The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA; www.adventuretravel.biz) is arranging to make its 2016 Adventure Travel World Summit in Anchorage, Alaska, carbon neutral. The organization is entering into a sustainable partnership made possible by Costa Rica’s tourism leaders. The project will calculate carbon usage from the four day conference and make plans to completely mitigate that usage.
As opposed to carbon offsets or carbon credits, which are financial mechanisms that compensate for carbon usage through financing renewable energy projects, carbon mitigation requires projects like tree planting, which directly sequester carbon.
“We were publicly challenged at last year’s Summit to make strides toward a carbon neutral event,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “We took that challenge seriously and literally, knowing that being responsible and doing the right thing is the best way to make a difference. As an industry, we’re ready to set an example.”
The ATTA and its hosts in Anchorage are currently working with partners in Costa Rica and EARTH University to estimate the carbon generation from the four day conference, including flights for nearly 800 delegates from countries all over the world and transportation to and from the conference venue and during “Day of Adventure” outings around Anchorage on September 19. Using the global Greenhouse Gas protocol, it will be determined how many trees need to be planted to compensate for the carbon expenditure of the Summit.
The trees will be planted by volunteers on August 19, 2016, in a protected forest reserve in Costa Rica within the Pacuare River watershed. The native hardwood saplings will be cared for by local community members until they are three years old and hardy enough to mature without human interference.
“When we personally act to protect, conserve and reciprocate for the health of people, place and planet we are more invested in the outcome,” said Rafael Gallo, Costa Rica’s representative in the sustainability partnership who manages the private forest reserve.
In time for the Adventure Travel World Summit, September 19 - 22, 2016, the ATTA will be able to report to delegates exactly what the carbon footprint of the conference is and announce that the requisite native forest has been planted to make the event completely carbon neutral. In addition to the carbon mitigation project, Visit Anchorage has arranged for the conference to be “shuttle-free” with all hotels located within walking distance of the venue and free bikes to use during conference sessions. Visit Anchorage is also sponsoring two “Give Back” opportunities during the Summit for delegates to contribute to local carbon mitigation and community improvement work.
The ATTA’s carbon neutral partners are Visit Anchorage, Alaska Airlines and Essential Costa Rica.
About Adventure Travel Trade Association
Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) serves over 1,100 members in 90 countries worldwide. Members predominantly include tour operators, tourism boards, specialty agents and accommodations with a vested interest in the sustainable development of adventure tourism. The ATTA delivers solutions and connections that propel members towards their business goals and the industry toward a responsible and profitable future. Through its regional AdventureConnect events and annual Adventure Travel World Summit trade conference, the ATTA excels in professional learning, networking and partnering services. With expertise in research, education, adventure travel industry news and promotion, members of the ATTA receive competitive opportunities that help establish them as leaders in adventure tourism.
For more information:
- Adventure Travel World Summit
- Adventure.Travel – traveler portal to member tours