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High hopes and expectations

We were so impressed with all the nominees in the race to win a fully sponsored MOYO training. All people with passion, dedication and the drive to have a positive impact on nature, wildlife and biodiversity through tourism.

It was not easy to select a winner, but we chose Samuel Ribeiro as the lucky person to join the next Nature Positive Tourism training in Italy with us. You can read more about Samuel's insights into Nature Positive Tourism and why he wants to do the training below. We think Samuel can have real impact in his area - rural Northern Portugal - and dedicated to driving community engagement through his tourism company Beir'Aja.

Samuel: 'In my country it is common sense that to do Nature Tourism, you must go to a place where density is low – that of people, and of wildlife. This is true because of successive years of disconnection between the people and their lands, caused by laws and events that led the locals to the big cities or to live abroad.

Furthermore, those who stayed had successive conflicts with big predators, with the Iberian Wolf highlighted, which led to a state of danger when it comes to density of this species. People really believed that predators were competitors with us, humans. All combined, these events created a belief that nothing happens in these places, and that wildlife is dangerous.

Years have passed since, and some animals such as Wild boars have no predators, therefore grow large in population numbers, and start roaming around humans, causing accidents and crops destruction. Simultaneously young generations are staying or coming to these places, unaware of this legacy, stubborn enough to endure and fight for their opportunity to create something in a place that is dear to them. This is where tourism comes in!

Schools teach the importance of balance, Nature conservation associations rebuild people’s global understanding of wildlife ecosystems and predators’ role, and Tourism operators lead the role of gathering all Local producers, accommodations, and restaurants to create a true cycle where people come to watch Nature’s restoration, while staying in an Eco-Friendly accommodation, buying local products and eating in responsible restaurants that buy local.

Following this line of thought, I find the need to learn more about how to get communities engaged, how to build Nature Positive narratives and how to actively make a difference in reviving an area where people feel disconnected, and for that I trust Aukje and Simon are just the right people!

I feel that completing MOYO’s Nature Positive Tourism training would be an ultimate step for me to effectively build tours that value local people, local products and, not least importantly, value Nature, wildlife, and make a proper contribution to help for this restoration.

Expectations are high, and so is hope!'


Samuel Ribeiro

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