25 Feb 2014
Anantara’s Positive Good Deeds Are Making a Difference
Ever since the first resort opened in 2001, Anantara has become synonymous with creating unique luxury travel experiences in some of the world’s richest cultures and most exotic landscapes. As part of these experiences, all Anantara properties worldwide immerse themselves in local initiatives that give back to the community and environment, thereby enhancing the social and environmental surroundings of each Anantara destination.
With 2014 now underway, Anantara has embarked on a number of new and unique sustainability projects that not only supports local communities but also protects nature and wildlife ensuring a prosperous future for younger generations.
Cardamom Mountains - Cambodia
In late 2013 Anantara was approached by the US/Cambodian Conservation NGO Wildlife Alliance for assistance in protecting 18,000 hectares of forest in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains, with the aim of creating a corridor for elephants and other animals. Contributions from Anantara’s parent company Minor International have funded the building, manning and equipment for ranger stations to patrol the land, to prevent hunting and illegal logging. Beyond the benefits for wildlife, it is calculated that the forest holds more than 5,000,000 tonnes of carbon, which would be released into the atmosphere if the partnership with the Wildlife Alliance did not exist.
Elephant Conservation/Education - Thailand
Famous for staging the annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament in Thailand Anantara’s popular charity event has raised over US$750,000 which has been donated to a number of causes that better the lives of domestic and wild elephant populations throughout Thailand. Money from last year’s event has been donated to a number of ‘world first’ environmental, educational causes.
Funding from last year’s event is currently being used to introduce educational conservation programmes by Think Elephant International (TEI) to over 600 students from 20 schools in Thailand who learn about elephant behaviour, conservation, human-elephant conflict and scientific research, as well as training and supporting BSc Conservation Biology graduates to become TEI classroom teachers.
Anantara is also assisting in a number of royal projects in Kui Buri National Park including weekend camps for children living on the outskirts of the park, whose families’ crops are raided by wild elephants. The camps include educational conservation games and a trip into the park to see wild elephants with the aim of teaching the next generation of farmers the importance of wildlife and biodiversity.
Money from the tournament has also help set up the world’s first Thai Elephant Therapy Project (TETP) in conjunction with Chiang Mai University and the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre. The program is designed to provide autistic children with an opportunity to develop their social interaction and emotional skills by using elephants as a working partner with occupational therapists.
The elephants used in the project have been rescued from the streets of Thailand and have gone through specific training to ensure that they are healthy and well prepared for the clinical research sessions. The elephants are accompanied by their expert mahout handlers, alongside human therapists and researchers.
The programme runs a series of free therapy sessions for Thai children and this year the TETP also intends to expand the research aiming to widen the scope of the clinics to include children with Downs Syndrome and other conditions.
This year’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament is scheduled for 28th – 31st August and aims to raise even more money to donate to various projects that benefit the elephants of Thailand.
365 Days of Good Deeds – Worldwide
All of Anantara’s properties across Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, the Maldives and the Middle East continue to immerse themselves in local initiatives that give back to the community and environment, thereby enhancing the social and environmental surroundings of each Anantara destination. Anantara continues to bring these good deeds together allowing at least one good deed will take place for every single day.
Whether its marine turtle protection in Phuket, coral rejuvenation in the Maldives or supporting local farmers in Indonesia, Anantara continues through its 365 Days of Good Deeds to carrying out a corporate social responsibility programme at a grassroots level in each of its exotic locations around the world. The ‘365 Days of Good Deeds’ programme also invites guests to combine their luxury Anantara stay with opportunities to participate in a range of good deeds that help local communities and the environment.
Looking ahead in 2014, Anantara will launch the new Dollars For Deeds campaign, initially in Thailand, with plans to extend the scheme worldwide. Dollars for Deeds invites guests to donate USD $1 a night during their stay to raise money for a range of admirable causes indigenous to each region where the resorts are located.
For over a decade now, Anantara’s extensive grassroots activities have demonstrated a 100% commitment to protecting our beautiful planet, conserving cultural traditions and bettering the lives of local communities. Each year these efforts grow, and with a planned expansion of 50 Anantara properties by 2015 to include brand new destinations, even more people, environments and wildlife will benefit from Anantara’s commitment to giving back.
For more information on Anantara’s sustainability and CSR projects please go to http://www.anantara.com/csr/