World Environment Day at Inkaterra

World Environment Day Inkaterra 2014

Yesterday we celebrated World Environment Day: an annual event organised by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) to promote awareness and action for the environment worldwide. Over the years, this celebration has grown into a global platform with more than 100 countries participating. Last year, the event was held in Mongolia and focused on anti-food waste with the slogan ‘Think.Eat.Save’.

This year World Environment Day was hosted in Barbados with the theme of SIDS (small Island developing states) in the context of climate change. The slogan created to reflect the theme is ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’.  The aim this year is to focus public attention on these areas and the urgent need to protect the islands from the growing risks and challenges they face as a result of climate change. As you may already know, we are doing our bit to try and conserve the seas of Peru, through our ongoing work at Cabo Blanco.

Cabo Blanco

World Environment Day is the time to realise that caring for the earth is everyone’s responsibility. We are a 100% carbon neutral travel organisation and we always ensure to integrate sustainable practices into all aspects of what we do. This year we celebrated World Environment Day by doing the following:

Sustainability Policy at Inkaterra

At Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, the team participated in the environmental parade along with the children of Machu Picchu, which was organised by the SERNAP (Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado). Carmen Soto, our resident biologist, led a talk on world environment day at the Cultural Centre of the department of Culture. The team were also invited to Radio Machu Picchu for a special programme on ‘knowing Machu Picchu’.

Carmen Soto

At Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica, José Purisaca, Inkaterra’s General Manager, delivered talks on environmental issues at the following locations: Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción and Oficina de Cooperación Técnica Internacional.

World Environment Day is very close to our hearts as we pride ourselves on being eco friendly. Our sustainability policy shows our contribution to saving our planet.

  • We use environmentally friendly products and maintain good communication with suppliers
  • We Use energy and water efficiently and provide adequate waste treatment
  • We offset the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the organisations operations, in order to be carbon neutral.

World Environment Day at Inkaterra

 What steps are you taking to save our planet?

Fishing at Cabo Blanco

Iconic ‘Miss Texas’ fishing boat is sailing again in Cabo Blanco, with renowned captain Norm Isaacs on the lead. While it currently serves research purposes in the tropical sea of Northern Peru, the Miss Texas gear is also being tested during excursions. This month, the fishing of a 24-pound Mahi-Mahi (Coryphaena hippurus) was caught on video. Using Boomerang fishing rods tailored for Inkaterra and Everol reels, deckhands Juan Panta and Diego Rehder and angler Alex Passapera (sitting on the Murray Brothers chair) caught the Mahi-Mahi when sailing 12 miles off shore. As soon as it had bitten a cedar plug, the angler did his job and Diego performed the leadering, holding the fishing line to let the catch swim next to the boat. When it was close enough, Juan took care of the gaffing, bringing the fish on board. After weighing it, the catch went into Miss Texas’ ice-filled Engel cooler.

Cabo Blanco

It was just its third expedition and despite sailing dark waters that day, another two Mahi-Mahis were caught while other fish were spotted. It is worth mentioning that just some days before, a 250-pound Black Marlin (Makaira indica) jumped twice near the boat, which allows captain Norm Isaacs to confirm Cabo Blanco’s potential for sport fishing.

Want to keep up to date with the updates from Cabo Blanco? Sign up to our blog or follow us on Twitter and Facebook with hashtag #CaboBlanco

Our Inkaterra January 2014 Workshops

2014 has kicked off to a busy start here at Inkaterra with  several successful workshops for our local community, all with the aim of promoting sustainability and ecotourism here in Peru. So far, there have been events for our Inkaterra guides, the local children and for disabled people around the Machu Picchu area. You can read more about each of our events below.

Inkaterra Guide Birding Training

Birding at Inkaterra

Peru is renowned for its birdlife, and the area around Machu Picchu is particularly spectacular in birding terms. We are keen to promote the area as a birdwatching hotspot, and to really allow visitors to really test their binoculars, the Inkaterra Asociación organised a training course for local guides from both Cusco and Machu Picchu. The seminars were led by Manuel Bryce, Fernando Ángulo and Barry Walker, all experts on ecotourism, conservation and birdwatching. Held over four (very rainy) days, participants were taken on field excursions and attended lectures on guiding techniques, conservation ethics and virtual tools for birdwatching. The aim of the training course was to strengthen and empower the local guides to increase Machu Picchu’s presence on the global birdwatching stage, promoting it as the birdwatching destination.

Another session has already been arranged for March showing how committed the local guides are in these conservation projects.

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Finger-painting the Cloud Forest

As part of our commitment to social responsibility, the Inkaterra Asociación organised a creative finger painting workshop for disabled citizens from the region around Machu Picchu. In conjunction with OMAPED, the government office for the disabled, the workshop was held in the Ministry of Culture’s offices. Participants spent the day getting their hands dirty painting pictures of animals that live in and around the cloud forests of Machu Picchu.

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Ecotourism for Children

Our Inkaterra Asociación ran a series of children’s workshops during the summer vacations this January to educate children aged 5 to 12 on the importance of ecotourism and conservation. Through games, experiments and seminars the children were taught key messages on themes such as recycling, climate change and natural sciences, both locally in Peru and internationally. The workshops were run by our team of explorer guides, biologists, anthropologists and volunteers from the Inkaterra Asociación, and will help to raise awareness and respect to the local environment.

 Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 15.22.29

We are proud to support local initiatives, and these are the first of many workshops and seminars that will take place for 2014. Stay tuned right here on our blog and on our social media channels for details on the other social initiatives that we will be running throughout the year.

Inkaterra 4th Quarter Photography Competition Winner

The final quarter photographic competition of 2013 has drawn to a close at Inkaterra. Congratulations to all who took part, please keep a close eye on the Inkaterra website and social media pages for the details of the next competition.

After receiving a number of spectacular images from of talented individuals, from guests to guides, one photograph proved to be the most popular amongst our voters. Our winner is Noe Roger Huaraca Charca with this picture of the Sphaenorhynchus Lacteus or as it is more commonly known, the Orinoco Lime Tree Frog.

As you can see below, we had some stunning images submitted to the competition, and these were some of the best. Take a look at the photos, and hopefully we’ll see you in 2014 and you can submit your own masterpieces – you may even be lucky enough to win!

Clockwise from main: Giant River Otter – John Barnes, Hotel Guest; Yellow Spotted River Turtle – Jesus Glhemm Ccari, Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica; Brown Throated Three Toed Sloth – John Barnes, Hotel Guest; Rainbow Boa – Carlos Torres, Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción.

Clockwise from main: Parides Neophilus - Mayra Maximiliano, Reservation Councillor at Inkaterra Lima; Anhinga – John Barnes, Hotel Guest; Andean Mot Mot – José Luis Lavilla,  Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

From left to right: Spectacled Caiman – Albert Clar, Hotel Guest; Spectacled Caiman, Jesus Glhemm Ccari, Explorer Guide at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica

 

 

Birding Rally Challenge 2013

Next week, from 3rd to 10th December, the third Birding Rally Challenge begins in Peru. Considered the world championships for birding, for those who aren’t in the know, this is the ultimate event in the ornithological world, bringing together the most renowned birding teams from all over the globe in a six-day contest to decide the best Birding Team in the world.

The challenge for the teams from the United States, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Colombia is to cover the greatest number of habitats within a certain area in a limited amount of time counting the number of bird species they can identify; and naturally, the winners are the team that has spotted the highest number of species.

Peru has been specially chosen to host the Birding Rally Challenge because of its expensive natural biodiversity. Peru is a true treasure in ornithological terms. It is home to 1836 species of bird – that is one fifth of all registered species in the world, Peru is the second leading country in the world for bird diversity, and the best in terms of bird observation. The unique habitats that Peru has, from lush wetlands to vibrant cloud forests means it is host to visiting species, as well as the 120 endemic bird species that call Peru home.

Organised by the Inkaterra Hotels, the Inkaterra Association and PromPerú, the teams will travel 840km through Peru, from Tambopata in southern Peru, to the bio diverse cloud forest of Machu Picchu, and the teams will stay at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica and Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

The actual challenge won’t simply be a walk in the park for our teams. They will have to contend with the changing climates of Peru, from the tropics of the rainforest to the coolness of the Andes, not to mention the strict rules about bird sightings.

But this competition is not simply about birdwatching. The Birding Rally Challenge has some core principles behind it. Designed to develop ecotourism in Peru, the competition promotes conservation and sustainable tourism, especially regarding the local communities that are often overlooked by traditional tourism.

In December 2012, the first rally lasted five days, and a total of 692 species were sighted. The second rally, Nor Amazon, trumped this total, with the birding teams observing 864 separate species in Peru – that’s 10% of the world’s registered bird species.

The 9th December is deadline day for our five birding teams, with the closing ceremony and winners being announced at 19.00. Will it be another successful rally for the American team? Only time and a keen eye will tell.

World Environment Day at Inkaterra

World Environment Day

World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. World Environment Day activities take place all year round and climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations is Think.Eat.Save. Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger.

This year’s theme encourages us to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices we make and empowers us to make informed decisions. We have a series of initiatives at Inkaterra we are carrying out in celebrate of World Environment Day:

  • Installation of information panels at the reception, lobby, bar and ecocentre
  • Organic menu available throughout the day at ITMP from chef Gustavo Borja and Vladimir Calanche.
  • Contest crafts with recycled materials for children from 5 right up to 13 years old
  • Our lights in service areas such as the reception will be turned off for periods of the day

How will you be participating in World Environment Day? 

World Earth Day Celebrations at El MaPi Hotel, byInkaterra

Our guests had a wonderful time celebrating World Earth Day at El MaPi Hotel last week. See below our highlights from the day. The children staying with us helped our hotel team to plant trees and seeds in the gardens of the hotel. By educating the younger generation, we hope that they will understand and continue to help towards a healthy future for our planet.

Save the world - Plant a tree

World Earth Day Celebrations

Planting a tree in the hotel's grounds

World Earth Day Celebrations

A Chinese Proverb

UNESCO World Earth Day

World Earth Day 2013

Today, across the world, communities are celebrating UNESCO World Earth Day: an annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and is celebrated in more than 192 countries every year. The environment and sustainability has been at the forefront of our decisions here at Inkaterra since our inauguration in 1975, and we continue to integrate sustainable business practices into all aspects of our operations.

Here are some of our core initiatives that we undertake to ensure a healthy future for our planet. Our world is a beautiful place so let’s take the steps towards to ensure future generations will have the chance to experience it also.

1. Creation of the Inkaterra Association: In 2001, we established the NGO INKATERRA Association (ITA), which develops scientific, technological, social, and cultural research to help manage and protect the biodiversity of Peru’s Andes and Amazon Rainforest.

2. Carbon Neutral: Since 1989, we have belonged to a carbon stock-monitoring network with the University of Leeds (UK); and in 2007, Inkaterra became Peru’s first carbon-neutral travel organisation. We protect more than 42,000 acres of original forest, which helps to directly reduce 3,315,000 tons of carbon. All Inkaterra hotels use clean technology and sustainable practices to ensure that each guest has a 100% carbon-neutral stay.

The garden at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

3. Eco-friendly products: Over the years Inkaterra has substantially increased the amount of eco-friendly and biodegradable cleaning products used at each hotel. Additionally, all in-room amenities are organic and eco-friendly, and bottles are made from recycled glass.

Eco-friendly products

4. Water Conservation: It is a goal of ours to measure, control and decrease overall water consumption at all properties. We are verified by the Rainforest Alliance, and we also organise an annual cleaning campaign for the Vilcanota, Alccamayo and Madre de Dios riverbanks.

Our annual clear up at Inkaterra

5. Recycling: Eco-consciousness is a company-wide practice here at Inkaterra, and the headquarters in Lima follows suit by actively recycling paper.

6. Conserving Trees: For the next 30 years, Inkaterra is managing five Forestry Concessions throughout Peru for conservation, research and educational purposes. Inventories of flora and fauna will be regularly taken and various environmental education workshops and volunteer activities will be available on a regular basis. Wildlife: Before Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel was built, the area was only used for cattle; after the restoration took place, numerous native species of birds and other wildlife began to re-appear. Today there are constant wildlife sightings, including the endangered Spectacled Bear and several types of hummingbirds. We founded a Spectacled Bear Project in order to rehabilitate these bears, many of which have been harmed or affected by human impact.

Spectacled Bears

8. Energy Consumption: Each Inkaterra property has an employee responsible for managing and monitoring energy (as well as water, waste and other sustainable-related activities). We have a strict energy consumption policy, and employees are required to attend training sessions and lectures to make sure they are constantly up-to-date with information.

9. Responsible Construction Methods: All Inkaterra properties are built using the least amount of energy and new materials possible. At Inkaterra’s newest property, Hacienda Urubamba – scheduled to open in late 2013/early 2014 – only basic modern machinery is being used during construction. Traditional techniques and tools will be implemented whenever possible, such as using oxen and tacclas (an Andean foot plough) to plough the fields, whilst 14 acres of the land will be dedicated to cultivating 100% carbon-free organic products.

10. Education: Inkaterra offers many workshops and programs for local children (as well as adults) centred on the importance of sustaining the environment. Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel holds an Environmental Education Workshop for local children run by the Inkaterra Association (ITA).

Inkaterra offers many workshops and programs for local children

We must educate our children

11. The Inkaterra Canopy & Anaconda Walk: This system of bridges, platforms and towers at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica offers an expansive window into the world of the tropical rainforest, enabling guests to better understand the area’s vast ecosystem without causing a carbon footprint. Nature experts at Inkaterra constantly monitor and study wildlife, endangered ecosystems as well as flora and fauna in the area.

The towers at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

12. Staying Local: Many of the products used in Inkaterra hotels are purchased from local suppliers, which enhances the economy of these communities and cuts down on transportation. The majority of produce at Inkaterra comes from local farms that are run by both the Inkaterra Association and nearby native communities.

Make every day World Earth Day

What are you doing to help towards the future of our planet? Share your thoughts with us on twitter #WorldEarthDay

A Sustainable Future for Manu

Launched in 2010 to assist communities in the Amazon to start their own sustainable enterprises, The Crees Manu Project has helped to alleviate poverty, combat malnutrition, fight climate change and protect the rainforest. Standing beneath the canopy of a pristine rainforest is to experience life at its most exuberant. The Amazon Rainforest, otherwise known as the “The Lungs of our Planet” accounts for around 20% of earth’s oxygen, and there is a need to preserve this beautiful natural ecosystem.

Trees in the Amazon Rainforest

Despite a growing awareness of the importance of the Amazon rainforest, it is still under huge threat from logging, mining and burning. Huge areas have been destroyed, poverty is rife in the region and 60% of the children suffer from malnutrition.  The Crees Foundation was set up to combat these challenges; their goal is to reduce poverty and protect the biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest.

Macaws in the Peruvian Amazon

With the help from the local community leader Reynaldo Ochoa, shown in the above video,  and the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, Crees has created a model that enables the community to benefit from the rainforest in a sustainable way. Reynaldo Ochoa is an inspiration to the people of Manu and to us all in how to lead a sustainable life. For the past 20 years he has dedicated his life to finding new ways of living in balance with his environment. By encouraging farmers to plant trees and enabling families to grow fresh organic produce he is helping to forge a sustainable future for the region. Help and funding has helped them with their work over the last three years, however, their funding is set to end in March 2013. Despite all the work they have done, there is a lot more to be done.

With ongoing donations to their project, they hope to:

  • Build biogardens with local families to combat malnutrition using sustainable practices
  • Plant agroforestry plots with local farmers where native Amazon trees are planted alongside banana crops. This is a sustainable wood and crop production alternative, which conserves surrounding forest from logging activity, and protects species biodiversity
  • Build knowledge and capacity through one to one training and workshops on small enterprises, sustainability and resource management

Inkaterra is an association that pioneers ecotourism and sustainability throughout Peru, and the Crees project’s values and mission reflect those found at the heart of the Inkaterra brand. Just like Crees, Inkaterra’s mission is to promote excellence in conservation and biodiversity. Their vision for the future is focused around supporting the local environment in which it operates. The guides across each property strive to improve the lives of the local people and the sustainability of Peruvian nature.

Inkaterra began research and conservation programs over 35 years ago at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. To bring this into further tuition, Inkaterra created Inkaterra Association - an NGO that is devoted to the biodiversity conversation of the unique ecosystems where Inkaterra works. Through the ITA, 15,000 hectares of rainforest at the low basin of the Madre de Dios River are protected every year. It doesn’t stop there. Their education programs enable the local people, the guides and interpreters and the guests that visit, to learn about the enormous wealth of biodiversity in the cloud forest and the tropical Amazon rainforest, the archaeological sites and the living cultures which assure their “Peruness”.  

To read more about the project click here. By donating you will help generate positive guardians of the forest, ensure sustainable development for the people of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, and enable the Crees Project to develop and continue on the path of success that they have already set out to achieve. The Amazon is vital for the existence and future of all human beings on our planet. It’s time for us to do something about it.