I have been aware of the ‘Travel Bloggers Give Back’ initiative for more than a week now. I was contacted by Bret Love of Green Global Travel about becoming involved; it is a great idea and immediately agreed to provide my own supporting post.
The challenge is that there are so many worthwhile causes finding a really exceptional cause is difficult. I decided not to rush into making a decision but to research a charity that may not be as well publicised as others.
I must also admit to being a little concerned about some of the larger charities. They are such huge organisations with so many staff, immense headquarters, expensive television campaigns and gift packages in return for donations. My concern is what percentage of the donated money actually makes it to the beneficiaries and how much is spent in expenses of these charity organisations.
Many other travel website publishers have chosen some excellent charities, doing great work and extremely worthy. It is really inspiring to see so many influential writers giving up a little of their time and a valuable page on their site to support a fantastic project.
The charity I have decided to provide my backing for is one that many may not be aware of. It is a very specific cause which admittedly does not benefit a huge proportion of the population.
There are less than 35 THIRTY-FIVE Amur leopards left alive and the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance ALTA is committed to saving them. It is a coalition of thirteen international and Russian NGOs pooling resources to support the conservation of Amur leopards and tigers in the wild.
The Amur leopard is the world’s rarest big cat, an extremely beautiful animal the plight of which is probably less well publicised than the tigers. It is likely many have not even heard of this big cat.
This animal is of course critically endangered and the reasons for this are the usual ones. Loss of habitat, poaching for its fur, genetic diversity and slow reproduction rates in the cold habitat of its native territories are prime reasons. I believe that saving this creature needs to be a priority as if this is possible it will provide a great ‘ray of hope’ for all endangered species.
One of the challenges facing these great cats is actually meeting to enable them to mate as often the individual animals are isolated in small ‘island’ forest areas. One initiative is to provide ‘corridors’ between these patches of forest to enable the leopards (and tigers) to socialise more freely and hopefully increase their chances of reproduction.
Research is an important part of saving these animals, understanding their habits may provide the necessary breakthrough not only to save them but other endangered species too. To help in this essential research, equipment is urgently needed.
ALTA has a very informative website and it is simple to make a donation via PayPal, it is not even necessary to have an account. In these difficult economic times and especially at Christmas time it is especially hard to think of others, those suffering in poverty, illness, or at the hands of others.
There are many causes currently seeking your support on this project and the Passports with Purpose initiative which are being organised amongst the travel publishing community. Any of them are worthy, they have been selected by people that are passionate about travel, culture and the environment.
ALTA is an extremely worthy charity, it is small organisation, and whilst it does not give away gifts for donating it is possible to purchase a leopard print or t-shirts, so maybe ideal for buying a late Christmas present.
The alliance is also promoting an eco-tourism project which allows visitors to stay in an area which several Amur leopards inhabit. Other initiatives include encouraging the organising of fund raising events, they are a really pro-active and impressive organisation.
I hope you consider supporting this cause and contribute whatever you are able.
“Giving a little, may not seem much, but giving what you are able is more than enough”
“THERE ARE LESS THAN 35 AMUR LEOPARDS LIVING IN THE WILD”
This is a post for TRAVEL BLOGGERS GIVE BACK, a unified movement of bloggers giving back by posting stories about their favourite charity organizations. Join us on FaceBook, and please help spread the word!