Ibex Expeditions is committed to being environmental caretakers and it is our endeavor to maintain high standards of `minimum impact tourism’.
Ibex has signed the Himalayan Code of Conduct issued by the Himalayan Environment Trust whose Trustees include Sir Edmund Hillary, Sir Chris Bonington, Junko Tabei, Rheinhold Messner, Maurice Herzog, amongst others.
We led the formation of the PATA India Chapter Environmental Code and are also members of The International Ecotourism Society. We are active supporters of the WWF India, the Bombay Natural History Society, and other Environmental NGOs, to whom we donate a small part of our profits. We are also the first company in India to sign up with UIAA as an environment label holder.
Environment Pledge Since 1998, Founder & Managing Director, Mandip Singh Soin FRGS was invited to be a judge on the panel for the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards for companies displaying good environmental actions. He continues to judge these awards now under the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Environment Pledge Every Ibex client is made aware of the pledge, allowing for an `open audit’ that we hope is a display of sincerity towards this cause. This pledge as below, reflects a travel ethic, which you, the conscientious traveler, can join hands with us to make your travel experience a positive one.
Limit Deforestation: We will make no open fires and discourage others from doing so. Where water is heated by scarce firewood, we will not use it or use as little of it as possible. Wherever possible, we will choose accommodation that uses kerosene or fuel – efficient fire-wood stoves.
Plant Saplings: We will take saplings and encourage our tourists to help plant them near our campsites or on the trails.
Non-biodegradable Garbage: We will leave campsites clean and take back all non-biodegradable litter to the road head/towns for proper disposal. We will only bury biodegradable food waste. Non-biodegradable garbage in specially designed garbage bags by Ibex. Environment Pledge Keep Local Water Clean: Toilet facilities will be pitched at least 30 meters away from the water source and all waste will be covered properly. We will not allow detergents to be used in streams and springs.
Plants left in their Natural Environment: We will not take away cuttings, seeds and roots that are illegal in many parts of the Himalayas.
Respect Local Cultures: We will promote the appreciation and preservation of religious places and local villages by never allowing clients to buy religious objects or heirlooms from remote villages.
Alternate Source of Energy for Fuel: Where possible, we will convert to solar power such as solar lanterns, solar cookers etc.
Stationery & Other Publicity material on Recycled Paper: We will introduce/increase the use of recycled/handmade paper for our stationery and other publicity items such as brochures, etc.
Ibex took another stride in this direction of minimizing the impact by bringing back all garbage, weighing it, reporting it to the Himalayan Environment Trust. Ibex converted to the use of solar lanterns at base camps, treks, and for jeep and biking tours.
‘Eco tourism and Environment handbook – a practical guide for the Tourism Industry’ The First two editions were published by PATA India Chapter. The third is by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. All were edited by Mandip Singh Soin FRGS, Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions.
We invite you to be partners in this endeavor – to tread lightly and become good trustees of our earth.
The Traveler’s Code of Responsibility
For Environmental and Cultural Sustainability by PATA
“Travel is a passage through other people’s lives and other people’s places”
Are you prepared to accept cultures and practices that are different from your own?
Have you selected to support businesses that clearly and actively address the cultural and environmental concerns of the locale you are visiting?
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Have you done research about the people and places you plan to visit so you may avoid what may innocently offend them or harm their environment?
Have you learned the basic manners and polite phrases in the language of the place you plan to visit?
Are you informed of the holidays, holy days, general religious and social customs of the places you will visit?
SUPPORT LOCAL ENTERPRISE
Have you made a commitment to contribute to the local economy by purchasing from local and international run hotels, tour operators, restaurants, shops and buying from local artisan crafts?
BE RESPECTFUL AND OBSERVANT
Are you willing to respect local laws that may include restrictions on purchases, usage of or access to places and things that may harm or otherwise erode the environment, or alter the culture of the places you visit?