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SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL

NO ISLAND IS AN ISLAND Nowhere is environmental urgency felt more acutely than on islands: closer to the sea, and further from infrastructure, a sustainable approach is a necessity rather than an option. It’s not surprising then that The Long Run’s island resorts are some of the world’s leading conservationists and eco-innovators.

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aradise islands can be microcosms for our planet’s environmental crisis. Tourists typically produce twice as much rubbish as locals, and islands are ill-equipped to deal with its disposal. Islands also have finite resources. The neverending plastic crisis and marine wildlife is a concern, too — by 2030, scientists predict that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, and experts expect a collapse of global fisheries by 2048. Tropical resorts are a lot less enticing when accompanied by piles of plastic, bleached coral and toxic smoke. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. When the stewards of private islands genuinely commit to conservation, tourism can be a force for good. By carefully balancing The Long Run’s 4Cs — community, conservation, culture, and commerce — island resorts create better experiences for travellers, wildlife, locals and the environment. Delphine King, Managing Director of The Long Run comments, “Tourism is a great chance for marine conservation if done right. It provides alternative livelihood opportunities for people who depend on marine resources, creates value for maintaining a pristine environment, and the challenges of island life can trigger sustainable ingenuity.”

ABOVE The Long Run’s members operate on some of the world’s most beautiful islands such as Cempedak Island in Indonesia. LEFT When the stewards of private islands genuinely commit to conservation, tourism can be a force for good and help protect endangered marine wildlife such as sea turtles.

The Long Run brings together some of the world’s most committed and passionate conservationists. The 39 members across 22 countries share an ambitious goal to collectively conserve over 20-million acres of biodiversity and improve the lives of two million people by 2020. The owners of Nikoi and the adjacent island Cempedak have always wanted to protect the islands rather than merely create resorts. Their dedication is evident in the beautifully constructed villas that require no air conditioning, and the islands’ thriving populations of hawksbill turtles and sea otters. Over in the Maldives, Six Senses Laamu is exemplary in working with local communities to raise environmental awareness. While elsewhere in the Maldives resorts are removing seagrass for the sake of tourists, Six Senses Laamu is protecting it. A dedicated sustainability team has reduced water use and plastic use, too. The Long Run’s members operate on some of the world’s most beautiful islands, and each is a beacon of hope. Among its members The Long Run counts the first privately marine protected area established in the world, and one of the planet’s most successful marine conservation initiatives. The message these places send is more compelling than ever: even when it feels like you’re a million miles from the real world, you cannot ignore the bigger picture.

Find out more at www.thelongrun.org 116

Profile for FOUR Magazine

FOUR Vol. 3 2019  

FOUR Vol. 3 2019