At the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF) we have been asking ourselves how we can support the communities and people who are so dependent on tourism, when there is none to speak of. We believe that there is a growing need to prepare many local communities for a lack of tourism for the next few years, and help them develop strategies that will both sustain and move them forward. As we move towards 2021, we want to be there to help bridge the final gap before tourism recovers in a noticeable way.
This year’s theme is “Supporting Conservation Through Resilient Communities”. The grant cycle will provide support to 3-5 global communities, in travel destinations, who are struggling due to the decreased tourism. Our selection of these projects and communities will be based on the following criteria:
- Local communities around protected areas and in travel destinations
- Communities suffering from pandemic impacts and in need of economic relief
- Projects focused on conservation and travel
- Projects that include elements of diversity and support of indigenous communities
The goal of this grant cycle is to provide support to communities who have previously depended on tourism, and who are now suffering because of the lack of it. Travel and tourism supports one in 10 occupations worldwide, generating 320 million jobs. Our aim over the next year, is to specifically target direct support locally to the people who protect our destinations. The ATCF has elected to respond to the crisis by changing our grant process this year, with the intent to return to the “normal” grant process in 2021.
“Conservation does not work without the people who help to make it happen. If we can help to support a person’s livelihood (and that of their families) through conservation and tourism, it’s a win-win.” says Soraya Shattuck, Executive Director. Communities involved in conservation are the backbone to the existence of many organizations in that destination. By supporting them, we will create a ripple effect in their communities, so that when travel does reopen, these communities and wild destinations are still standing in pristine condition, ready to receive visitors. As the travel industry recovers, it will be paramount to continue funding initiatives that safeguard communities and natural environments that the travel industry depends on for perpetuity.
Want to learn more? Join our short, 30-minute hangout on October 5th at 8:30am PST to learn more about this grant program, and have an opportunity to share your insights on what communities need most at this time.
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