Robin Tauck Joins Marriott’s Efforts to Protect Amazon Rainforest

Robin Tauck Joins Marriott’s Efforts to Protect Amazon Rainforest

Tauck Romano Innovative Philanthropy (TRIP) is joining Marriott International’s ongoing effort to leverage sustainable tourism, conservation and training in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest. TRIP has committed $50,000 to support education and a new Sustainable Agriculture Learning Center within the Juma Reserve in the Brazilian state of Amazonas.

The Learning Center, a project of the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation in Manaus, is now providing local residents with access to a year-long sustainable rainforest permaculture training program that demonstrates how protection of the rainforest’s resources can improve the communities’ current and long term livelihood.

Travel industry veteran Robin Tauck (TRIP Foundation trustee and President R. Tauck & Partners) believes the Sustainable Agriculture Learning Center is a clear example of how new and innovative programs show promise and build sustainable, positive change. “I am personally proud to be an initial international travel partner joining Marriott and the state of Amazonas in supporting such innovative programs in Juma. The Amazon Rainforest is known as the lungs of the world, and we can all leverage Marriott’s leadership via our large, responsible and caring industry,” said Tauck.

Juma’s home state of Amazonas in northwest Brazil is currently under tremendous land use pressure. Deforestation coupled with unsustainable farming could deplete 30 percent of the forest by 2050. In 2008, Marriott embarked on a four-year plan to protect 1.4 million acres of Juma’s endangered forest. One of the plan’s key elements included the future development of a learning center dedicated to sustainable forestry. The new learning center will be located in Boa Frente, one of about 30 small communities within the Reserve which is home to more than 3,000 residents (about 400 families) who will benefit from this innovative educational opportunity.

Arne Sorenson, president and COO of Marriott recently expressed his gratitude, “We are truly pleased and proud that Robin Tauck, a travel industry colleague, has joined us and the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation in this important effort to help protect the rainforest and empower the lives of the residents. Through this important project, Robin is making a valued contribution - that will have long-term benefit - to the education and training of families living in 30 communities throughout this vast Juma Reserve.” Mr. Sorenson also co-chairs his company’s Executive Green Council.

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The TRIP Foundation support provides multiple communities with the tools to enhance their traditional farming practices and includes resources such as an onsite laboratory as well as a teaching curriculum focused on the importance of sustainability, permaculture and crop rotation. The Center provides ongoing community training and monitoring.

A Conservational Call to the Travel Industry: Robin Tauck urges industry leaders to consider collaboration in support of conservation efforts. Many opportunities exist to jointly support initiatives, as demonstrated by discussions between Robin Tauck and Ed Fuller, managing director of International Lodging and Mari Snyder, vice president, social responsibility at Marriott. The World Travel and Tourism Council has also recognized Marriott’s initiative, with CEO Jean Claude Baumgarten proclaiming it to be one of the leading examples of best practice in sustainable tourism - a worthy winner of one of the 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

The Juma Sustainable Development Reservation is a REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) initiative addressing deforestation and the consequential emissions of greenhouse gases. It is also the first avoided deforestation project to achieve Gold Status under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standards.