The above graphic has been put out by the Lewis Pugh Foundation on Penguin Awareness Day (January 20) illustrating the conservation status (after IUCN) of the 18 penguin species of the world. The members of Linking Tourism & Conservation (LT&C) are familiar with penguins as their membership categories are not ranked as bronze, silver, gold or platin, but by different sized penguin species. This does not mean that LT&C is only focused on the Southern hemisphere. Our members are clearly globally distributed and active. They have created, identified, described and profiled so far 52 LT&C-Examples, cases where tourism is supporting protected areas and thereby the global biodiversity.
LT&C is a nature conservation NGO supporting the expected UN-Goal of creating a global protected area network by 2030, which covers representatively 30% of the different marine and terrestrial ecosystems and habitats on earth (the 30×30 Goal). LT&C works for making the tourism industry a leading actor implementing the 30×30 Goal by
# Identifying and profiling best cases (LT&C-Examples), where tourism is supporting financially, politically or by ways of education the establishment and development of protected areas;
# Mainstreaming LT&C-Examples by promoting and communicating them in (nature interested) traveler circles and by offering educative study tours to LT&C Example destinations (in cooperation tour operators, which are members of LT&C, and who are involved or are providers of such examples);
# Developing incentives that LT&C Examples are getting replicated, their providers support each other, and that the creation of such examples can become an accelerating movement;
# Partnering with conservation as well as tourism-related local, national and international (governmental and non-governmental) organisations, institutions and companies supporting the 30×30 Goal;
# Finding ways that LT&C-Examples become an official status within the UN-Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for reaching the 30×30 Goal;
# Creating a global base of members from both tourism and conservation of all levels of society becoming actively involved in our mission.
Why does LT&C use the image of Penguins for membership?
The film entitled “The March of the Penguins” demonstrates how penguins embark on a nearly impossible journey but are successful every year. Our journey of Linking Tourism & Conservation has its own challenges, we can only tackle if we are marching together with many like-minded, experienced, skilful, goal-oriented, impact-driven, patient, social and tough members. If you can relate to at least some of these qualities and want to join this journey and mission! You may relate to one of the four similar coloured (all have yellow in addition to their black and white), but different sized penguin species, which we utilize for our different membership categories..
For all penguins the fearless behaviour they demonstrate to humans, along with our relationship with them, symbolize that harmony and interdependence between people and nature are not only possible but also critical for all of our survival! Many examples exist where tourism has supported the better protection of penguins and their habitats. The penguins and their stories should inspire you to become one of the penguin LT&C members. Your membership involvement and increasing the dissemination of LT&C-Examples have positive impacts on both humans and nature.
If you are not a member of our global LT&C network yet, but feel in line with our mission, the Penguin Awareness Day may remind you to join our march towards the 30×30 Goal.