Conservation is one of the most important part of our business. Supporting local communities in the countries in which we operate becomes critical in order to accomplish this. Our business began with a passion for the environment and unique cultures. As a result, we feel that a major part of our responsibility is to ensure we strike that critical balance with protecting the natural environment, playing our role in portraying and preserving local cultures, giving back to the local communities and allowing our clients to enjoy birding and wildlife experiences while walking away with a better appreciation for the environment and local cultures.
Some of our practices to achieve this balance are listed below:
OUR ECONOMIC RESPONSIBILITY
Our economic responsibility begins with our policy on hiring. NEST Bird Tours hires local guides only and all services utilized during the tours are local. These include (but not limited to) use of transportation providers, local chefs and cooks producing local/traditional food where applicable and stays are at local lodges (rather than international chains) where applicable.
Additionally, and where applicable, tours go through areas where clients have the opportunity to “buy local”. This element is built naturally into our tours to expose our clients to the local customs and traditions. In addition to birds, our clients may be able to experience local markets, factories producing traditional local products, local farms and restaurants.
We believe that there is no better way to support the local economy while at the same time provide our clients with a total local experience that is out of this world.
CONSERVATION & OUR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
Protection of the natural environment where many species of flora and fauna call home is our primary focus. Everything else gives way to the environment and in particular bird habitat.
- We Examine all routes and operations and ensure Nest Birding Tours is utilizing vehicles only where necessary and vehicles owned by contractors are up to required standards.
- We ensure that our Tour Leaders and Guides receive up to date communication of all local environmental standards applicable to the business and we ensure all individuals are familiar with such standards where applicable.
- During our tours our clients will notice that reusable coolers are used to transport water for tour participants and each client is provided with his/her own reusable glass bottle to utilize during tours. Plastic/single use bottles are never to be used unless we do not have a choice. The exception to this practice will be in India where purchased bottled water safe for drinking will be used only.
- Our groups are small, generally a maximum of eight (8) participants plus the local English speaking Tour Leader/Guide. This ensures that the risk of disturbing wildlife and birds are kept to a minimum.
- We ensure that Tour Leaders/Guides are trained and/or familiar with local culture, customs, food, local conservation issues and efforts in their local communities. We try as far as possible to ensure that Tour Leaders/Guides are capable of highlighting these aspects where appropriate and possess sufficient knowledge to be able to educate tour participants on the issues impacting bird and wildlife habitat and the role individuals can play in reducing any negative impact.
- We ensure that at no time our route, daily activities, participant’s activities or anything under our control during a tour will have a negative impact on bird and wildlife habitat.
- We will donate 2% of our revenue from each participant to a small local conservation effort or a one that is identified by our client.
OUR RESPECT FOR NATURAL HABITAT AND NO-FLASH POLICY
NEST Birding Tours promotes a No-Flash policy during birding and wildlife segments of our tours. Photography is a major part of the tours and our small groups and slow pace facilitates this perfectly. However, flash photography disturbs the birds and wildlife in their natural habitat. We are all strangers and visitors to the Leks and breeding grounds of birds and wildlife in the forests and terrain we pass through and we adopt an attitude that supports this thinking. We respect the natural environment and we expect our customers to do the same. Exceptional photography can be attained without the use of flash and on all our tours, absolutely no flash photography is allowed when photographing birds and wildlife in their natural environment.
OUR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Our Hiring policy requires the use of local guides with in-depth knowledge of local culture and small local projects. Ours tours pass through large well known reserves established for preservation of birds and wildlife, however, we are also focused on supporting and bringing attention to the smaller reserves and conservation efforts established by local guides and native individuals