We have chosen to make the commitment to support community based projects, both in the UK and internationally, through our profits. Panash Adventures was founded on the back of the Director, Angie Nash’ interest in wildlife, therefore some of Panash Adventures profit is used for supporting wildlife conservation, research and monitoring projects using non invasive methodology and local expertise.
We also recognise the diversity and skills in traditional ways of life around the globe and we want to support this diversity and heritage. Working with indigenous groups and non- governmental organisations we have therefore strived to set up our trips so that they directly support the communities we visit and support indigenous peoples rights.
Some of our profit is being spent to help in the subsidy of the extra costs involved in making adventure travel accessible for all people on our trips. Many of our adventures that are available for those with disabilities cost more in logistics to be able to support our clients with disabilities in a safe and responsible way. We do not want to see those extra costs passed onto our clients and so we use a portion of our profits to offset the extra costs.
There are a number of projects and non- governmental organisations that we feel are doing amazing work and we are currently trying to support their ongoing existence through direct donations, volunteer work, and specific fund raising events and we are in the process of setting up a Panash Adventures Foundation specifically to support these.
We are a travel company. There is no getting away from that. Whilst we’re not yet in the position to be able to offer sailing and wind power to get you to your destination, we are looking into supporting sailing projects that help to disseminate goods between sustainable communities around the world using wind power. We recognise that the flights we take are likely to be our biggest impact universally and so we make a £6 donation for each of our passengers to Cool Earth www.coolearth.org, an organisation that shares our ethos in that they are working directly with the indigenous people to protect rainforest and shield rainforest around it. For each £6 we donate, they buy a Mahogany tree which stores approximately 30 tonnes of CO2 helping to reduce the impact of global warming. Illegal loggers will destroy huge areas of rainforest and all of the wildlife in it, to get to a single Mahogany tree which is highly valued for its timber. Cool Earth uses our donations to help support the local community in protecting their rainforests.
We also are of the opinion that we need to support projects closer to home and strive to reduce our impacts rather than offset against them. Therefore, we have a ‘no plastic’ policy which we try to uphold in all of our undertakings, i.e. lunch made from locally grown food that has not been plastic wrapped, equipment brought from source and not delivered with plastic packaging.
Occasionally we come across other projects that are working hard to protect and support the environment tirelessly and so we will use a portion of our profits to support their work. In these cases, you will be informed at the time of booking and will be given the opportunity to voice your opinion and influence our decision.
We stay in off grid accommodation where possible, and we are currently working on building our UK site so that it is completely off grid, which we hope to achieve by the summer of 2017.
Our website is on carbon neutral hosting via Wunderism And we use recycled paper and plant based inks for our stationary.
What we really, reeeeally don’t want to become is a people safari company. We take you to visit and live with indigenous people within their communities, but we have worked hard to find those that are willing and wanting to share their skills, knowledge and homes with you. The exchange is mutual. We are living there as part of their community, their family and we return year after year and establish good working relationships and friendships with them. We are also working hard to support the communities so that they can become financially independent from the governments that many of them are being oppressed by. If at any point you feel that we are overstepping the boundaries of what is ethical or humane, we need to hear your voices so we can make the necessary changes.
Please take the time to look within each individual trip notes, where we have tried to provide information on some of the history and political views of the areas we travel to. By having an understanding of the places we visit, we believe it can help you to gain a better understanding of the people you are engaging with and the local cultural traditions.
Local Group Leaders/ Staff Welfare:
We use local group leaders, guides and support staff on all of our trips. We are trying to provide employment in the local community and we also provide free training events for local individuals and staff to increase their skill base. We recognise the value of using local knowledge and expertise and encourage local enterprise.
Where possible, we use home stays as not only does this provide an income to local families, but it also provides our clients and guests with a true experience of living within that country. Where home stays are not possible, we try to source good quality off grid accommodation. Please note in some cases, for example on first arriving in the host country, we are still working on improving our ethos and therefore, unfortunately we have yet to find off grid accommodation that is near to the airport for logistical purposes for when you first arrive and depart.
We audit all of our trips according to their environmental impact and then work to minimise this. This means making sure local trekking guidelines are followed, no litter is left behind, water sources are environmentally friendly and responsible cooking fuels are used, if applicable. We also have guidelines in place for specific excursions, for example; snorkelling and wildlife viewing, so awareness is raised on how to protect, and not disturb, fragile environments.
We are at the forefront of using non invasive methodology to monitor the wildlife that we visit. We have been working with a company called WildTrack who have developed the Footprint Identification Technique (FIT) and we are using this along with local tracker knowledge, camera traps, scat analysis to help monitor the wildlife. When we are face to face with certain species, for example, gorillas, we have guidelines in place to raise awareness of the species and environments we work with and are actively involved in monitoring the local environment, our impact on it and gathering data to help in the conservation of the species.
When planning our trips, we consider how each one can run responsibly. What long term impact will it have on the community and the environment? Can we source a home stay and support local economy? Where can we use local transport, instead of hiring vehicles? Is there a project we can support, or is there a visit where fees paid will go towards environmental development?
Once the trip is operating, it is audited on these things and many more. The trip is then given a score to assess its responsibility and it’s an on-going process to increase that. We aim to ensure our trips are as responsible as they possibly can be.
We welcome your feedback on how we can improve.