' reply was not at all what I expected. He encouraged me to think about flying here as actually helping to prevent massive and catastrophic carbon release. His rationale: if nature tourists don’t fly here to visit, proving that the land has value through wildlife, that land simply cannot be protected, and will be logged and burned ...then we’re looking at truly enormous carbon release, as well as loss of entire ecosystems.

And it's true the world over: priceless habitat will continue to be destroyed - burned, logged, monocultured, mined, flooded, built on - if we don’t keep on proving how much the land is worth through sustainable nature-based tourism to local communities, whose home it is too, and also to national economies.

And to do this practically, in most cases, it is necessary for us to fly.

Of course this is not a licence to fly with impunity!

The conversation has helped to offset some of my guilt around having to fly for work, but I shall continue to seek out the most constructive ways to minimise and offset my safaris' carbon footprint.


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