14 May 2013
Anantara Steps Up CSR Efforts with the Appointment of New Worldwide Conservation Director
As a luxury discovery travel brand, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas strives to create amazing guest experiences that also benefit the environment, local culture and communities in need. As part of the brand’s ongoing commitment, all Anantara properties worldwide now benefit from the conservation knowledge, experience and passion of John Roberts, who has been Director of Elephants at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort since 2003.
Combining his academic background in science and engineering with his interest in the natural world, Roberts spent many years travelling the globe in search of conservation volunteer roles. From fighting fires and making trails in the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in the desert of West Texas, his knowledge of fires was put to good use in the remote parks of Northern Australia. At Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge in Chitwan National Park, Nepal he helped with the International Trust for Nature Conservation's tiger research and other projects. Hearing of a new elephant camp being set up at a luxury resort in Thailand’s lush jungle, Roberts was drawn to their ambition of creating unforgettable adventures for guests, as well as becoming a role model for elephant welfare and helping all of Thailand’s elephants.
Set up in 2003 as a traditional mahout village, Anantara Golden Triangle’s Elephant Camp works alongside Anantara’s Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) to perform street rescues, provide ongoing employment and a comfortable lifestyle for each elephant and its entire mahout family, as well as to participate in bigger picture projects. Fully self sufficient, the Camp now supports more than 25 elephants and 60 people. All elephants receive the utmost care, while the mahout and his family receive food, housing, medical insurance, schooling for their children, and 100% of the profits from a traditional silk weaving business.
In addition to managing the Elephant Camp, GTAEF and research conducted by Think Elephants International, in his new worldwide conservation role, Roberts’ expertise and enthusiasm will benefit all Anantara properties, as well as guests.
Continuing to work closely with scientists and universities, both foreign and Thai, Roberts will ensure that conservation initiatives produce viable scientific data. These insider relationships will enable him to identify and develop projects which Anantara properties can become involved with, and where appropriate be incorporated into unique guest activities.
Roberts’ skills in minimising environmental damage will play a role in developing new Anantara properties. He will also draw on his impressive knowledge of scientific conservation trends and technologies to recommend best sustainable practices and assist with Green Globe certification.
As Anantara’s conservation guru he will propose and oversee resort projects of a philanthropic and eco-friendly nature. For instance, Roberts will help Anantara hideaways around the world implement the brand’s “365 Days of Good Deeds” initiative.
“Since 2001, Anantara has been committed to creating luxury travel experiences that emphasise the greater good of all, with properties across Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, the Maldives and Middle East immersing themselves in initiatives that give back to our precious planet and help people in need,” Mr. Roberts explains. Throughout 2013 at least one good deed will take place every day. Whether it’s rescuing street elephants in Thailand, promoting marine turtle protection in Phuket, enhancing coral rejuvenation in the Maldives or supporting local farmers in Indonesia, Anantara is dedicated to mindful preservation in each of its exotic locations around the world. Moreover the “365 Days of Good Deeds” programme invites guests to combine their five star escape with Anantara’s sustainable endeavours, ultimately making the Anantara Experience even more rewarding.”
For more information on Anantara’s 365 Days of Good Deeds please visit http://www.anantara.com/365-days-of-good-deeds