Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.
Reef Magic Cruises carries Advanced Eco Accreditation, the highest level of accreditation awarded by Ecotourism Australia.
Advanced Ecotourism: Identifies Australia’s leading and most innovative ecotourism products, providing an opportunity learn about the environment with an operator who is committed to achieving best practice when using resources wisely, contributing to the conservation of the environment and helping local communities.
The ECO Certification logo is a globally recognized brand which assists travellers to choose and experience a genuine and authentic tour, attraction, cruise or accommodation that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. The ECO Certification program assures travellers that certified products are backed by a strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high quality nature-based tourism experiences.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards with the aim of increasing sustainable tourism knowledge and practices among public and private stakeholders.
TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change overview
Climate change is the result of changes in our weather patterns because of an increase in the Earth’s average temperature. This is caused by increases in greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere from human activity such as burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. These gases soak up heat from the sun but instead of the heat leaving the Earth’s atmosphere, some of it is trapped, making the Earth warmer.
Global warming and climate change – The terms ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference.
- Global warming is the gradual increase of the Earth’s average surface temperature, due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
- Climate change is a broader term. It refers to long-term changes in climate, including average temperature and rainfall.
Great Barrier Reef and Climate Change Impacts – Climate Change poses one of the greatest threats to coral reefs, warming seas can trigger coral bleaching, where the corals become stressed and expel the zooxanthellae algae which produce their main food source. These algae also provide the coral with colour so when they leave the coral bleaches. If warm conditions do not persist for too long, the algae return and the coral recover. However in extreme events when temperatures are high for long periods of time corals will die.
Reef Magic Cruises’ Action to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions – These are just some of the steps Reef Magic Cruises is taking to tackle climate change by reducing our carbon emissions:
- We minimise waste and recycled whenever possible and we use recycled products and materials
- We measure and track our carbon footprint annually using the GBRMPA emissions calculator.
- We choose to purchase 10% of our electricity as Green Power. Green Power is drawn from three renewable energy sources – Solar Power, Wind, Hydro and Biomass.
- We participate with Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in Reef Health Impact survey monitoring programs
- Our vessels are serviced regularly to maintain optimum fuel efficiency and our outboard vessels utilise 4 stroke.
- Reef Magic Cruises has been an Advanced Eco Certified business since 2008. All of our tours have minimal impact on the environment and promote the unique area we visit.
Encouraging our visitors to tackle climate change – At Reef Magic Cruises we believe each person around the world can reduce their total emissions each year. There are hundreds of different ways we can do this by introducing environmental practices into our everyday life such as using energy saving appliances, low energy bulbs, reduction of waste and litter and the use of environmentally friendly detergents.
When travelling we encourage our guests to ensure these practices are maintained away from home and use local energy and water efficiently. Check soaps or detergents are biodegradable. Never litter and recycle where you can. You can choose to measure and offset travel emissions through organisations such as Climate Friendly who provide emissions calculators for a range of activities and contribute to the growth of the renewable energy industry.
While travelling we encourage our guests to choose to support tour operators who have achieved the Ecotourism and Climate Action certification logo. Ecotourism Australia Certification allows travellers to Australia to identify and support operators who meet the benchmark and so ensure tourism products have minimal impact to the environment.
Want to Know More – visit these sites:
Ecotourism Australia – www.ecotourism.org.au/climate_action.asp
Ergon Energy Green Power- www.ergon.com.au/energy
Climate Action Certification www.sustainabletourismaustralia.com
Carbon offset watch – www.carbonoffsetwatch.org.au
Climate Friendly – www.climatefriendly.com.au