TORONTO — The Travel Corporation established the non-profit TreadRight Foundation seven years ago to support sustainable tourism.
The group currently has 35+ projects in 27 countries. Regardless of the success, Program Director Shannon Guihan admitted that the foundation is unknown to most in the travel industry.
“Some people have a voice and some have a story. We realized we need someone to tell our story,” said Guihan at a media event in Toronto last night. In an effort to boost the profile of the foundation, the organization announced Céline Cousteau as TreadRight’s brand ambassador.
Daughter of ocean explorer and filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau and granddaughter of the legendary Jacques Yves Cousteau, Céline brings a legacy as well as her own experience as founder and president of CauseCentric Productions, a non-profit organization that promotes grassroots organizations and individuals around the world.
Two projects that the group is currently working on are their Heritage and Wildlife Initiatives:
The TreadRight Heritage Initiative, through a series of grants, helps support select artisan enterprises that engage in the creation of handmade and culturally significant products. The grants will assist artisan enterprises by providing funding to strengthen their small business development including finances, business plan development, marketing, production, staffing, inventory management, and sales as well as the purchasing of specific tools or equipment for craft production.
As part of its continuing dedication to sustainability efforts, TreadRight launched The TreadRight Wildlife Initiative. The Wildlife Initiative, delivered in partnership with WildAid, The Wilderness Foundation SA and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, is dedicated to helping stop wildlife crime.
The consumption of wildlife products such as shark fin, ivory and rhino horn devastates the wild populations of these species. The TreadRight Wildlife Initiative supports leading organizations whose collective efforts help to combat the entire chain of the illegal wildlife trade.
In its first year, the Wildlife Initiative focuses its support on the plight of the rhino and the fight against poaching and illegal trafficking of rhino horn, a critical threat of unprecedented proportions that has left the world rhino population decimated, with 95% of the population wiped off the face of the earth in the past four decades.
For more information, go to treadright.org.