Ethical Travel: Tourism to Protect Human Rights and the Environment

A step beyond Eco-tourism? This should be the way to travel, for everyone. Ethical Traveleris a nonprofit organization, founded to "empower travelers to change the world." We seek to use the economic clout of tourism to protect human rights and the environment. When something like this caught your eye, you better not turn away. Surfing the web I came across this interesting website and I couldn't just read, I had to write about them.

What is the purpose of Ethical Traveler?

Ethical Traveler is dedicated to educating travelers about the social and environmental impact of their decisions, showing how travel can be a potent form of diplomacy, and giving travelers a forum through which their united voices can serve the world community. I believe that we all should abide by these rules and respect the places and the people we visit. Ethical Traveler has also developed a list of the Most Ethical Places to Travel in 2010. The places are selected through an investigation where the focus are three general categories: Environmental Protection, Social Welfare, and Human Rights. The destinations selected are the ones that are actively improving the state of their people, government, and environment. For this year the countries selected are: Argentina, The Bahamas, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Latvia, Mauritius, Palau, Serbia, and Uruguay. An explanation was made for each of the categories for every country, and this one is the one that called my attention the most: Dominica signed an important UN statement defending LGBTQ rights this year—the only Eastern Caribbean country to do so. Very proud! 

Iguazú National Park, Argentina. Photo by Miguel Vieira

Dolphins, Dominica. Photo provided courtesy of Discover Dominica Authority

Vermanes' Master Garden, Festival of Traditional Culture, Riga, Latvia, August 2011. Photo by Erzsèbet

Noteworthy: Latin American countries continue to be top scorers in environmental protection. Costa Rica scored exceedingly high in the Environmental Policy Index (EPI), the only developing country—and indeed one of only four countries in the world—to make it into the top “100-85″ scorer category. Chile also scored high, particularly in sustainable fishery and forestry. Dominica is working on an impressive renewable energy policy, with plans to be carbon-negative by 2020.

Inform yourself and read the entire article.

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