World Nature Conservation Day is observed every year on 28 July, and aims to raise awareness of the worsening climate crisis and initiate discussions about how we can better preserve the environment and its natural resources for generations to come.
One of the key focuses is on flora and fauna that are endangered or facing extinction, like our beloved Arctic polar bear. World Nature Conservation Day also draws attention to businesses’ sustainability initiatives and encourages businesses without any to take those important first steps.
At Aurora Expeditions, a commitment to responsible travel has always been part of our mission. As founding members of IAATO and AECO, we take our responsibility seriously and are committed to doing our bit for the planet.
Here are 5 things we’ve initiated or are working towards to help preserve our environment for future generations
1. Last year, we were certified as 100% Carbon Neutral. What this means is that every year, we calculate our greenhouse gas emissions across all business operations and purchase carbon credits from climate action projects to offset these emissions. Two of the projects we’re currently investing in are InfraVest Tongyuan Wind Farm, a renewable energy project in northwest Taiwan that harnesses wind power, and Mount Sandy Conservation, a biodiversity conservation project on South Australia’s Limestone Coast.
2. We were the first to use the ULSTEIN X-BOW®design on an expedition passenger ship, the Greg Mortimer, and it is also a core custom-design feature of our new ship, the Sylvia Earle. Not only does this design mean a safer and more comfortable cruising experience for passengers, it is also better for the environment, enabling our ships to produce fewer emissions and use less fuel.
3. We believe that travel is the best educator and seek to enrich passengers’ curiosity and expand their knowledge and understanding of the places we visit, thereby creating lifelong ambassadors for the preservation and protection of these sacred places. On every voyage we have a range of special guests onboard, including scientists, naturalists, and palaeontologists and zoologists. We alsoencourage our passengers to get involved in one of our diverse and interactive Citizen Science projects to enrich their curiosity and expand their knowledge and understanding of the places we travel to. There is no better learning opportunity than being in the field with subject matter experts!
Happywhale is one of seven Citizen Science programs we support. Passengers participate in destinations we visit around the world by taking identification photographs of whales – notably humpbacks in Antarctica – and other marine mammals. Happywhale uses these photos to track marine life which, over time, helps scientists better understand, conserve and protect whales.
What’s more, you don’t have to be onboard one of our ships to participate. You can submit photos from anywhere in the world, or even images you’ve taken from previous expeditions with us. Once your whales have been identified, you can follow them across the globe in your Happywhale account. Pretty cool, right?
4. Our new purpose-built ship is a floating ambassador for the planet that honours its namesake, Dr. Sylvia Earle, and other pioneering women in conservation. In doing this we hope to shine a light on the important conservation work these women do.
5. We are working towards B Corp Certification, which is a designation that a business is meeting the highest standards for social sustainability, environmental performance and accountability. The rigorous assessment process is prompting us to scrutinise all of our processes, including our supply chains and onboard food program, and has further highlighted the fact that there is always more that businesses can do to help make a positive impact.
Join our Antarctic Climate Expedition!
In February 2023, during the Sylvia Earle’s inaugural season, Dr. Earle will herself be joining a special Antarctic Climate Expedition. This voyage will see a collection of thought leaders in the fields of conservation, science, art, education and economics come together to bring about public and government awareness of the importance and the splendour of the Antarctic, and to address the warming climate and loss of sea ice in the southern polar region as a direct threat to the future of human life on this planet. Expedition members will help formulate a number resolutions to inspire transformative changes for global net-zero emissions by 2050.
We are seeking those that have a healthy appetite for adventure, a passion for the natural world and all that it contains, and the desire to help make the world a better place, to join this once-in-a-lifetime expedition.
Expressions of interest close on 31 August, 2022.
*Terms and conditions apply