TORONTO — G Adventures has doubled down on its commitment to sustainability with a significant financial investment in Reforest.
Based in Brisbane, Australia, Reforest is a digital platform that connects travellers with local communities intent on restoring their ecosystems using reforestation. This, in turn, allows travellers to give back by having their own trees planted in places where community tourism relies heavily on the preservation of the local environment. The platform will then provide travellers with tangible scientific data that measures the positive impact of the trees planted on their behalf.
Reforest has also been designed to help travel companies with environmental challenges through emission removal, understand their carbon footprint, and connect them with local projects that support their reforestation efforts.
Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, says that tree planting is an effective way to both reverse climate change and support community tourism, a concept he pioneered more than 30 years ago.
“The preservation of local environments is critical to supporting community tourism as it helps improve air and water quality for local people, and supports wildlife habitats. Travellers want to see natural beauty, so we need the world’s most beautiful places to be around for as long as possible, and to stay as pristine as possible. The Reforest platform will help us achieve that goal and help combat climate change, as planting trees is one of the easiest ways to help decrease emissions,” said Poon Tip.
Noting that he has never been a fan of carbon-offsetting, Poon Tip added: “The idea that you can have a negative impact in one place and do something positive somewhere else, and that somehow balances the scale, is not science to me, and most of all it doesn’t change people’s behaviour. Reforest provides a solution that truly has benefits for the places tourism touches, and presents the results in a way travellers can see the positive change they are enabling. I’m also excited for us to be able to broaden our reach and impact by providing this service to more travel companies.”
Daniel Walsh, co-founder of Reforest, says G Adventures’ stake gives the company the means to improve its technology and expand its offering by marketing the platform more widely within the global travel industry.
“Having G Adventures as an investor provides us with the funding we need to bring our innovative new platform to market. Together we will also create a showcase example of restorative tourism at work as we build the G Adventures’ tree-planting programme together over the coming months,” said Walsh.
With Reforest, Walsh added, a customer can see the trees a travel company is planting on their behalf and track the cumulative restorative impact of their trip as a result. The platform applies drone-based footage and satellite imagery to bring groundbreaking tangibility to the restoration projects.
“The opportunity to support the transition of this industry to become restorative is compelling for me both in terms of the positive impact we can facilitate and the purposeful business models we can help to build as we do so,” added Walsh.
For more information on Reforest, visit https://reforest.com.au.