Certified Wildlife Friendly™ Tourism is defined as “travel that maximizes opportunities for travelers, communities, and businesses to not only engage tourists as partners in conservation but to advance the on-the-ground conservation of Key Species while minimizing negative impacts of tourists and tourism infrastructure on wildlife.” Wildlife Friendly™ Tourism and related WFEN tourism initiatives are first-of-their-kind programs to promote species conservation through the tourism sector.

Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • North America

Sector of activity
Tourism

Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Financial Instruments & Investments

Start date
19/11/2019

Shared by

Marissa Altmann

Assistant to the Executive Director

Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network

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Objectives

While the intention behind many sustainability-focused, wildlife-based tourism businesses may be well-meaning, it is unclear how many of them effectively contribute to wildlife conservation. Sustainable tourism guidelines often expect enterprises to act as “jacks of all trades,” requiring expertise in socio-economic areas, energy and water consumption, supply chains, waste management, wastewater treatment, and much more. Wildlife conservation is a challenging field requiring focused, context-specific expertise with regard to ecology and behavior—more targeted guidance and monitoring is needed to ensure that biodiversity targets are met.
In response, the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network has developed a certification program for Wildlife Friendly™ Tourism, which is defined as “travel that maximizes opportunities for travelers, communities, and businesses to not only engage tourists as partners in conservation but to advance the on-the-ground conservation of Key Species while minimizing negative impacts of tourists and tourism infrastructure on wildlife.” Wildlife Friendly™ Tourism and related WFEN tourism initiatives are first-of-their-kind programs to promote species conservation through the tourism sector.
Wildlife Friendly™ certification provides a standardized, widely-available framework of expert-driven best practices and training materials for tourism businesses and tourist interactions that can be applied at a global scale, but adapted for species and geographies as needed. As an enterprise network, WFEN works to collect and share stories of success at the intersection of humans and wildlife, for the benefit of biodiversity, communities, and the private sector.

Activities

As collected through the One Planet Reporting

Output level

Knowledge resource and technical tool

  • Development of the Global Sea Turtle Friendly™ Tourism standards and certification program

Impact and Results

WFEN's work supports over 350,000 livelihoods, protects over 13+ million hectares of critical habitat, and protects threatened species such as the African Lion, Wolf, Snow Leopard, and many others. WFEN takes a diversified approach with tourism, supporting the integration of other supply chains within tourism-based economies. Certified Wildlife Friendly™ Tourism has been endorsed by the IUCN Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group Biodiversity Working Group (IUCN TAPAS BWG).

Next steps and how to get involved

Visit www.wildlifefriendly.org for more information.
Contact Marissa Altmann, marissa@wildlifefriendly.org