The massive influx of tourists seeking disconnection through relaxation, comfort and holiday packages, has caused the homogenization and degradation of many destinations. In authoritarian or semi-authoritarian countries this disconnection is also fomented by local governments, keeping tourists away from the social and environmental problems local communities face. Tourists are expected to stay on the routes of mass tourism and holiday attractions. Such is the case of Laos.
Have you ever come up with a bright idea while travelling? A simple idea that could contribute to the local community or to the protection of a remote place? This is how we felt when visiting the fishponds next to the villages of Armash, Surenavan and Yeraskh in Armenia.
Sleeping in a guesthouse is not enough to support local communities in the region of Svaneti, Georgia. You’ll need to be a really adventurous traveler if you want to make a change in a region threatened by unsustainable tourism and hydropower projects.
Back in 2005 when 15 square kilometres of public property, an area the size of 2000 soccer fields, were privatized for 800’000 euros, almost nobody knew about the Ulcinj Salina. After the new owner tried to sell the same area for 300 times higher price civil society started to discover the real value of nature at the salina. Is it too late?
Interview with Kenan Muftić, professional dog trainer, mountain guide and chief technical advisor of Via Dinarica
Waters from Pindus, Nemërçkë and Gribe Mountains lead to Vjosa. Shepherd and fishermen tracks lead to Vjosa. Otters, kingfishers, eels and hundred of other rare species lead to Vjosa. Rafting, canyoning, climbing, hiking and biking tourists lead to Vjosa. The roads of Olsi Nika and Ulrich Eichelmann, activists in the campaign Save the Blue Heart of Europe, also lead to Vjosa. Because in Albania all roads lead to the last pristine river in Europe. Vjosa is a key area in this campaign aiming to preserve the most valuable rivers in the Balkan Peninsula from destruction.
105 km from the Greek border, 212 km from Tirana, 72 km from Vlorë and additional 2 km of dirt road you need in order to reach an almost pristine place known as Gjipe Beach at the Albanian seacoast. The difficult approach makes this two hundred meters of sand hidden between the vertical cliffs of a canyon, a place mostly visited by rock-climbers, bikers, fishermen and more adventurous tourists.
In every country there are activists protecting nature and local communities. Often the information about their campaigns is too scarce, the areas too remote and they struggle to connect with like-minded people.
This is where Perangua was created. We’re doing this site because there’s a strong need to provide support to local activists around the world.
Who will benefit from Perangua?
Perangua aims to connect activists and communities around the world working for different causes in endangered areas. Additionally it aims to connect these groups with travelers who seek to bring value to their trips.
While we gather data for the network, we launch the Perangua blog as a channel to share stories, motivate and promote different types of activism. Stay in touch!
Why did we call it Perangua?
Perangua are the nuts of the Critically Endangered Dracontomelon macrocarpum tree. The nuts are a delicacy, collected by indigenous people, in old-growth forests around rivers only in certain parts of China and Laos. These trees are getting very rare as a result of deforestation and dams being built in their natural habitat.
The blog is named Perangua as a reminder of what we can lose if we don’t protect the environment around us.