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2015 has so far been an exciting year for everyone here at explora, particularly for the Sustainable Development team. As one of the brand’s core values, we are constantly seeking to up the ante when it comes to perfecting our existing projects, as well as including new and necessary ideas that make our operation truly sustainable. As I always say: it’s not just about leaving no trace, but also about going further, and giving back as much as we can to the incredible territories in which we operate.
This year, we have decided to jumpstart our conservation program throughout our operations. The first concrete action in this program, is something very close to our hearts, a project in which we have invested not only money, but also time and energy so as to make it a true success: forest restoration in the Torres del Paine National Park.
As many of you know, a catastrophic fire affected the area back in 2011, burning a shocking 17.000 hectares of National Park. Although since then we have worked with the government officials and independent organizations to bring back the native plant species that were lost in the fire, for 2015 we have created a new internal campaign which allows our travelers to participate and take action in our cause.
Our travelers have always been interested in ways to contribute to preserving the unique areas where we are located, not just for their own visits, but also for the benefit of future generations and the planet itself. With this in mind, we created a forest restoration program designed to include our travelers and allow them to take action. Although it may seem like a mere technicality, there is an important difference between reforestation and forest restoration. The latter, implies a continuous monitoring system of each planted tree in order to follow its progress and health from the moment it is planted until the day it has fully grown. We have bought 700 lenga trees, which our travelers can sponsor at the Patagonia hotel shop. All the money we collect from these first 700 baby lengas, will be destined to buy another 700, and so on and so forth. Our idea is to run a self-sustaining forest restoration program of which our travelers can proudly participate. Each tree is planted by a local organization, which operates with national and international volunteers who are also eager to help. Preserve the national park for future generations.
If you have any doubts about this program, I’ll be happy to hear from you.