Three International Conservation Projects Selected to Receive Grants for Natural and Cultural Resource Preservation

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Members of the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund support projects crucial to the future of adventure travel

“Our members came together with a common goal of leaving a lasting impact on the adventure travel industry,” said Steve Barker, outdoor industry pioneer, and founder of Eagle Creek and ATCF Board Chair.

The Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF), an international nonprofit dedicated to supporting sustainable adventure tourism, today announced they will award more than $70,000 in grant money to three international organizations. This funding is the first round since the inception of the ATCF and will be used by each organization to implement conservation projects in Uganda, Mexico and Indonesia, which will positively impact adventure travel for generations to come.

The organizations selected to receive grant money, which is fully funded by ATCF membership dues, include:

  • WILDCOAST - conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. Their project will support the conservation of coral reefs in more than 687,000 acres of six protected areas in the Mexican Pacific by improving coral reef monitoring, strengthening visitation management, and advancing coral reef legal protection. Awarded $30,000.
  • Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust - connects Volcanoes’ Rwanda and Uganda luxury lodges to the neighboring communities and conservation activities. Their project will provide a permanent settlement dedicated to the Gahinga community of Batwa pygmies, a group of about 90 adults and children who were displaced from their ancestral homeland due to the designation of their land as national park to promote mountain gorilla conservation. Awarded $16,500.
  • The Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program - is dedicated to conserving orangutan populations and forest habitat in and around Gunung Palung National Park, one of the last primary rainforest refuges in Indonesia. This project will provide expedition opportunities to reach remote communities that rarely receive formal education regarding their environment, publicity and media efforts, and community training sessions to create new aquaculture and organic farming groups. Awarded $30,000.

Members of the ATCF support on-the-ground tourism-based projects around the world. Once a year, members nominate organizations and vote on projects to be funded through grant money. Projects span the protection of natural resources and cultural assets, the creation of outdoor infrastructures, and business development. Results will be closely monitored by the ATCF to ensure organizations are delivering positive regional and global impact.

“We are thrilled to announce the first round of grant funding by the ATCF, said Soraya Shattuck, ATCF executive director. “These three projects, voted on by our members, exemplify the types of conservation efforts that the travel and outdoor industries are looking to protect. We look forward to following the progress of these incredible projects and to support another round of grantees in 2018.”

“WILDCOAST is very excited to receive the generous support of the ATCF to help us protect coral reefs in the Mexican Pacific,” commented Zachary Plopper, Conservation Director of WILDCOAST. “Our work in places like Cabo Pulmo and Huatulco has had a significant positive impact on local reefs and surrounding ecosystems. Now we can expand our efforts to conserve a broader area and implement even more effective conservation strategies such as new mooring buoy systems, enhanced outreach, and legal protections for key coral species.”

“The Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program is honored to receive the support of the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund to protect orangutans and their rainforest habitat in West Kalimantan, said Gunung Palung Director Dr. Cheryl Knott. “This project targets the root of habitat destruction by educating local communities and working with them to provide sustainable livelihood options, such as organic farming, and selling handicrafts made from non-timber forest products. We look forward to this collaboration and the positive impact this project will have throughout this biodiverse landscape.”

“The trustees of Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust are delighted to be a recipient of the 2017 ATCF funding grant,” said Kevin James, general manager. “The funding will directly assist with the building of the Gahinga Batwa Village. The Batwa pygmies are a highly marginalized group of indigenous people who have existed in extreme poverty near the Mgahinga National Park in Uganda since they had to leave the park 26 years ago. We are extremely grateful for the financial assistance awarded and the awareness that this will bring to the plight of the Batwa as well as the wider conservation-community issues around the gorilla parks.”

“Our members came together with a common goal of leaving a lasting impact on the adventure travel industry,” said Steve Barker, outdoor industry pioneer, and founder of Eagle Creek and ATCF Board Chair. “We’re proud to be able to offer funding to these organizations in support of their missions to protect and preserve destinations, resources, and indigenous cultures that, without their help, may soon disappear.”

The ATCF will begin accepting nominations for 2018 grants in the spring. Both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, which may include conservation groups, indigenous people groups, tour operators or accommodations, can receive project funding from ATCF, but must be nominated by a member. To learn more about joining ATCF and becoming a member organization supporting global conservation, please visit

The mission of the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF) is to directly fund local projects engaged
in the conservation of unique natural and cultural resources of adventure travel destinations. The ATCF is an international nonprofit focused on funding conservation projects primarily outside the United States and Canada. The ATCF members are a diverse group of leading adventure travel and outdoor recreation businesses who share a common ethos and commitment to protecting the resources from which the adventure tourism industry depends on. For more information, visit

Connect with ATCF on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Photos available through Soraya Shattuck.

Press Contact:
Soraya Shattuck, Executive Director of the ATCF
(425) 835-2493

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